NOTTINGHAM: What do players do when it rains on a match day and they have to keep waiting in the dressing room? India’s fielding coach R Sridhar says they relax, listen to music, read, chat and stay focussed on the weather update.
Thursday was their turn to do all that all day, even as the crowds kept themselves busy eating, drinking and dancing.
On a serious note, the third complete washout of the World Cup (one more was abandoned after the start) raised the question whether the International Cricket Council (ICC) can do anything about it.
Among suggestions floated at the post-abandonment media conference were reserve days and not holding such big events in England.
While Sridhar avoided a reply on this saying the relevant committee of the ICC should deal with it, New Zealand coach Gary Stead differed with these ideas.
“Reserve days is going to be a logistical nightmare. So we can't do much about it. We just have to, I guess, push on with what the schedule is. And it can rain anywhere in the world. My first tour was in Dubai, and it rained there in the desert. So I don't think we can really help that. It's a bit of bad luck really.”
More practically and from the point of view of teams which have had matches rained off, the bigger challenge is to maintain the intensity and not let the momentum slip.
This applies to both India and New Zealand who had come into this game having won their previous matches. The test for both would be getting back on the field unaffected after having spent nearly three days indoors.
“It's quite ironic. I think our last four trainings have all been indoors. It's just what we have to deal with, and I guess our team will have to be adaptable. We don't play again for about six days now, and it's important to manage these breaks. Whilst we haven't played, we still have to prepare,” said the New Zealand coach.
These washouts also mean that the teams will have to alter strategy and preparation plans. They make plans thinking that there are going to X number of match days and schedule their rest days and working days accordingly.
This planning going haywire because of the weather forces a rethink on those fronts. The Indians, for example, have hardly done anything after the Australia game except for Wednesday’s brief nets session, where the bowlers didn’t take part.
Effectively, this means all the teams who have suffered so far will have to chalk things afresh heading into the third week of the competition.
Nobody could have anticipated this, especially after an exceptionally dry and hot summer in England last year. But then, doesn’t cricket or sports, in general, have this habit of posing unexpected questions from time to time?