Nottingham: All the roads circling the Trent Bridge were dotted with Indian supporters – loud, colourful, cheerful and quite oblivious to the gloomy surroundings. Nottingham woke up to a fourth wet morning in a row, but the fans thronged the stadium in thousands despite the adverse weather forecast, hoping for at least a truncated game.
Their worst fears, however, came true with little let up in overhead conditions. It remained cloudy and intermittent rain – from drizzle to sharp showers — through the day ensured that India’s third match against New Zealand here on Thursday met a watery grave.
With that outcome, the match became the third in four days to be abandoned without a ball being bowled. Overall it was the fourth washed out match of the tournament that has left the teams, fans and the organisers frustrated. If the ICC were to award points for spoilsports, rain would be topping the table with eight!
“Sensible decision to not play, given the outfield wasn’t fully fit,” said India skipper Virat Kohli in his post-match comments.
India fielding coach R Sridhar echoed Kohli’s sentiments and said the outfield resembled a “skating rink.”
Following the call-off of the day’s proceedings at local time 3.00 pm, India and New Zealand split the two points on offer. India now have five points from three matches while New Zealand stayed on top of the table with seven points from four matches.
“One point is not a bad thing for sides that have won all their games so far,” Kohli noted. “So, we’ll take it. For Sunday (the game against Pakistan), we know we’re there when it comes to the mindset. Just about going out there and having a game plan, executing it. As soon as you enter the field, it’s calm and relaxed. The atmosphere from the outside, for the first time, it’s a bit intimidating, but we’ll look to execute well. It’s been competitive for years, it’s a marquee event all over the world, honoured to be a part of the big game. Brings out the best in all of us,” he said of the match in Manchester.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said such days weren’t ideal. “We have been (here) about four days and we haven’t seen the sun, so this doesn’t surprise us. It’s not ideal, but little bit of time off is also important. We have some break now midway through, so it’s a good chance for the guys to freshen up and look forward to the next challenge.”
Umpires scheduled five inspections of the ground, but only thrice could they manage to venture out as the skies opened up repeatedly. The first inspection at 10.30 am had be postponed to 11.30 am as it began to rain just minutes left for umpires to pay their visit. After a look at 11.30, Marais Erasmus and Paul Reiffel decided to come back an hour later. The two umpires didn’t seem happy with some wet patches to the square of the pitch and chose to have another inspection at 1.30 pm. Frequent drizzles, however, had them confined to their room until 2.30 pm after which they decided to have another look at 3 pm. With rain resuming again, the umpires abandoned the match after a quick word with the ground staff.