Australia v India 2007-08 / News

Victoria v Indians, Tour match, Melbourne, 2nd day

Rain ruins India's second warm-up day

Brydon Coverdale at the Junction Oval

December 21, 2007

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Indians 4 for 133 (Ganguly 59, Dravid 38*, Wise 4-37) v Victoria
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Sourav Ganguly departed for 59 during the ten overs that were possible on day two © Getty Images
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India are facing a potential washout in their only warm-up match before the first Test after only ten overs were bowled on the second day against Victoria. More rain is expected on Saturday, which is the last day of the match, and with India at 4 for 133 there is a chance none of their bowlers will have a decent run before Boxing Day.

The players have instead been training at the MCG's indoor nets while not at the Junction Oval and they were heading back there for more practice as soon as play was called off, shortly after 3pm local time. The start had been delayed by nearly two hours following the heavy rain on the first afternoon, which had left wet patches on the ground, and shortly after lunch was called the persistent showers started up again.

There was little to please the Indian fans from the 45 minutes that were possible, as the visitors added 23 for the loss of Sourav Ganguly. He briefly gave the crowd reason to cheer after their quiet morning, showing an aggressive intent when he clipped Allan Wise through midwicket, cut hard in the air wide of point and then slashed a four over the head of the second slip.

But Ganguly's luck did not hold and he flicked Wise to Aiden Blizzard, who held a slick chance low to the ground at midwicket. Wise also caused problems for the new batsman Yuvraj Singh, who got a leading edge just out of second slip's reach when he tried to leg glance a half-volley on middle stump.

Yuvraj was on 6 when the rain came and he was with Rahul Dravid, who was again difficult to rattle and added five to his overnight total to reach 38 not out. Wise took all three wickets on the first day and he finished the second with 4 for 37. His extra height - he is 200 centimetres tall - and the seam movement he extracted from the Junction Oval pitch made him hard to handle.

India might not find out if their pace attack could exploit the conditions as well, if the rain continues on Saturday. They had been exploring whether the match could be extended to a fourth day but the team's media manager MV Sridhar said that was now unlikely.

"We are not extending the game," Sridhar said. "If the weather holds this way there is nothing much we can do. Fortunately most of these boys are in good nick, they are coming off a long series so it is really not affecting anyone."

Sridhar said India would be searching for centre-wicket practice before Boxing Day, although they would settle for more time under cover at the MCG if the rain persisted. "If we don't get any match tomorrow we would like to go back there," he said. "[But] it is definitely not ideal."

Brydon Coverdale is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo

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Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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