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Rain and a series of missed opportunities

india Updated: Jul 08, 2011 01:39 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times
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India's tour of the West Indies was meant to be a series of possibilities. The world's number one Test team were looking to test the depth in their ranks while the hosts, once the masters on a cricket field, were hoping to take steps to regain a foothold among the elite in the game.

However, as the series passes through its final week, it has been more about missed opportunities, and poor scheduling and umpiring. Matches during the early rainy season in the Caribbean has further devalued a series that has already faced a lukewarm response due to the absence of some of India's biggest players and Chris Gayle, the one man half the West Indies thinks could have made a difference to the struggling team.

Both the BCCI and the West Indies Cricket Board should take the blame for pushing the series into the hurricane season. Since the first home series in the West Indies in 1930, only one previous tour has had Test matches starting in July, involving the unheralded Bangladesh in 2009. And that did not involve Dominca, which receives some of the heaviest rainfall in the Caribbean thanks to its rain forests.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/08_07_11-metro19b.jpg

It rained in Jamaica during the first Test, although it did not affect the game that India wrapped up within four days. The second Test in Barbados was drawn after around four sessions --- roughly 130 overs --- were lost due to rain. The first day's action in Dominica was halted soon after the afternoon session started and more rain is forecast in the next two days.

When play did happen, the umpiring has been a big letdown.

There were many mistakes in the Sabina Park Test although the umpire in focus, Australian Daryl Harper, took some heat off himself by pulling out without standing in what would have been his farewell game in Dominica.

The batsmen on both sides have also not helped to set the series on fire except Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.