Bhubaneswar: Both the Indian and South African cricket teams arrived here Friday and received a tumultuous welcome. Fans queued up on the road leading to the hotel from the airport, where the cricketers will be staying. A large number of fans also gathered in front of the hotel to catch a glimpse of their favourite cricketers.
Sources informed that the players will not train today, but will visit Saturday the Barabati Stadium. The second T20 International between the two teams will take place Sunday.
Cricket fever has gripped Odisha with almost the entire quota of tickets being sold out. Everywhere it was seen, people asking for tickets to the match.
India lost the first game played Thursday at New Delhi by seven wickets. In spite of posting a very challenging 211 for the loss of four wickets, the Indian bowlers failed to restrict the visitors who won with five balls to spare. Rassie van der Dussen (75 n o) and David Miller (64 n o) off only 31 deliveries put the Indian bowlers to sword.
Hopefully the Indian bowlers will not make the same mistakes in the second game. It is imperative that India under new skipper Rishabh Pant win the second match at the Barabati Stadium to stay alive in the series. The cricketers must be well aware of that.
The only point of botheration is the weather with rains expected on Sunday. Pitch and ground covers have been kept ready due to the threat of rains. This is the first time that the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) has made arrangements to cover the entire playing arena in case of rainfall. The regional office of the IMD has also predicted light showers in various parts of the state including Cuttack.