November 17, 2015 / 5:30 AM / 3 years ago

Rain washes out third straight day in Bengaluru

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Wet weather and soggy conditions ensured play was called off without a single ball being bowled for the third successive day in the second test between India and South Africa on Tuesday.

Groundsmen walk under an umbrella after steady drizzle washed out the entire second day's play in the second test cricket match between India and South Africa in Bengaluru, India, November 15, 2015. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

After two days were lost to rain, the downpours relented in the morning but the wet outfield, especially along the run-up areas, remained a concern for the umpires.

The match officials initially ruled out any action in the morning session but seemed optimistic of play resuming after lunch at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

They returned for a third round of inspection and decided play would start at 2 pm local time (8:30 GMT) but it started drizzling again, snuffing out prospects of any play in South African AB de Villiers’ 100th test match.

“The play has been officially called off. Another day lost to rain. If weather permits, tomorrow the play will start at 9:15 AM,” the Indian cricket board tweeted.

India, who lead the four-match series 1-0, will resume on 80 without loss after dismissing South Africa for 214 on the opening day of the test.

With a better weather forecast for Wednesday, Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan will hope to bat himself into some form before the third and penultimate test in Nagpur from Nov 25.

Dhawan has not been in great touch of late, scoring a pair of ducks in the first test at Mohali but remains unbeaten on 45, with Murali Vijay (28) looking solid as usual at the other end.

“Shikhar Dhawan made good use of the early dismissal of South Africa by batting confidently and, more importantly, spending valuable time out in the middle,” former India captain Sunil Gavaskar wrote in a column in Tuesday’s Times of India.

“As he grew in confidence, he was punching the ball through the covers like the Dhawan of the old, which is great news for India,” the former opener said.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O'Brien

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