Both India and Australia will go home disappointed as Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium failed to absorb the extra water in the damped outfield. The fans went home disheartened as they waited for hours to see the players in action and some who had travelled from different parts of the country will be cursing the weather. Pitch was reportedly fine and a game could have been underway but the outfield was too soft and wet to be played on. Both the captains Virat Kohli and David Warner had a long chat with the umpires and the match officials in quest of a game but in vain.
The 3-match series will now be shared 1-1 and the trophy as well so far. Australia and India both left the stadium soon after the official confirmation. India will now gear up to face New Zeland next who will play three ODI matches against India in Mumbai (October 22), Pune (October 25) and Kanpur (October 29), which will be followed by a three-match T20 series. This Australia series has been a positive one for India as they dominated Australia in the ODI events where they thrashed the visitors 4-1, then came the T20 series and both the teams had their positive moments with a win each.
As it happened:
8:25 PM IST: The official word is in and the match has been abandoned. The Hyderabad crowd was all excited and had countered rain to come see their favourite players and their IPL captain David Warner play but they will have to go home without any cricket action as rain has done extra damage on the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium outfield.
7:50 PM IST: According to Cricbuzz, covers are being brought back as it gets windy in Hyderabad. Rain can hit in anytime, groundstaff looks prepared for it. There has not been any official word yet. Stay tuned we will bring you any latest update that flows in.
7:15 PM IST: Both Indian and Australian players are out on the field but in their practice gear as they test the surface. Skipper Virat Kohli and David Warner are having a discussion with the umpires and the match officials. The pitch inspection has been further delayed from 7:00 Pm to 7:45 Pm IST.
7:00 PM IST: Sunil Gavaskar has done his assessment of the pitch and he makes out that it is very soft and shiny. No official confirmation yet about the game.
6:45 PM IST: Showers have stopped and David Warner’s IPL home-ground is waiting to see their skipper produce some fireworks but the match still hangs as the pitch has been damply affected by the continuous rain.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ashish Nehra, Lokesh Rahul, Axar Patel.
Australia: David Warner (captain), Moises Henriques, Aaron Finch, Tim Paine (wicket-keeper), Daniel Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Travis Head, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson.
Virat Kohli’s men will be looking to clinch the 3-match T20 series against Australia 2-1 in the third and final match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad as Team India is expected to produce an enhanced overall performance from their previous contest where they were thrashed by the resurgent Aussies by 8 wickets. India will be focusing on reviving their top batting line-up as they were totaled by left-arm speedster Jason Behrendorf, who demolished India’s top-order in Guwahati as hosts were restricted to put a low target by scoring just 118 runs on board. Behrendorf was joined in by spinner Adam Zampa who dismissed game changer MS Dhoni.
The visitors who had lost the One-Day international series 1-4 will be looking to bring some silverware home after leveling the series 1-1 with an exhilarant performance at Guwahati. Team India will be focusing on continuing their back to back series winning streak and they will look to seize this opportunity in Hyderabad. The hosts are boosted with their strong batting line-up which includes the likes of hard-hitting opener pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, ace captain Viral Kohli, Manish Pandey and middle order mercenary in the form of MS Dhoni. Virat Kohli is expected to introduce veteran pacer Ashish Nehra, who has decided to hang up his boots from international cricket on November 1 when India play New Zealand in his hometown New Delhi. In the bowling department, India has a formidable duo of fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are also expected to run havoc on the strong batting lineup.