BENONI, South Africa- India’s preparation for the first Test against South Africa suffered a setback when rain and a wet outfield prevented any play on the first day of a two-day match against a South African Invitation XI at Willowmoore Park on Friday.
With the outfield wet after heavy rain in the previous week, and more rain expected later, the umpires took an early decision to call off play for the day.
The first of two Test matches starts at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday. With the tour having been shortened after the Indian board refused to accept the itinerary announced by South Africa, the two-day match was the only fixture scheduled between a three-match one-day series and the Tests.
India’s batsmen are desperately short of match practice in South African conditions. India were beaten in the first two one-day games and were bowled out for 217 and 146, with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni the only man to hit a half-century. A thunderstorm prevented India from batting in the third and final one-day international.
The Invitation XI match was originally due to start on Saturday but it was brought forward by a day to avoid a clash with the funeral of former South African president Nelson Mandela on Sunday. Sunshine is predicted for Saturday morning with thunderstorms possible for late morning and the afternoon.