Pune, October 9: India will face South Africa in the second Test at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium here from Thursday (October 10) but the weather forecast at least for the next 72 hours is not promising.
India are looking forward to win the series after taking a 1-0 lead courtesy a massive 203-run win at Visakhapatnam. But their charge towards a series win could be a truncated one as the India Meteorological Department officials have predicted wet days in Pune.
The IMD officials said there will be intense spells of rain between October 10 and 12 and the showers may last up to 30 minutes in one spell. Though the intensity of rain is expected to reduce on October 13 and 14, the sky is expected to remain overcast and in short, the weather may force a start-stop Test at Pune.
"Strong westerlies from the Arabia sea bringing more moisture leads to heavy downpours over Konkan, Goa and parts of Madhya (central) Maharashtra." Anupam Kashyap, Head IMD Pune, was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
However, the ground staff and other officials remained confident of conducting the match without losing too much game time. "We have good drainage facilities at the ground, which is sand-based. The city has been receiving good amount of rain for last few days. We have covered the ground well and the water seepage is minimum. Even if the match days are affected by rain, the world-class facilities here will help us restart that match in 30 minutes," a Maharashtra Cricket Association official told MyKhel.
It may be recalled that the first day of the first Test at Visakhapatnam too was affected by rain and the day's play was abandoned just before tea with India sitting pretty at 202 for no loss.
However, the Indian team remained confident that they can tackle any given conditions and stressed that their focus will be on strengthening on their performance.