India and Australia ended up sharing the T20I series honours after a wet outfield in Hyderabad ensure not a single ball was bowled in the series decider on Friday (October 13). There was rain and thunderstorm forecast for the match day, but even as neither made an appearance, the condition of the outfield wasn’t good enough for the match to start.
From around two hours before the scheduled start of the game (7 PM IST), ground staff were covering up vast brown patches all around the outfield with sawdust. Heavy rain on Thursday night seemed to have left a big impact on the field, which the ground staff eventually failed to sort out. While India and Australia players practiced on either side of the pitch, the ground staff worked overtime to cover up the damp areas. But ground inspections by the match referee Richie Richardson and the umpires revealed that the outfield was not conducive for play. At one point, Richardson could even dig his heel into the ground.
In addition to grappling with outfield issues, the ground staff also had to cover up the pitch around 7:30 PM IST in anticipation of rain. The rain never came, but the situation never got better for even a shortened game.
Coming into the game at Hyderabad, there was very little to separate the two sides. Both teams lost a game each via batting implosions – each posted paltry totals of 118 in their respective defeats. For the first time in their four-week stay in India for the limited-overs leg Australia had the chance of going into a series-decider, and have a real crack at returning home with a trophy in tow. But that was not to be.