Cops and CRPF jawans roamed every street and bylane leading to the Nehru Stadium, which showcases the India-Pakistan series opener. As one entered the stadium, the colour of khaki overshadowed the green of the turf.
Given that the city had a 15-day stretch of torrential rain flooding the ground as well, the work done on the outfield by the Assam Cricket Association curator Sunil Baruah was commendable. He insisted that the work would show look even better on match day, when the full house would get to see more that 600 runs scored. It seemed a little much, given that only twice has a team scored over 300 here, both times batting first.
There are a few other factors as well. The most important one is the 4:15pm sundown and the rapidity with which darkness engulfs the city after that. The official 'early start' time is 8:30am with "no truncated lunch session". But even that seemed cutting it too fine. On Saturday, at 4:05 itself, the light was pretty bad.
An early start could also mean a lot more moisture in the wicket, the dew factor coming into play and a man called Shoaib Akhtar steaming in with a Kookaburra ball in hand… it could create havoc. "The wicket is a batsman's paradise after the first half-an-hour. There will be a lot of runs," insisted Baruah.
There could be another twist in the tale. The Met office has predicted a cloudy, misty Monday morning.