India v Australia, 2nd Test, Mohali October 15, 2008

Rain affects ground preparation

Cricinfo staff

Rain delayed the practice sessions for both the sides © AFP

Overnight rain, and showers till two weeks ago, have hampered ground preparations at Mohali's Punjab Cricket Association Stadium two days before the start of the second Test between India and Australia there.

"The sudden change in weather has somewhat affected our preparations," Daljit Singh, the chairman of BCCI's grounds and pitches committee, told PTI. "Our covers were blown up and outfield was left flooded." However Daljit said the "match wicket was saved". The rain also delayed the teams' practice sessions on Wednesday.

"We are putting in our best efforts to give a good wicket for the upcoming game." Heavy monsoon rains till two weeks back had affected the groundstaff's preparations, Daljit said. "The wicket still has some moisture, and we are hoping to have a good sunshine over the next week. As usual, the fast bowlers should expect assistance from the track in the morning session. I would say if bowlers stick to a good line and length, they can force the edges."

However the meteorological department wasn't optimistic about sunshine over the next few days. "The north-westerly gale, which lasted for over 30 minutes, had maximum wind speed of 76 kmph," Chattar Singh, the director of the regional met office, said. "It was accompanied by heavy rains and hailstorm." Chattar Singh said a prevailing western disturbance over northern India and Pakistan could bring about more rain over the week.