India are on the verge of losing their No. 1 ranking in Test cricket after Day 4 in the fourth and final match against West Indies was abandoned without a ball being bowled because of a wet outfield, in Port of Spain, on Sunday.
Efforts to get the Queen’s Park Oval ready for play were given up in the very first hour on Day 4 as the umpires called off play at 1025 am local time.
The first inspection was scheduled at 10am local time, during which the umpires deemed the ground unfit for any cricket for a third day running.
As per one member of the ground staff, the umpires had said that there was an improvement from day three, but not sufficiently enough to allow for the match to get underway.
The match is all set to end in a draw which will result in India losing their top ranking in Test cricket, which they had gained last week following Australia’s 3-0 series loss in Sri Lanka.
To retain the No. 1 ranking going into the long home season, Virat Kohli and his team had to win the fourth and final Test in Trinidad and win the series by a 3-0 margin. But that looks impossible at this juncture, with threat of more rain on the fifth and final day and the ground struggling with poor facilities.
The draw will see Pakistan become the No. 1 Test ranked side, courtesy of their recent 2-2 series draw in England.
It has been a frustrating four days of this Test match in Trinidad with only 22 overs being bowled so far. After winning the toss, West Indies were placed at 62 for two at lunch when rain forced play to be called early on Day 1.
Day two and three were abandoned without a ball being bowled, and so was day four, as wet outfield and intermittent showers made sure that the ground was unfit for cricket.
The facilities at the Queens Park Oval have been questionable, since the ground staff didn’t cover anything but the square on day one, thus letting the bowlers’ run-ups be soaked. There is no Super Sopper available either, with blow driers put in use to soak up the surface moisture.
Drainage has been poor since the ground had received ample rainfall in the week leading to the Test, owing to the monsoon season.
Even so, all these factors make for a poor excuse for an international Test venue to not have any cricket for three days without much rainfall and with the sun shining brightly for the last two days.