Play called off without a ball being bowled as India remains 239 without loss, with forecast grim for next three days
If either India or Bangladesh had made the trip to the Khan Saheb Stadium in Fatullah on Thursday (June 11), it would have been greeted by a dreary sight. The covers had been spread across the ground more than an hour before the scheduled start of play on the second day, and were already gathering water.
A heavy downpour during the day was interspersed with steady drizzle, and though the rain stopped after a while, it was too overcast and too wet for any cricket, with the day’s play called off without a ball being bowled and with the covers still firmly in place covering the ground. Both teams had stayed back at the hotel, and didn’t even need to make the 25 kilometre trek up to the stadium.
India thus remained 239 without loss, with Shikhar Dhawan (150 not out) and M Vijay (89 not out) set to resume their innings on the morrow, if the rain gods are kinder. The day began under cloudy skies, and stayed that way. For some time, the sky even turned an inky black, and chances of any play looked increasingly remote.
India had assumed a commanding position in the Test in the 56 overs that had been possible on the first day, but with the forecast grim for the remaining three days, it looks tough for either side to force a result.
On Friday, play is again scheduled to begin half an hour early, with a 9.30 am start, though whether that happens will depend entirely on the weather.
On Wednesday, R Ashwin, the India offspinner, had emphasised the need for some luck going the team’s way even given their strong position. “We’ll turn up tomorrow and see what the weather has to offer and as the game opens out and pans out, we’ll have to take a call from there,” he had said. “It’s about being dynamic. You can’t really say ‘We have to look to score 500’ or whatever it is. If tomorrow is rained off, you never know where you are going to be placed.
“As far as I see it, cricket is a game where even if you look to control the controllables, it is sometimes hard. We can’t really control the weather, it’s out of our reach,” added Ashwin.
Ashwin’s words proved prophetic, and the teams will now be hoping for the clouds to clear moderately at least in the coming days.
“We put our best foot forward, we played five bowlers and we are looking at the best possible result in the game. If the time is there, and if we bowl really well – with a little bit of help and a little bit of luck – we can enforce a result,” reflected Ashwin.