For the Motera villagers living in the vicinity of the Sardar Patel Stadium it was a big day for business. All roads in Ahmedabad led to the cricket ground for the big ticket clash between India and Australia.
The traffic movement was massive and the last 2 km stretch of road leading to the Main gate was choc-a-block. The street was lined with locals capitalising at every opportunity to make a quick buck. Among the exceptional offers was for parking spaces offered by villagers living near the stadium as the owners went about yelling ‘parking, parking’.
Given the limited parking space inside the stadium, the local authorities were not complaining at the new business though.
On Thursday, the pace bowlers were seen marking their start point using the white paint being used for painting the sponsors logo. But, too many lines close together can confuse as to which one is whose. The trick is that each bowler also paints a symbol in front of his line. Brett Lee yesterday had a P against his mark.
The image of his big, wayward looping leg-spinners has almost faded away from memory now. Hence, a huge roar went up when the Motera crowd saw Tendulkar with the ball in his hand against Australia on Thursday. The cricket pundits were not that surprised at skipper MS Dhoni's decision to try out his veteran player. Tendulkar, the bowler, has an uncanny knack of picking crucial wickets against Australia.
As soon as the Australian team made their entry into the Sardar patel Stadium ground, a massive roar went around the stands as the Ahmedabad crowd started chants of ‘Aussie, Aussie… Down, Down’. It is not easy playing against India in India, especially so for the Australian team.