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Mon Apr 21 2003
Issue No: 174

Rain interrupts proceedings at Dhaka

After a week of cricket in sweltering conditions, it was perhaps inevitable, considering that Bangladesh's season of rains was just setting in. At the scheduled start of play on Sunday, the ground was being pelted by heavy rain, making the final quite out of the question on the day, despite the excellent drainage systems at the Bangabandhu Stadium. The organisers had, fortunately, budgeted for this, and India and South Africa took the field again on Monday. Sourav Ganguly had little hesitation in opting to bat after winning the toss, but India were in a shaky position when rain interrupted proceedings in the 18th over. At 46 for three, India had lost Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Mohammad Kaif, and South Africa were readying to ratchet up the pressure even more when the skies opened. Ganguly himself was still at the crease and seemed unwilling to leave, so one can definitely not count India out at this point.

Wright aiming at Australia

Buoyed by the impressive performances of the Indian seamers over the past five months, coach John Wright hoped that the good run would continue when India tour Australia for a four-Test series later this year. "Our seamers have been doing a good job and can do well on the Australian tour," said Wright, whose contract was extended by one year earlier this month. "Our fast bowlers were very effective during the World Cup and one of the main reasons for our success.

"Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Ajit Agarkar have been bowling well and it is also good to see youngsters like Avishkar Salvi come through." Salvi, whose high-arm action has drawn comparisons with Glenn McGrath, made his international debut in the TVS Cup in Dhaka, and looked the part, taking four wickets in his first three matches at an average of 24.

Wright was in no doubt about Salvi's potential. "Salvi is an outstanding propect, has really added to the bench-strength and will give that much more confidence when the team is playing outside the subcontinent."

Wright was more cautious when asked for his views on the other newcomers in the Indian team. "We will know more about the players with each game. The advantage of having A teams is that we have players who have played abroad already. Quite a few of them can play at this level." Gautam Gambhir, Abhijit Kale and Amit Mishra are three players who made it to the senior team after impressive displays on the A tour to the West Indies.

Despite the success in recent times, Wright was quick to point out that the Indian team could not rest on its laurels. "The challenge is to move on from where we are. Things can change very quickly and it is important that the selectors sit down and work things out for the future."

That drained feeling

Few other grounds around the world could have withstood the absolute deluge on Sunday and still been ready for a tournament final on Monday, but the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka has one of the best drainage systems in the world. So good, in fact, that it is even a disadvantage at times! One journalist recalls how, on witnessing sheets of rain cascading from the skies on the morning of a match, the press corps toddled off to the club for a spot of lunch. On sauntering back to the stadium two hours later, the reporters spotted an electronic-goods stand in the stadium showing some cricket on TV. They were told, to their horror, that it was live cricket, currently being played a few hundred metres from where they stood!

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Born today in 1946, Srinivas Venkataraghavan went on to become a canny off-spinner, one of the famed Indian spin quartet. Captaining India in two World Cups, Venkat also became one of the few Test players to become a prolific and respected umpire, officiating to date in over 50 Tests.

The rain gods, ignoring the opinions of Indian and South African fans, perhaps decided that both teams deserved the TVS Cup equally. For Sunday's final was rained out, and heavy precipitation hit the reserve day as well, putting in doubt any possibility of more play in the day. Stay with CricInfo for all the news about the final stages of the TVS Cup, not to mention cricket news and scores from around the world.

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Damp times
Rain plays spoilsport at Dhaka

Where did Shaun Pollock register his only ODI five-wicket haul against India?

Previous Question

Who was Man of the Match the last time South Africa beat India in an ODI?

Answer:Gary Kirsten

"Ours is a fairly inexperienced side and the players are just about getting a hang of things." Sourav Ganguly, before the final

"I would have made mistakes during the tournament but I think I'm learning my lessons fast." South African captain Graeme Smith

"Aavishkar Salvi looks a really good pace prospect for the Indian team - perhaps as third seamer after Srinath retires and Zaheer becomes spearhead." Hari Ramanathan

Allan Dawson recorded his best-ever bowling figures against India on Friday, taking four for 49 in 9.1 overs.

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