Rain could pose threat to T20 tie
Inclement weather could pose a threat to the India-Australia T20 international match here on Thursday with the Met Department forecasting rainfall over the next 48 hours.
There was a heavy downpour this afternoon and unseasonal showers could disrupt the one-off T20 game to be held at the newly built SCA Stadium on the city's outskirts.
However, Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) sources said the match isn't likely to be affected, as they have a good drainage mechanism in the stadium.
"It had rained heavily for three days last week but the outfield and wickets were not affected," they said.
"Even if it rains two or three hours prior to the start of match, we can have the match with a slight delay, provided it doesn't rain too heavily tomorrow."
Almost 80 per cent of the tickets have been sold, and the stadium has a capacity to seat 28,000 people.
Seven Indian players -- comeback man Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra and local boy Jaydev Unadkat -- had net sessions for over two hours.
The other players, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, were scheduled to arrive tonight.
The Australian team, who practiced in Mumbai's Cricket Club of India after landing in the country last Saturday, was also slated to reach the city by the same flight.
Meanwhile, BCCI Curator for Western Region Dhiraj Parsana said the Rajkot pitch was full of runs.
"This is a good batting track and the wicket is full of runs. It will help batsmen to score runs freely," he said.
"It's a flat wicket and therefore any score over 170 would be a fighting total."
The first four to five overs of the match would help seamers and then the wicket will become flat and easy for batting, Parsana said.
But local pitch curator Rasik Makwana said even 200 runs would not be safe total on this track. "This is a batting paradise and even 200 plus runs would not be easy to defend."
Both teams are scheduled to practice tomorrow morning, SCA Media Manager Himanshu Shah said.