Rain keeps India on hold

Port of Spain, July 10 -- Rain in the Caribbean tends to play hide and seek with the sun, and tests the patience of players and officials alike. Normally, spectators at the Trini Posse Stand at the Queen's Park Oval don't care, as long as they can have their rum, music and dance. Over the past two days though, tropical storm Chantal has put everybody on the guard.

Ever since news filtered in of a huge depression building over the Atlantic and slowly progressing towards the Caribbean, people have been taking precautions. Trinidad, it has been forecast, may not be hit by the storm but rain continues to play mind games with cricket. It forced the West Indies-Sri Lanka tie to be stretched to the reserve day on Monday. Tuesday's downpour stopped after almost 30 minutes but resumed after some time. Chances are the match could spill into Wednesday.

This raises questions over the logic of having a reserve day for every match in this tournament. If the game stretches to Wednesday, it would mean one of the finalists, maybe both, could have just a night of rest before the final.

no respite

More than lack of rest, losing momentum becomes a bigger worry as teams start from scratch the next day. India were attaining some momentum when rain intervened on Tuesday.

Choosing to bowl, the Sri Lanka seamers made India hop and stoop on a two-paced pitch. Rohit Sharma overcame a dropped catch and a stinging blow to the abdomen to settle down into some rhythm as India lost a couple of wickets after another careful start.

Shikhar Dhawan again perished trying to be too aggressive, edging Angelo Mathews to Mahela Jayawardene at slip. Virat Kohli, after patiently trying to get used to the pitch, was trapped leg before by Rangana Herath. Dinesh Karthik started with an aggressive six off Herath but the stocky bowler fooled him with a delivery that turned sharply to take his off-stump.

Despite looking vulnerable, Rohit did well to stay unbeaten. A huge sweep for six off Herath over deep midwicket helped boost his confidence. With Suresh Raina, he looked to rebuild till rain took centrestage again.

Dhoni could play

MS Dhoni might play the final if India make it to the top two. Dhoni had pulled his right hamstring in the first match against the West Indies on June 30. "He's getting better. There's a chance he might play the final if we get there," said Virat during the toss.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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