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Cyclone Maha likely to play spoilsport

Indian Express 2019-11-07 10:51:51
Rain is expected to spoil the second T20I at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. (Express Photo: Chirag Chotaliya)

Although India and Bangladesh are set to lock horns in the second T20I clash at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Thursday, weather conditions are still likely to dampen the hopes of Rohit Sharma and company.

According to the India Meteorological Department, Severe Cyclonic Storm (SCS) ‘Maha’, currently located over the Arabian Sea, is very likely to cross the Gujarat coast around Diu as a Cyclonic Storm on Thursday afternoon. The Met Center at Ahmedabad has placed an orange-level alert for Rajkot district ahead of the evening match, as the forecast suggests ‘heavy’ to ‘very heavy’ rainfall.

Still, there’s a bit of ray of hope as the last update from Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) suggested that the cyclone is expected to weaken.

(a) CyclonicStorm Maha over AS weakened into deep depression. Centered abt 180 km west-southwest of Diu. To move east-northeastwards &weaken further. (b) Cyclonic Storm Bulbul over BoB abt 730 kmsouth-southeast of Paradip. To move north-northwestwards & intensify further. pic.twitter.com/cgWdw4GN8A

— India Met. Dept. (@Indiametdept) November 7, 2019

Their last update on Wednesday though had suggested that the cyclone was over Arabian Sea, about 390 km WSW of Porbandar, and it was expected to skirt Saurashtra coast around noon of 7th November.

Although the stadium can be readied in an hour’s time provided the downpour stops before the start of play, it has not been an optimistic sight so far. With heavy rains accompanied by strong winds lashing the SCA stadium on Wednesday evening, the field has seen formations of large water puddles. The pitch and the area around it was covered with multiple layers of tarpaulin.

The cyclone is in Rajkot pic.twitter.com/XgBJ1r8So5

— Chidananda (@chxyz) November 6, 2019

Along with the rain, the downpour of runs is also very likely in the second T20I, as the pitch on the SCA ground is devoid of grass. But with the possibility of rainfall, the outfield might turn slow, effectively making boundaries harder to hit.

“The pitch looks good. Rajkot has always been a good track to bat on and it does offer some assistance to the bowlers also. It will be a good pitch. I’m pretty sure it will be better than what you saw in Delhi,” said Rohit Sharma whilst checking the pitch on Wednesday.

One last look from the Captain before the 2nd T20I in Rajkot! What’s your prediction? #TeamIndia #INDvBAN pic.twitter.com/OWoPmVG7pb

— BCCI (@BCCI) November 6, 2019

If the match gets washed out, or if India fail to win, then that will mean that they will not win a series at home for the second consecutive time. Also, it is reported that the new BCCI president Sourav Ganguly will be present for the match.