Millennium Post

Indian fans to cobble Oz in Sydney

Australia skipper Michael Clarke and teammate David Warner sent out identical tweets, saying: “I call on all Australian cricket lovers to paint the SCG gold on Thursday. We need your support. #goldout.”

The hashtag, referring to the Australian team colours, has ironically caught the fancy of more Indian Twitter users than Australian.

Organisers believe that 70 per cent of the tickets at the sold-out 42,000-capacity Sydney Cricket Ground have been bought by Indian fans, threatening to create an environment reminiscent of the frenzied atmosphere of Eden Gardens in Kolkata. If the pitch suits spinners, as has been the case at the SCG in the past, co-hosts Australia may well feel as though they have been kicked out of their own party.

Kartik Ayyalasomayajula, one of the founders of the Swami Army – India’s version of England’s Barmy Army supporters group, forecast that the Australian team would be in for a hard time, courtesy, Indian fans on Thursday.

“It will be very loud, very intimidating,” Kartik told the Sydney-based Daily Telegraph newspaper. “It will feel like an away game for them.

“The drummers will be going around the ground and people will be dancing, singing and cheering every run India scores, every wicket they take. “People will be going nuts.”

Kartik, a Melbourne-based IT professional, said that the tweets by Clarke and Warner pleading for Australian support at the match indicates how much the home team is worried.

“I think those tweets definitely say they’re going to be outnumbered,” he said. “I would have thought that would be a standard expectation for the Aussie fans without their heroes going on Twitter to plead with them.

“They’re really scraping the barrel there. I think it’s a message in itself. “India versus Australia in a World Cup semi-final, it doesn’t get much bigger than that.”

Kartik said that the Australians, who turn up at the SCG on Thursday would get an idea of what cricket means in South Asia. “This country won’t have seen this level of support or atmosphere for cricket games,” he said.

“You have to go to the sub-continent to get that kind of feel, so we are effectively bringing that atmosphere to Sydney. It’s going to be a spectacle.”
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