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    India bemused at reports of walk-out

    The Australian media reported that India wanted to boycott the three-day game because of rain.

    Canberra: Team India have dismissed reports in the Australian media that they toyed with the idea of boycotting the ongoing three-day warm-up game against Cricket Australia Chairman's XI here because of rain.

    "The story is completely baseless. There is no truth in it. Rain is part of cricket. You don't leave a venue only because it's raining," said Indian team's media manager G S Walia on Tuesday.

    It rained heavily on the night prior to the start of the three-day game between the tourists and Cricket Australia Chairman's XI, forcing the game to begin only after lunch on Monday.

    The Australian media has gone to town stating that India were contemplating heading for Melbourne for better practice sessions, leading up to the first Test starting there on December 26.

    The reports said that a member of the support staff, travelling with the Indian team, had actually enquired with the groundsman at the Manuka Oval about the effect persistent rain would have on the three-day match.

    The groundsman has also been quoted as saying that a "mysterious" member of travelling Indians caravan suggested they might move to Melbourne for practice.

    "I don't know who is this member of the Indian squad they are referring to. There is none amongst us who has or could have made this suggestion," said Walia.

    The team, on its part, is treating the episode as a "comic relief" and joking about the identity of this "mysterious" person who could have made the suggestion.

    While stirring up the matter, the Australian media has drawn parallel with the "monkeygate" episode of the Sydney Test of the previous tour four years ago and mentioned about the high-handed manner in which the Indian Cricket Board operates in the world arena.