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India v/s Australia ODI, Tri-Series, Sydney: Rain continues to pour down heavily

The rain is still coming down at the Sydney Cricket Ground and any chance of play is dim at the moment. Meanwhile, here are some scathing tweets (as usual):

Over 16

Three runs off that over and rain intervenes again. This is terrible. India 69/2 and the covers are out again.

Xavier Doherty continues and bowls two dot balls. India are stuck in a rut all series.

Over 15

Short ball to Rahane, who pulls but India get only two.Just those two off the over, India 66/2 after 15 overs.

James Faulkner is the new bowler. India start all over again.

Over 13

OUT! Brilliant catch by David Warner running backwards sees the end of Rayudu. Rayudu had charged and slashed at the ball, carving it high over the infield on the off side. Warner ran back and caught it even as it was swirling. India 62/2 and Kohli comes in again in a tense situation for India.

Over 12

Rahane misses a sweep but then scores an easy single on the on side. Single to end the over, Rahane 23 off 39, India 56/1

Xavier Doherty now comes on to bowl. Rayudu is facing. A poorly executed drive gets Rayudu one.

Over 11

Five runs off the over including a wide, as India start to get into rhythm. Can they sustain it this time? India 51/1 after 11 overs.

Over 9

Just three singles off this over so far. Rayudu now comes down the track and lifts it over mid on, for six. The boundaries are very short. India 41/1 after 9 overs. The mandatory powerplay is over.

It’s drizzling again at SCG. But play will continue for the moment. India are 32/0.

Over 7

Ambati Rayudu has come in, bafflingly again. He is getting tested big time by Starc. India 26/1 after 7 overs.

OUT! And Dhawan is out, again. Dhawan stays rooted to the crease and gives slip catching practice. Again. And again and again.

Over 6

Four. Short ball, didn’t rise too much on a soggy wicket, Rahane pulled wildly. The ball brushed his glove, missed the keeper and went for four down fine leg. India 24/0 after 6 overs.

Hazlewood is back and Dhawan taps and runs a quick single.

Over 5

Dhawan cover drives for two. Looked more confident there than in any match over the last two months. Now he ducks into the short ball to end the over. 18/0 after 5 overs.

There’s an increased sense of urgency among the Indian batsmen. The outfield must also be soggy as the fielders are running gingerly.

India are 12/0 at the beginning of the 5th over after Rahane’s boundary the previous over.

The game has been reduced to 44 overs a side. Bowlers can bowl a maximum of nine overs. The first powerplay will be of nine overs, the second of four.

Over 3

Play has resumed and India are 6/0 after 3 overs.

The rain has come down again and the covers are coming on again. India are on 6/0 after 2.4 overs.

Over 2

Now a huge inside edge, another appeal, but of course it was not out. And of course the length would have taken the ball over the stumps. India 4/0 after 2 overs.

Wide ball, keeper goes up in appeal for the snick and its called a wide by the umpire.

Over 1

But then Dhawan plays inside the line and is beaten. A clear case of lack of confidence. India 1/0 after 1 over.

First runs come off the fourth ball. No alarms for India so far. The pitch too, will be far more benign. It’s Sydney.

Rahane lets the first ball go.

9:35 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

The match is definitely set to begin. All stakeholders – players, umpires and some birds – walk out to the middle. Or strut.

9:23 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

Australia have won the toss and asked India to bat. Australia are playing fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, allrounder Mitchell Marsh and left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty today. David Warner is back too.

9:00 IST Monday, 26 January 2015

Welcome to the LIVE coverage of the ODI between India and Australia at Sydney. There was a light drizzle a while ago which delayed the toss, but the covers have come off since. The match is set to begin very soon.

India go into this match having lost both their ties in this tri-series so far, which means this is a must-win match for the team if they have to harbour hopes of reaching the final. Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja continue to be injured (or declared unfit). There is a feeling Dhoni is holding them back to preserve them for the World Cup. Meanwhile, Dhoni also indicated that Rohit Sharma would remain out due to injury.

India’s batsmen apart from Sharma have failed to hold on to their wickets, which may be a big worry for Dhoni. The lack of form of Shikhar Dhawan has become an object of grave concern. He is in the World Cup side but his extended run of poor performances abroad means several people will begin to soon question whether Gambhir or Sehwag could have possibly done any worse. Apart from Dhawan, Virat Kohli is struggling after going down to No 4.

For Australia, George Bailey is back as captain after his one-match suspension. They might rest a few players though given that they are already in the final of this tri-series.

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