HYDERABAD: Will the rain gods relent and allow the cricket gods take centre-stage in the decider of the three-match T20 International at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, on Friday evening.
It has been a rain dance in the city for the last week or so, as the heavens have opened up like never before in the recent past. The incessant rains have made life difficult not only for the citizens but also for the ground staff who have had to battle hard to protect the outfield from much damage.
It has been a tough task for curator YL Chandrasekhar but he and his team have done a good job in ensuring that the damage has been as minimal as possible. The wicket is as good as ever but there are a couple of wet spots in the outfield towards the east end of the ground.
“There will not be much change in the character of the wicket and it will stay true for the entire period. There are two wet patches and we are working on it. We have used a couple of fans to speed up the drying process but it all depends on the weather. We have our fingers crossed. If it doesn’t rain tonight and tomorrow, we will have a full game,” Chandrasekhar told ToI on the eve of the game.
To the delight of the staff and players, the sun was out in all its brilliance on Thursday. It turned out to be a hot day but there were some dark clouds gathering on the horizon by the evening which is a cause of worry. The Met department has predicted rain for the next few days and that is not music to the ears of the 30,000 odd fans who are going to throng the stadium to see their stars in action.
Coming back to the series, the Indians were ambushed by left-arm speedster Jason Behrendorff in the previous game. The top-order swung and danced to the tune of the Australian, who used the conditions well to bring his side back into the series. With the sides locked 1-1, there is everything to play for in the decider.
Skipper Virat Kohli and his band will be keen to prove that the Guwahati show was just an aberration. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Kohli will love to give it back to the Australian bowlers especially Behrendorff and there is no better place to do it than here.
The Indian bowlers have done well in the series and it remains to be seen if the team management gives left-armer Ashish Nehra, who has announced his retirement from the game after the T20I on November 1, a chance in this game.
The visitors, who were thrashed 1-4 in the preceding ODI series, have a golden chance to leave these shores with a series win. This Australian side may not be in the same class of the previous ones but they still have quality players. Hyderabad has been home for skipper David Warner and he knows the wicket and conditions as the back of his hand. The aggressive opener has played a key role for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL in the last few seasons and the southpaw will be eager to use all that knowledge for one last hurray.