Margao: The threat of rain playing spoilsport reduced considerably with the sun coming out brightly after a heavily overcast morning, raising hopes of a prompt start to the third and final ODI between India and Australia here on Sunday.
Unseasonal downpour which lashed this Goan town last evening till past midnight and then in the morning had cast a doubt over Sunday`s match but with the sun shinning brightly in the afternoon, a keen contest between bat and ball seems to be on the card.
The ground staff worked hard once the rain stopped to remove the waters from the covers that were spread over 90 percent of the ground. The pressing of super sopper into service also helped in clearing the water accumulated.
The organisers are hoping for a rain-free evening and night with Goa Cricket Association president Dayanand Narvekar expressing optimism that the match will start on time tomorrow if the weather remained clear and there was no more rain.
“If it does not rain and the sun comes out shining tomorrow the match will start on time. The wicket is in very good condition, not a drop of water on it,” he said.
In the morning, unseasonal rains threaten to disrupt the decider and both the teams preferred to stay put in their hotel rooms but then came out to have their pre-match net sessions in the afternoon once the rains let off.
India, having taken a handy 1-0 lead by chasing down a stiff target of 290 in the second ODI at Vishakapatnam on October 20, go into the tie with their tails up. The first clash at Kochi was washed out without a ball being bowled last Sunday.
If Australia lose tomorrow, they will leave the Indian shores without a single win, having lost the Test series before the ODI series. The last time the Aussies had lost an ODI series in India was in 1986-87 when the hosts had won by a 3-2 margin.
Though without several key players, including marauding opener Virender Sehwag and champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar, the home team were undeterred in living up to the stiff task set by the Australians.
India have won their last two encounters – against England and Sri Lanka - at this venue and a hat-trick of wins in front of a capacity crowd of 27,000 would be the perfect ending to the rubber for them.
With the batting line-up clicking in unison after the early fall of debutant opener Shikhar Dhawan and his comrade-in-arms Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma looks set to warm the bench for another match.