PORT OF SPAIN: Shikhar Dhawan extended his excellent Champions Trophy form to the start of the West Indies tour but heavy rain forced the abandonment of the opening one-day international at the Queen’s Park Oval on Friday.
Dhawan stroked an assured 87 and featured in an opening stand of 132 with Ajinkya Rahane (62) as the tourists reached 199 for three off 39.2 batting first when torrential midday showers curtailed their innings and no further play was possible.
A no-result was declared in late afternoon when it became clear that prevailing conditions would not allow for a minimum 20 overs to be faced by the West Indies to constitute a match.
After West Indies captain Jason Holder chose to field on winning the toss on a bright warm morning, India’s openers laid the foundation for a formidable total.
They dominated a bowling attack that lacked genuine potency in the absence of injured fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who has been ruled out of consideration for the first two ODIs after breaking down during the series against Afghanistan two weeks earlier.
Rahane made the most of his opportunity with the experienced Rohit Sharma rested from this campaign following the Champions Trophy.
He was first to the half-century mark but was also the first wicket to fall, deceived by a slower delivery from fast bowler Alzarri Joseph and offering a simple catch to Holder at mid-on.
Dhawan was then joined by captain Virat Kohil and looked certain to complete an 11th ODI hundred only to fall leg-before to Devendra Bishoo 13 runs short of the landmark.
Leg-spinner Bishoo, who was not considered for any of the three ODIs against the Afghans, was the pick of the bowlers with figures of one for 39 from his allotment of ten overs.
As the skies clouded over India lost another wicket in attempting to accelerate with Yuvraj Singh becoming Joseph’s second wicket.
Kohli and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni were playing with greater urgency when the showers first arrived with India at 189 for three off 38 overs.
They resumed after half an hour but managed just another eight deliveries before the players were again chased off the field by a heavy downpour. Despite the best efforts of the groundstaff and the umpires, who were hoping to have the West Indies face 26 overs in pursuit of a target of 194 on the Duckworth Lewis System, no further play was possible.
The second match of the five-game series takes place at the same venue on Sunday.