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Rain may again play spoilsport in Kochi one-dayer

Rain threatens a washout of the 2nd ODI today after the opening game met a similar fate last week, reports Akshay Sawai.

cricket Updated: Oct 02, 2007 04:13 IST
Akshay Sawai
Akshay Sawai
Hindustan Times

"Five bullets, and he's still alive!" This is what an exasperated Virgil Sollozzo says after his gang's attempt to murder Vito Corleone fails in 'The Godfather'.

Adam Gilchrist may be feeling like Sollozzo. Australia drilled 307 runs in the first one-dayer, but going into the second match here on Tuesday, India are still alive. Thanks to the Bangalore rain that led to Game One being abandoned when India had just started their innings, the series score is still 0-0.

The second match again hinges on weather. It's been raining consistently these days in Kochi. Monday was better. After showers at around ten in the morning, the city enjoyed sunshine for the rest of the day. Groundsman PV Ramachandran and others at the Nehru Stadium - keen to watch a rousing performance from India and local boy S Sreesanth - were relieved. They have a dry dream - that the sun upstages the clouds one more day. "If it does not rain, we will have a game," said Ramachandran. "We can even handle a drizzle, but not a downpour." He said the wicket was hard, without grass and likely to have some moisture.

The met's forecast, though, is not good. The teams have begun to view this as a five-match series and strategise accordingly.

Gilchrist, the temporary Australian captain in the absence of the injured Ricky Ponting, and coach Tim Nielsen checked the ground in the morning. Though the rain had stopped, the field was soggy. There was no chance of practice.

So the players made the best of the down time. Gilchrist addressed a rare waterfront press conference, smiled like Jack Nicholson and joined his teammates in the swimming pool. Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni shot a programme for a television network with Yuvraj Singh. The rest worked in the gym and the pool.

The lack of cricketing activity might prove to be a blessing in disguise for the teams, especially India. Many of their players were involved in the World Twenty 20. They did not get rest. Kochi - with its calm waters, greenery and oil massages - is a good town to get a break in. The players will feel recharged. That is vital because India will need to be at their best.

Australia's batting effort in Bangalore, in particular the partnership between Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin, may have gone to waste in terms of the series score. But it will make them confident for the second match. Hungry as well.

"It was frustrating that there was no result but we responded in the 50 overs we were given," Gilchrist said.

First Published: Oct 02, 2007 00:03 IST