Coming into the fourth Test match against India, the Australians needed nothing less than a victory to regain the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
India’s depleted squad meant the hosts came up against an inexperienced bowling attack in Brisbane, so there were no excuses for Tim Paine’s men, particularly considering Australia has not lost a Test match at the Gabba since 1988.
But there remains one lingering threat to Australia’s hunt for a much-needed victory – Brisbane’s weather.
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Heavy rain brought a halt to play on day two, with the entire evening session abandoned.
DAY 2 WRAP: Australia vs India fourth Test
As a result, Australia now only have three days to snare the remaining 18 wickets, and they will almost certainly be required to bat again.
With rain also predicted for days four and five, the Aussies may be regretting that infamous New Year’s Test capitulation a little bit more if India returns home with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in their possession.
Considering the Indians were bowled out for 36 at the first Test in Adelaide, it’s remarkable to think they could finish the four-match series without suffering another defeat.
When umpires abandoned play at the Gabba on Saturday, there had not been any rain at the venue for more than an hour, which greatly irritated former Australian Test captain Allan Border.
“I think the rain rule in cricket is one of the worst rules,” Border said on Fox Cricket. “It needs to be tightened up that’s for sure, conditions here are pretty good.
“There is a little bit of moisture on the surface but nothing that should be stopping the game being played, nothing wrong with the run ups or the pitch itself.
“There’s no real reason for it, unless it starts raining again of course. I haven’t seen the radar, but apart from that, I can’t see any good reason why we aren’t playing.”
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Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald echoed Border’s comments on Saturday evening.
“There’s no doubt that if we had a bit more felxibiltiy in the rigid cut off time that we would be able to play for an hour or little bit more,” McDonald told reporters.
“I feel for the spectators that stayed through that downpour. They were pretty optimistic we were going to get some play and so were we and I think the India team were as well.”
Regardless, the umpires believed the outfield was too wet for play to continue, and a frustrated Tim Paine wasn’t going to change their mind.
India is 2/62 in the first innings, still trailing by 307 runs.