Mohali: Confusion prevailed for a while after the Indian cricket team left the PCA stadium hastily at seeing the puddles of water on the covers and a thick blanket of clouds overhead, ahead of the start of the third Test against Australia here today.
The first day of the match was called off without a ball being bowled owing to a heavy downpour that began around 3am, and continued well into the morning.
The Indians arrived on time, spent a few moments, and then headed back to the team hotel even as the Australians hung around for a while, though the visitors reached the venue late.
"Has the Indian team left for hotel, are they coming back, did they come back" were the questions floating in the media enclosure of the stadium prior to the lunch break.
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium joint-secretary, G S Walia, sought to clear the confusion.
"The Indian team was here, than they left. So please don`t confuse, I have heard someone asking if they had arrived at all. Nothing like that, they were here," Walia said.
Elements had the final say as play was officially called off at about 13.15 local time, even as a buoyant India`s march to achieving their best-ever result in a Test series against Australia finally came to a halt due to matters not related to cricket.
The pitch and the square were covered and the toss was yet to take place when Walia made the official announcement.
India, who have never won more than two Tests in a single series against the team from Down Under, are leading the four-match rubber 2-0 after convincing victories in the last two outings in Chennai and Hyderabad. The hosts have never been in such enviable position against Australia.
From tomorrow onwards, play will start half an hour early on each of the remaining days.
First Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013, 22:00