Rain in Cuttack

Match abandoned in Cuttack

The fifth one-day match between India and Australia has been abandoned without a ball bowled in Cuttack.

It took only a brief inspection under relatively sunny skies from umpires Nigel Long and S Ravi as well as match referee Roshan Mahanama on Saturday to confirm the ground was unfit for play.

Both teams inspected the ground on Friday and found the outfield to be waterlogged and unlikely fit for action.

However under ICC law, the ground must be inspected on game day before it can be officially called off.

But the decision had unofficially been made 24 hours earlier, with neither team arriving at the ground on Saturday.

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The pitch itself remains in fine condition, having lived underneath protective covers for the past week, but the outfit is muddy, unstable and unplayable.

It is a repeat of the last time Cuttack attempted to host a clash between the two nations - back in 1996 play was also cancelled due to rain without a ball bowled.

It follows the washout in Ranchi, where play was abandoned just four overs into India's chase of a victory target of 296.

It means the best-of-seven series essentially becomes a best-of-five, with Australia leading 2-1 and India requiring victory in the remaining two matches to win the series.

The wash-out also means India will remain at No.1 in the ICC rankings. 

Both teams will now travel to Nagpur for the penultimate ODI, to be played on Wednesday, before the series ends in Bangalore the following Saturday.

Victory in either match would ensure Australia maintains a recent dominance on Indian soil in the one-day format, having won three of their previous four series.