After pollution and smog rattled the India and Bangladesh cricketers in the first T20I in New Delhi with appeals of even calling off the match circulating on social media, inclement weather and cyclone is set to greet them in the 2nd T20I at Rajkot. Despite travelling from north to the west of the country, there seems to be no respite for the players who will now have to deal with cyclone ‘Maha’ at Rajkot ahead of the 2nd T20I which has the potential of deciding the series.
Four Indian states were put on alert after the Meteorological Department predicted two cyclones – cyclone Maha and cyclone Bulbul – in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Gujarat and Maharashtra are likely to receive rains due to Maha, while the developing cyclone Bulbul will likely affect Bengal and Odisha.
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For players of India and Bangladesh, cyclone Maha is set to be the worrying factor as Rajkot – the venue for the 2nd T20I – comes in Gujarat.
The Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium received a lot of rainfall on Wednesday due to the deep depression formed because of cyclone Maha and though the cyclone is set to lose its force when it approaches Saurashtra towards the afternoon on Thursday, chances of thunderstorms cannot entirely be ruled out.
According to weather forecasts of Rajkot on Thursday, it is set to remain cloudy throughout the day while there are around 50% chances of thunderstorms between 2-5 pm.
The India-Bangladesh 2nd T20I is set to begin from 7 pm. The stadium here can be readied in an hour’s time for play, provided rains stop before the start of play. It remained cloudy on Wednesday morning with the sun shining brightly in phases, bringing along humidity and heat. Both the teams preferred to train during the daytime for two days leading into the match.
However, heavy rains along with strong winds lashed the SCA stadium in the evening. Along with thunder and lightning, it continued for more than half an hour leaving large water puddles on the field. The pitch and the area around it was covered with multiple layers of tarpaulin.
For the fifth-ranked India, a washout will mean that they will not win a series at home for the second consecutive time. For ninth-ranked Bangladesh, a washout would mean they would have averted a series loss in India—a big achievement considering their rocky build-up to the tour.