India vs Sri Lanka 1st T20I: All the excitement surrounding India’s maiden international match of 2020 went up in smoke as the Guwahati game was called off without a ball being bowled owing to a wet pitch which made the playing area unfit for play.
Virat Kohli inspects the pitch in Guwahati (Courtesy by BCCI)
- Virat Kohli had won the toss and opted to bowl in Guwahati on Sunday
- But no play was possible after rain made parts of the pitch too wet to be played on
- The 2nd T20I will be played in Indore on Tuesday
Steam iron, hair-dryer, vacuum dryer and Super Sopper but no cricket was on show at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati on Sunday as the 1st T20I of the 3-match series between India and Sri Lanka was called off after showers left wet patches on the pitch rendering it unplayable. Even though the ground staff tried their best to dry the wet patches which had formed about a couple of meters from the stumps where usually the ‘slot’ bowling length lies.
Earlier, India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first in Team India’s first international match of 2020. Kohli had opted to rest Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal and opted to go for Kuldeep Yadav and the all-round skills of Washington Sundar.
Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga, on the other hand, revealed that veteran Angelo Matthews would miss the match while young sensation Bhanuka Rajapaksa was going to play his maiden international game in India. With dew expected to play a big role later on in the game, Kohli was fortunate to win the toss but chances of any play happening went up in smoke as heavy rain lashed the stadium soon after the toss.
BCCI (@BCCI) January 5, 2020
Even after the rain relented, and the umpires came out for a routine inspection, Kohli was seen unhappy at seeing the wet patches which became the major talking point for the rest of the evening.
With the cut-off time for a 5-overs-a-side game being set at 21:46 IST, the Assam Cricket Association staff tried their level best to take care of the pitch concerns. First, a vacuum blower was used which was followed by steam iron and a solitary hairdryer even as the Super Sopper did a commendable job of drying the outfield.
But to the dismay of the full house assembled at the stadium, all the efforts were to no avail and the spectators were forced to keep themselves busy by singing and dancing in anticipation of a truncated game.
When Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, and Rishabh Pant walked out to do some drills, the crowd started singing ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’ in unison with the flashes of their smartphones turned on in full to create a magical scene.
The erupting crowd could only be silenced a few minutes after the last inspection was held at 21:30 IST when the umpires announced that the match would be called off. Everyone present including the players had genuine reasons to be disappointed.
The teams will now travel to Indore for the 2nd T20I to be played on Tuesday.
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