Rain threat looms large over quandrangular series opener

The Quadrangular Series featuring India-A, India-B, Australia-A and South Africa-A teams will commence on Friday at the Mulapadu Cricket Complex.

It was not the kind of sight Rahul Dravid, the head coach of India A and B teams ,would have loved to see on arrival at the Mulapadu Cricket Complex, where the Quadrangular Series one-day cricket championship featuring India 'A', India 'B', Australia 'A' and South Africa 'A' teams will commence on Friday.

The inclement weather has forced the ground staff into working overtime to get the outfield and the pitch ready for play. However, dark clouds hover over, threatening another spell of rain late in the evening.

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Even though the DVR Ground where India 'A', led by Shreyas Iyer, is scheduled to take on Australia 'A', captained by Travis Head, have few wet patches, the pitch and the surrounding area looks to be in near-perfect condition and adequately covered, the adjacent Chukkapalli Pitchaiah Ground where Khayelihle Zondo-led South Africa 'A' will meet Manish Pandey-led India 'B' did sport some wet patches causing concern.

Dravid, who walked into the ground along with BCCI senior national selection panel chairman, M.S.K. Prasad, had a long chat with the staff and had a close look at the outfield too.

With conditions not fit for any training session, the teams, except Australia, trained at the Mangalagiri ACA indoor stadium in Guntur in the morning.

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Australia 'A' coach and former England star batsman Graeme Hick along with former India left-arm spinner S. Sriram (now a key member of the Aussies support staff) too went around the venue this morning even as Dravid was completing his job.

An optimistic MSK Prasad decided to focus on the tournament than the weather. "This is a wonderful initiative as very good sides are fielded and we are fortunate to field two teams being hosts. From Indian perspective, we have a mix of seasoned cricketers and upcoming youngsters. I am sure this series will throw some talent to look out for," he said.

"I feel the ACA did a wonderful job despite not having the best of weather in the last one week. Hopefully, with some sunshine tomorrow, I am sure the players are geared up to showcase their skills ahead of a long season,” Prasad said.