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Delayed start annoys Kirsten
- South Africa lose three wickets in 157 minutes of play on Day IV

Calcutta: Team India coach Gary Kirsten didn’t hide his disappointment over the more than a one-and-a-half hour delayed start on Day IV of the second and final Test against South Africa at the Eden.

“Obviously, this morning, when we arrived here, we could have played in… It was disappointing not to be on the field then. That’s the way it is... We can’t fight the weather, but it would have been handy to have 50 overs today,” Kirsten said at a news conference after the fourth day’s play.

“But that’s what we were dealt with. We just have to get on with it and use the time we are left with,” the coach added.

Kirsten has every reason to feel disappointed. This is India’s chance of retaining their No. 1 Test rankings in the ICC list. The coach and his wards definitely want to play maxmimum number of overs possible in order to enforce a result.

Kirsten, however, didn’t wish to comment on the facilities. “That’s not for me to comment. It was disappointing not being able to have more time this morning… That’s just the way it is.”

The 93-minute delay in the morning that resulted in the proceedings starting at 10.30am was because of the wet bowlers’ run-up at the High Court End.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) brass are, however, trying to pass the buck on to the match officials.

“It was on the insistence of the match officials that the groundsmen were forced to use the super-sopper in some of the dry areas which resulted in those becoming damp too,” said a CAB official.

About the wetness at the High Court End, the official said it was because of the gradient at that portion of the ground. “A good portion of the run-up is covered... But once it becomes wet, it will take some time to dry up,” he added.

A total of only 157 minutes of play was possible on Wednesday during which 34.1 overs were bowled.

Curator Prabir Mukherjee was reportedly unhappy with the instructions of one of the match officials. “We did our best… It’s up to the Match Referee and the umpires to decide on the start of play,” was all Mukherjee would say.

It was however learnt that a member of the Indian team management was apparently unhappy with the work of the groundstaff.

That hasn’t gone down too well with the veteran curator. The happenings once again brought into focus the drainage system at the Eden.

If one thinks that something similar may not happen on Thursday, they are wrong. Another heavy downpour may well rob two to three hours of play in the process diminishing chances of an Indian victory.

It was not just the ground that was affected by overnight rain. A large number of seats inside the press box were wet, too, because of water that had seeped through the ceiling.

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