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SA arrive to quiet reception

cricket Updated: Feb 01, 2010 01:44 IST
Bivabasu Kumar
Bivabasu Kumar
Hindustan Times
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Another seven runs and VVS Laxman will complete 7000 runs in Test cricket, nine dismissals will take Mark Boucher to the 500-figure mark and 15 wickets will bring about Dale Steyn's 200 Test wickets.

If you are hungry for more, sit tight for a mouthwatering two-match Test series between India and South Africa that begins in Nagpur from February 6. The Proteas arrived in Mumbai past midnight on Sunday and left for Nagpur later in the day. Unlike the frenzy before a team's arrival, there was an unmistakable calmness at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Other than the photojournalists fighting for a clean shot, the players found it relatively easy to board the team bus. While some curious onlookers clicked away on their mobile phone cameras, others struggled to identify most of the South Africa players.

But since its cricket, there isn't a dearth of fans. As soon as Mark Boucher came out of the exit door, a taxi driver shouted: “Welcome to India, Mark Boucher, the greatest wicket-keeper.”

Former skipper Kepler Wessels, who has been appointed interim selector and batting coach for this tour, was surprised when a middle-aged woman wished him luck. Wessels’ wry smile was, perhaps, an indication of how much he needed it before a challenging series against the top-ranked Test team.

There was palpable disappointment when the motley crowd could not spot Herschelle Gibbs. The opener, who is not a part of the Test squad, will come for the ODIs later in the series. After Nagpur, Kolkata will host the second Test from February 14-18.