Urgency is absent from both sides

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Cricket

India 194-2 v West Indies

Heavy overnight and morning rain washed out the second day's play in the fifth and final Test between the West Indies and India here at the Bourda yesterday.

Play was ruled out with the outfield left sodden in some areas by consistent showers. The skies remained grey and the forecast for the rest of the weekend was only for more rain.

India, after winning the toss, crawled to 194 for 2 on the opening day, Thursday. Rahul Dravid, the 24-year-old Karnataka batsman, was unbeaten 71, in the process reaching 1,000 runs in his 14th Test. His captain, Sachin Tendulkar, was 62 not out.

India, who trail 1-0 in the five-match series, were also frustrated by the weather in the fourth Test just over a week ago in Antigua. There, the first three days were abandoned because of rain and the match ended in a two-day stalemate.

The visitors have a history of woe in Guyana. Apart from their inaugural visit in 1953, and in 1971 when both matches were drawn, India have been able to get little action at the venue.

In 1962, they had to bypass Guyana because of politically motivated violence between the two major races in the country, Africans and East Indians. On their fourth Caribbean tour, in 1976, rain fell so heavily in Georgetown that the Test match was rescheduled for Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

On the two previous Indian tours, in 1983 and 1989, both Tests in Guyana were spoiled by the weather. In 1983, two full days and a session were lost and a dull draw resulted.

Six years later, after the first two days, no further play was possible over the last four, even with the conversion of the rest day. The prospects for the next few days appear bleak.

n Paul Reiffel said yesterdayhe is considering retirement after being dropped from the Australian squad for the upcoming Ashes tour of England. The seam bowler said he is reluctant to continue if his only option is to represent his state team, Victoria. Reiffel, 31 today, was left out of the 17-man Australian squad after being plagued by hamstring injuries on recent tours. Reiffel took 19 wickets in three Tests on the 1993 Ashes tour and his style is regarded as ideal for English conditions.

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