India v Australia, 5th ODI, Cuttack

Play highly unlikely in wet Cuttack

The Preview by Sidharth Monga

October 25, 2013

Comments: 44 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Saturday, October 26, 2013
Start time 1330 local (0800 GMT)


Press release from the Odisha Cricket Association on the fifth ODI, Cuttack, October 25, 2013
An Odisha Cricket Association press release wasn't too optimistic about chances of play © Odisha Cricket Association
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Big Picture

The cricketing gods seem to have had enough of batsmen ravaging helpless bowlers, and have called up a friend. The weather gods have swooped in, washed out the Ranchi ODI - 312 in 54.1 overs before their intervention - and now pose an even bigger threat to the game in Cuttack.

The organisers already sound resigned. An Odisha Cricket Association release said: "We deeply regret to mention that the sunny weather that we have been expecting has failed to come true. The ground is completely water-logged and the chances of its drying up are extremely remote."

It has rained in Cuttack for five continuous days in the lead-up to the match, and the forecast for Saturday is similar. More than two balls and new field restrictions, the words that have been uttered regularly in Cuttack has been: helicopters - to dry the ground should it stop raining; wells - being dug up around the ground to help drain the ground; and of course Duckworth-Lewis.

The helicopter, too, didn't prove effective. "The operators of the helicopters visited the ground and expressed that they could dry the pitch but were unable to remove the mud that has accumulated through the playing area."

Ravindra Jadeja - although he added his side was prepared to play whatever the duration of the match presented to them - was candid enough to say in his press conference, "It doesn't look like there will be a match tomorrow." Shane Watson was less optimistic about the game, and already seemed to be thankful the rain might have cut short the series significantly. "A five-match series is a bit more enjoyable anyway," Watson said. "The rain has sort of made it that way."

For the Cuttack groundstaff and locals, this isn't a matter of relief. They badly want the game to happen. The challenge for the groundstaff begins once it stops raining for a considerable period of time, signs of which have been scarce ever since Cyclone Phailin crossed Odisha earlier this month. The outfield isn't quite submerged like the Indian roads in rain, but it gives the impression you will sink ankle deep once you step on it. The water level in the drain outside the stadium is pretty high too, which is why the wells are being dug.

If the game indeed is abandoned India will be left with a more difficult task in the series. Down 1-2 after four games, they will need to win the remaining two matches to win the series.

Form guide

Australia WLWWL (most recent games first, completed matches)
India LWLWW

In the spotlight

Ravindra Jadeja loves the Barabati Stadium. One of his fabled three first-class triples came here, he took four wickets in an ODI against Sri Lanka here, and is quick to remind that he even scored a quick fifty in an Deodhar Trophy match in Cuttack. Even in this series so far, Jadeja has bowled all his 40 overs at 4.85 an over, by some distance the best economy-rate among the specialist bowlers in this high-scoring series. And he says he doesn't even care if you use one ball or two balls; if there is turn in the pitch, he will extract it.

Before the start of this series, we knew George Bailey as the nice Tassie bloke with a Paul Collingwood-like game who could fight it out and make crucial if not big contributions in tough conditions, but we didn't expect him to be anywhere near the highest run-getter in a series played on flat pitches surrounded by quick outfields in India. After four matches, Bailey stands at the top, with more runs at a higher average and a higher strike-rate than even Virat Kohli. The lack of centuries, though, will irk the Australia captain, who could be getting close to an Ashes ticket with his performances.

Team news

The changes in the bowling combination seemed to work at the start of the Ranchi ODI. Mohammed Shami took the wickets, Jaydev Unadkat was tight, ad for the first time in the series India kept Australia to under 300. The two quicks could retain their places, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar possibly replacing the profligate R Vinay Kumar.

India (probable) 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar/ R Vinay Kumar, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Mohammed Shami

Australia have played the same XI in the first four games, and are likely to do so again.

Australia (probable) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Phillip Hughes, 3 Shane Watson, 4 George Bailey (capt.), 5 Adam Voges, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Xavier Doherty

Stats and trivia

  • The last - and the only - time India and Australia decided to play in Cuttack, rain joined in, and the captains couldn't even come out for the toss.
  • If he scores another 196 runs in his next three innings, Virat Kohli will be the fastest man to 5,000 ODI runs. He has played 111 innings so far; Viv Richards reached 5,000 in his 114th innings.

Quotes

"We are 2-1 behind, so we want to win a match whenever we get an opportunity. It's a home series, so obviously everyone wants the match to happen and for us to do well."
Ravindra Jadeja

"Doesn't look good at the moment. That's for sure. We will be very surprised if we get on tomorrow after seeing how wet the grounds were even when coming from the airport to this hotel."
Shane Watson

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

@landl, then what about the match between mumbai indians and highveld lions they moved the match from Ahmedabad to Jaipur when only 3 days were left for the match.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

Play called off

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 5:16 GMT)

according to me series was too lengthy lack of management from the money minded boards 5 was more than enuff ..... and so is. with SA Tour very very short 2 test is a joke fr cricket min was to b three.... simply pathetic.

Posted by landl47 on (October 25, 2013, 23:57 GMT)

@Jose Puliampatta: Yes, the players, officials, TV company and equipment can be moved. Now all you have to do is get tens of thousands of people into the ground, sell them tickets, provide security, arrange for all the services they will need and staff all the facilities to cater for them. Piece of cake? You try it.

The alternative is to play in front of an empty ground. Since all the original spectators have to be refunded their ticket price, who pays for all the costs involved in moving everybody?

It's one of those ideas that sounds good until you look at what's involved.

Posted by dunger.bob on (October 25, 2013, 23:53 GMT)

From the sound of it there's been a massive amount of rain and there's nothing anyone can do about that. It's a pity, but we humans can only do so much when we face mother nature.

It won't happen of course, but I wish some one would call the rest of the series off here and now. Don't get me wrong, it's been an excellent series so far with some tremendous cricket from both sides, it's just that we need our boys back home, now.

The Brits have landed in Perth and are probably out in the nets starting their acclimatisation as I write this. The way the schedule is, they'll probably get more FC cricket in then our blokes before the first Test. No disrespect to anybody intended, but I know which series (this ODI or the Ashes) I would rather win.

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (October 25, 2013, 22:03 GMT)

I liked Watson's take on all this: "A five-match series is a bit more enjoyable anyway". Good one! This will give a much needed break to the players from both sides...especially to the bowlers. If this match is washed out, I hope India wins the 6th ODI..that way the 7th ODI would be an interesting final to look forward to.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 20:26 GMT)

BCCI knew that play was unlikely .can they use another venue ?

Posted by babu.fzs on (October 25, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

who will win tommrw !!!!! any1 know

Posted by GrindAR on (October 25, 2013, 19:50 GMT)

In general, this series contain more venues that are bad in statistics for India. I dont think any board would do a series with that kind of venue selection, of course except BCCI. Not sure what they intend to prove or give away for free.... but nature's call reflect majority of fans. So, I'm happy.

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Tour Results
India v Australia at Bangalore - Nov 2, 2013
India won by 57 runs
India v Australia at Nagpur - Oct 30, 2013
India won by 6 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)
India v Australia at Cuttack - Oct 26, 2013
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
India v Australia at Ranchi - Oct 23, 2013
No result
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Australia won by 4 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)
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