As the rain subsides, the sun emerges at Centurion Park, feeding hopes of a commencement to the first Test between South Africa and India. Ground staff were pessimistic about the likelihood of any play today due to the incessantly wet conditions, but the prospects of play have significantly improved as the skies are clearing a bit. Super-soppers are hard at work, clearing out the stagnating water from the periphery of the field. Umpires have conducted a preliminary inspection of the pitch and will be doing so again at 2:20 pm local time (1750 hrs IST). If the restoration efforts meets heir approval, the match could get underway at 3:00 pm (1830 hrs IST).
The Gauteng region of South Africa where Centurion is located, has been swamped by incessant rain since the weekend, which has only just let up. Centurion has had a sorry history of rain washing out play in previous years. Downpours on Wednesday depriving both teams of proper outdoor practice sessions. The covers remained over the ground for most of the day and night of the eve of the match.
Meanwhile, there is still no word on whether injured Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan will play or not. The team management held out taking a decision on his possible inclusion till just prior to the start of play. Spectators who have turned up at the ground are no doubt drooling for a possible clash between Virender Sehwag and Dale Steyn. Hopefully, that will happen soon.