England tour of India - Cricket: Will India overcome clouds, Bangalore jinx?

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2001, 23:59 [IST]
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Bangalore: Its cricket time at Bangalore again. But, the ethos of cricket somehow seems to be missing in the air. Either the unprecedented security or the nuances of a five-day match seem to have kept the milling crowds away from the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.In fact, there was more crowd on the adjacent Brigade Road on Monday when Sachin Tendulkar and tennis heroes Mahesh Bhupathi as well as Leander Paes launched the official World Cup football.Even on Tuesday morning, on the eve of the match, there were hardly many takers at the ticket counters. Except for the gallery which is generally thronged by students of all hues tickets, rest of the counters didnt seem to have much of an activity.However, according to reliable sources, a fairly large crowd is expected irrespective of the strict security measures announced by the local police. "only 30 per cent of the tickets is sold through the counters. Rest are shared among various other channels including clubs. As such the appearances at the counters may be deceptive and good crowds can be expected," the sources said.The heavy police cordon, however, has deterred the crowds that would throng the gates when the players are inside the stadium. Except for a few curious bystanders, who were also being shooed away by the police, the atmosphere somehow befitting a cricket carnival seemed to be lacking.Though, the beehive of activity continued inside the stadium with hectic efforts on to finish the last minute arrangements. The presence of Ted Dexter, president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), and its secretary Roger Knight has added a new dimension to the Test.Dexter and Knight spent some time out to check the relaid pitch and the facilities at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. If one goes by their reactions, the two Britishers were indeed 'maha' (very) impressed with the facilities at the Stadium including the Indoor venue.The stage is thus all set for an absorbing final Test, God forbid a rain intervention. Bangalore has been under a cloudy spell with very light drizzle being experienced in some parts of the city. "The weather will continue to be partly cloudy for the next two days. No rains are predicted, but if at all there could be some drizzle. The minimum temperature will hover around 15 to 16 degrees Celsius, while the maximum temperature is likely to be around 28 degrees Celsius," a met department official told Thatscricket.com.The Indians will have to overcome a heavier weather of having lost the previous two Test matches at this venue. Ganguly exudes confidence and Hussain puts India as favourites. The wicket is new and Kumble is rearing to go to reach the 300-wicket club. All said and done, the atmosphere for cricket has been created in the stadium.

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