Rain threatened to force an abandonment of the first T20I between India and Australia at Ranchi on Saturday, before the skies cleared up in time for a six-over chase which India won with consummate ease. It now appears like the rain clouds have travelled with the two teams from Ranchi to Guwahati. However, the rains are largely scheduled for the day, and the forecast for the evening is said to be clear.
The weather forecast for Tuesday says there are likely to be scattered thundershowers across Guwahati. According to a report on AccuWeather, thunderstorms will hit the city in the afternoon but are likely to clear by evening. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 pm, but the AccuWeather report said the rains are likely to disappear by then.
A report on Skymet weather appears to back this up. Much of the rain clouds are to the south of Guwahati, and while there will be some rains in the afternoon, conditions will remain on cricket's side by the time it is 7 pm. "While the city of Guwahati will witness some isolated showers during the afternoon hours, the night time will remain pleasant and rain free. Spectators will be able to enjoy the show without weather gods providing any hindrance," the report said.
The afternoon rains, however, may do enough damage to render the playing areas unusable. This is the first international match being played at the Barsapara Stadium on the outskirts of Guwahati, and the outfield conditions are completely untested. If it does rain, the ground's water protection covers and drainage facilities will be used for the first time, and it remains to be seen if they prove adequate.
However, pitch curator Mukut Kalita, who has been associated with the Barsapara stadium since its inception, said he was confident the facilities will prove themselves to be adequate in case of rain. A high sand content in the soil would mean drainage would be faster and more effective, he said.
"We only cover the wicket in case it rains. But that's enough, as the high sand content facilitates drainage in no time," he said.
The fans don't seem to be too bothered about the rain threats. A report in The Assam Sentinel said all 27,000 tickets for the match were sold out, and rains over the last couple of days haven't dampened their enthusiasm.
With inputs from PTI
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