India vs Australia 2017: Rain threat looms large over Chennai ODI
What's the story?
Indian cricket's 2017/18 home season could begin on a damp note as thundershowers are expected to appear during the course of the first ODI against Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department as well as various other weather predictors, the threat of rain looms large in the city even as both India and Australia prepare for the opening game on Sunday. There is a major possibility that the ODI, which is scheduled to begin at 1330 IST, would be affected by rainfall around the afternoon and evening.
Chennai has been witnessing intermittent rainfall during the course of the last few days. As a consequence, the humidity factor has risen to demanding levels. The sultry weather made the going difficult for the visiting team during their warm-up match against Indian Board President's XI at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. Notwithstanding the tough conditions, Steven Smith's team registered a convincing 103-run victory to kick-start their tour on a promising note.
The heart of the matter
As per the International Cricket Council's (ICC) regulations, a minimum of 20 overs have to be played by both teams in order to complete an ODI game. Upon failure to do so, the match will be deemed a no result.
Even though there is a provision for a reserve day, it is contingent upon pre-series agreements between the two boards under consideration. However, in this series between India and Australia, there will be no reserve days owing to the packed schedule.
An overcast day is expected in Chennai for the series opener. Indian Meteorological Department expects temperatures to hover between 27 and 34 degrees Celsius. Skymet Weather states that the threat of rain has risen due a trough extending from southwest Bay of Bengal up to North Tamil Nadu. Even though a thundershower is predicted around the afternoon, heavy winds should blow the clouds over and the first ODI is likely to see a result.
The remaining matches in the ODI series are slated to be held in Kolkata, Indore, Bengaluru and Nagpur. While the Eden Gardens game could attract fickle weather, the last three games do not face the threat of rain.
Owing to the weather forecast, the ground staff at the MA Chidambaram Stadium have their task cut out in order to ensure that the first ODI between the two giants of the game comes to a natural conclusion. While the rainfall is expected to abate by the evening, the prevalence of moisture in the air could continue to assist the swing bowlers.