Rain threatens to play spoilsport in final Test

Published: Thursday, June 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kingston:Weather threatens to play spoilsport as India and West Indies clash in the fourth and final Test beginning here on Friday.

In the series which hangs in balance at 0-0, the Indians were already robbed off an opportunity to win the second Test in St Lucia when a whole day was wiped out due to rains. And the weathermen in Jamaica forecast rain and thundershowers in the days to come thus putting in doubt India's quest for series win in the Caribbean after 35 years.

There is forecast for some rains on the two days before the match and scattered thunderstorms are likely to visit Kingston on the scheduled second and third day of the Test.

While rains cannot be prevented if they come, the groundsmen here are not so apprehensive.

''Rains would wet the outfield, but around this time there is heavy breeze too and I am confident that would help making the ground dry early,'' said Charlie, the curator here.

The ground staff here did a fabulous job and started the match with just 45 minutes delay after rains in the morning of the first One day of the current series played here.

Sabina Park boasts of excellent drainage facility that leaves both the captains with adequate time to play. However the rains and heavily watered pitch would make batting a little more difficult than what has been on offer in the first three matches.

Sabina Park has been traditionally assisting fast bowlers, and even though the pitch is bereft of the famous grass of early seventies, it would still do a lot for the seamers. Only if, the greentop is not shaved off one day before match as was done in the last match in St Kitts.

''Our team depends on fast bowlers to take wickets. Fast bowling is our strength and we would like to play to it. Coming before the match one hopes to see a wicket that is helpful to our style,'' said West Indies skipper Brian Lara.

VVS Laxman who was the top scorer for India in the last series in 2002 feels Sabina Park pitch would be different from what the team has seen so far.

''Even last time the pitches were slow other than Barbados and Jamaica. I am sure Sabina Park pitch would seam but we are in good form,'' said the batsman from Hyderabad who played a crucial knock of 100 in the third Test.

Not only resurgent Lara's men and an inclement weather but the Indian team will have to battle with a jinx also as they come to their toughest venue in the West Indies.

Nine test matches have been played on this ground so far and India have lost six of them and managed just three draws.

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