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Old rivalry on a new ground

cricket Updated: Oct 21, 2009 01:28 IST
Deepika Sharma
Deepika Sharma
Hindustan Times
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The Ferozeshah Kotla has played host to a number of intense rivalries in both international as well as domestic cricket. Be it India v Pakistan, or Delhi v Mumbai, the Kotla has seen it all.

On Wednesday, at the same venue, a famous rivalry — one that is highly unheard of in India — will be showcased in the Champions League Twenty20 semifinal.

The Victoria Bushrangers will face New South Wales Blues — the two big teams from the two largest states in Australia — will carry forward their battle for supremacy from the MCG and the SCG to the Kotla for the first time.

The Bushrangers have revenge on their mind, while the Blues will want to prove a point. After all, it was only this year that the Bushrangers were unable to defend their domestic Twenty20 Big Bash title, after winning it three years in a row, losing out to the Blues.

But no matter how intense this fight might be back in Australia, the big question is whether the Delhi crowd will warm up to this rivalry. The New South Wales Blues skipper Simon Katich doesn’t think so.

“I will be surprised to see more than 1,000 people in the stadium. But I know they love Hodge (Brad) in India. Also, Lee (Brett) will give us a few extra supporters in the crowd,” said Katich. Both teams are equally balanced. Blues have an aggressive pair in Phillip Hughes — the highest run-getter in the tournament so far — and David Warner, while Bushrangers have skipper Cameron White and Brad Hodge to strengthen their attack.

Claiming his team were the favourites to win, White admitted the match could still be an intense one. “It is going to be a hot pressure game. We would have loved to play each other in the final,” said White.

Talking about the Kotla wicket that has so far proved a dampener with its low and uneven bounce, Katich said: “In this format of the game one would love to see more and more fours and sixes.

But such is the Kotla wicket that you can’t do much. This is what you have to play on. It definitely increases tension but the wicket has been the same throughout the tournament.”