Just when the Sri Lankan Cricket officials decided to revise the itinerary of the Unitech Cup tri-series, a sudden downpour here – the heaviest since India arrived here on Thursday night – threatens to make Wednesday’s game a non-starter.
The India-Sri Lanka day-night encounter at the Premadasa stadium now becomes the first game of the series after Tuesday’s reserve day between the hosts and the South Africa was rescheduled.
However, there was heavy rain for about half-an-hour just after the Indians finished their nets. The showers left the already-covered ground submerged under water.
With South Africa staying back, at least for the time being, the originally scheduled final on August 29 has been postponed to September 2 while Monday’s clash will be played on August 29.
Unless there are any further changes in South Africa’s plans, they play their opening game against India on Saturday, a day encounter at the Sinhalese Sports Club.
The weather in the evening was in stark contrast to the one during the day. There was bright sunshine with humidity creeping in, allowing the Sri Lankans and the Indians a full outdoor nets at the SSC and Premadasa respectively.
Both India and Sri Lanka are keen to make a good start to the season that leads to the World Cup. Both have credibility at stake.
Dravid is now keen to do well, especially after coming here at the backdrop of the embarrassing 4-1 loss ODI series in the West Indies this May.
He said on Tuesday after nets when asked if the explosion affected the team in any manner: “Security was never really a concern to the players and it was the others who were more concerned about the security than the game.”
All indications are that Dravid would open with Sachin Tendulkar, who would be playing his first ODI since the Pakistan tour early this year. That means Virender Sehwag will bat in the middle.
Mohammad Kaif missed Tuesday’s practice. Dravid said he was down with fever and a blocked nose and that it was as a precautionary measure that Kaif did not attend the practice.