Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Nov 1:
A packed Barabati Stadium awaits the players of the India and Sri Lanka teams when they meet each other in the first of five one-day international matches in Odisha’s Millennium City tomorrow.
All tickets meant for spectators were sold out today, making sure that the picturesque Barabati would have a capacity crowd of 45, 000 when the first ball is bowled tomorrow, Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) sources said.
With the last match scheduled at the Barabati between India and Australia washed out last year, fans in the state are eager to have a glimpse of their favourite stars.
The trophy for the five-match one-day series was unveiled by rival captains Angelo Mathews and Virat Kohli before both addressed the media this afternoon.
Kohli, named captain for the first three matches of the series in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said he enjoyed his captaincy role which provides him an opportunity to test himself in an important aspect of the game.
“It is more enjoyable because ours is a young team,” he said.
Kohli made it clear that wicket keeper Wriddhiman Saha was fit to play in tomorrow’s ODI.
“Obviously he’s the only wicket keeper in the team. So, it’s not a debatable question. He’s fit and fine,” Kohli said on Saha’s webbing injury.
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews rued the fact that his team has not had enough practice over the last one week, which is so essential when playing against India.
“When you are playing against a top team like India, obviously you need to be well prepared. But unfortunately, we have not had much practice over the last week or so,” he said.
The Lankan captain, however, hastened to add that it was not an excuse. ‘We have come here to play good cricket and will certainly give it our best shot,” he said.
The Lankan team practiced under flood lights this evening while the Indian team had their nets in the afternoon.
OCA honorary secretary Asirbad Behera said the match would start at 1.30 pm instead of the usual 2.30 because of the dew problem in the evening. The gates for the spectators would be accordingly opened at 9.30 am, four hours ahead of the start of the match, he said.
Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Marik said the security for the match would be tighter than ever before. “Earlier, we used to deploy 45 platoons of police. But this time, we have deployed 60 platoons to make sure that the match passes off without any untoward incident,” he said.