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India's practice hopes washed away
December 22, 2007 12:05 IST
India's hopes of getting crucial match practice ahead of the Boxing Day Test against Australia were washed out, as rain did not allow a single delivery to be bowled on the final day of their warm-up match against Victoria, which ended in a draw in Melbourne on Saturday.
Umpires Paul Reiffel and John Ward abandoned play at the Junction Oval in suburban Melbourne before play because of a wet field and steady rain overnight and throughout the morning.
Sourav Ganguly [Images] top-scored with 59 while Victoria pace bowler Allan Wise finished with four for 37.
Only two-and-a-half hours of play was possible on the first day of the tour match and just 10 overs could be completed on the second before overnight rain and damp conditions ruled out play on the final day.
The gloom outside restricted the Indians mostly to indoor nets and some players expressed concern about the lack of practice before the four-match series against the world champions, starting December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The drawn warm-up match leaves the Indian bowlers without any practice ahead of the series opener against the Australians, who are riding high after regaining the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy from New Zealand [Images] with a 2-0 win.