December 23, 2001

Rain brings a damp end to the Bangalore Test as India take the series 1-0

The forecast was not good at the end of the truncated fourth day, and that forecast proved to be totally accurate on the fifth and final morning. There was heavy rain through the night, and then more rain during the morning. The loss of so much time to the weather meant that a positive result was unlikely and, with rain falling as the officials made a mid-morning inspection, it was agreed that the match should be abandoned as a draw.

It was a damp and dismal end to a series that India won 1-0 thanks to their comprehensive win in the first Test at Mohali. It could be argued that England had the better of the draw in Ahmedabad, and were certainly in control in Bangalore when the unseasonable rains intervened.

That will be of little consolation to the England party as the team prepares to head for home for the Christmas period before returning to India in January for a series of five one-day internationals.

In the meantime, after their drubbing in South Africa, the series win here might buy a little time for Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and coach John Wright. There is no doubt that both are under pressure and performances in the second and third Tests will have done little to underpin their positions.

England, on the other hand, will have taken heart from the way an already under-strength side re-grouped after the defeat at Mohali and started to give a good account of themselves. Several players enhanced their reputations and will have made it more difficult for those who did not make the trip, for whatever reason, just to walk back into the team.

All that was far from everybody's mind when they arrived at the ground this morning. The objective then was to get a full day's play in. However, there was no chance of a prompt start and no prospect of an improvement in conditions.

The already sodden outfield could not take any more of the steady rain and the inspection was no more than a formality. As ICC match referee Denis Lindsay pointed out, there is nothing worse than sitting around in a wet cricket ground when it was obvious that there could be no meaningful play and so the right decision was made.

India can look forward to two Tests at home against Zimbabwe before heading off to the Caribbean. England's next Test encounters will be in New Zealand.