After a couple of days of dull, gloomy weather, there is finally some sunshine in Kolkata, right on time for the second ODI of the series between India and Australia. Even though the weather continues to alternate between sunny and overcast, Monday and Tuesday saw heavy spells of rain. The biggest problem was being caused by the nagging and incessant drizzle that followed the downpour — this prevented the covers at the Eden Gardens from being removed. The East Zone curator Ashish Bhowmick has stated that at least two hours of sunshine are required to get the ground ready for play.
The weather gods seemed to have finally listened to the prayers of the fans and there were only a few light showers on Wednesday. On match day, the weather looks much better. And despite being mostly cloudy in the early hours of the day, there has been no rain thus far. What's more, the sun has been peeking out from behind the clouds periodically.
This looks like a major respite given that the Indian Meteorological Department had forecast rain on Thursday as well. Apparently the rains were a result of a low pressure formation in the northwest Bay of Bengal and the neighbouring areas, and also a monsoon trough. Depressions and resultant rains are pretty common in Kolkata during this time of the year, but usually once it passes, there are clear skies and the weather turns extremely pleasant.
The hallowed ground had remained under covers on Wednesday, which had forced the Australians to shift training indoors. But on Thursday, it appears that the low pressure trough has moved away.
A big factor working in favour of the Eden Gardens is that the drainage facilities had been improved considerably ahead of the World T20 final last year.
"We had brought in a company from Delhi to look into the problem of ground water-logging. Then we followed instructions of (BCCI pitch curator) Daljit Singh and we worked as a team with Bhowmick, Sujan Mukherjee (Eden Gardens curator) and me. We did the deep coring which was of prime importance." CAB ground committee head Debabrata Das told IANS last year ahead of the mega ICC event.
He had assured that water at the Eden Gardens would drain out in 20 minutes even if it rained for four hours. He also revealed that the authorities had brought in machines that can absorb water left on the pitch covers. These machines are equipped with zero-point grass cutters, supersoppers and a pitch cover that is inflatable and can be easily rolled up.
All in all, it looks like we will have a game at the Eden Gardens on Thursday, unless the weather drastically deteriorates. The sky remains mostly overcast, with short spells of of sunshine, but nothing to cause undue worry.
With inputs from IANS