The wash-out was largely expected after rain lashed the city since Monday morning.
The umpires inspected the ground at the M A Chidambaram stadium twice on Tuesday before deciding to call off the day-night encounter, much to the disappointment of the nearly 20,000 fans who braved the wet spell in the hope of witnessing at least a truncated match.
The abandonment is bound to raise questions on the Board of Control for Cricket in India's rotational policy for allotment of venues as Chennai generally receives rainfall around this time of the year.
The series is locked 1-1, and with just two matches to go, it will now be rendered a tighter contest, a fact acknowledged by both captains.
The teams now proceed to Kolkata [ Images ] for the fourth ODI, scheduled for November 25.