Tens of thousands are expected to land at the biggest cricket stadium on Wednesday, and Indian skipper Virat Kohli thinks England will be intimidated by the experience.
The renovated Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, where former US President Donald Trump gathered last year, will allow half of the 110,000-seat seats to be sold each day for a third test.
The crowd returned to Indian cricket for the second test in Chennai this month, while India bounced back from an initial defeat and beat England with 317 runs.
With the level of four tests at 1-1, Kohli reckons that the home fans will create an atmosphere in the stove under pressure for Joe Root.
“The crowd is really coming behind us and the difference … we saw on the second test,” Kohli told reporters.
“It’s the most important game at home. It’s not just the conditions on the field that matter. Fifty thousand people and their energy behind us, it pushes you in the right direction and puts a lot more pressure on the opposition.”
Kohli highlighted India’s pride in having the world’s largest cricket stadium – in front of Melbourne Cricket Ground with a capacity of 100,000 people. He said: “The infrastructure is very good and we are all really excited to play here.”
The stadium will receive a Hindu blessing on Wednesday before the start of the match.
– ‘Electric’ atmosphere –
Root says his side is looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m sure the atmosphere will be electric. It was great to see the fans in the previous game, and with the size of this pitch I’m sure the noise will increase again.
“That’s what you want – to be a part of these big games at those big stadiums and to be a part of history, which is our idea.”
On the field are great new blue and saffron seats, manicured grass and LED lights ready to welcome fans and players while India is just performing its second test in the pink ball.
After a $ 110 million upgrade, the stadium has hosted several domestic Twenty20 games, but this will be its first international game.
“About 35,000-40,000 people are expected every day. Of course, the numbers will be maximum when India strikes,” an official of the Gujarat Cricket Association told AFP.
The former Motera Stadium was last hosted in 2012 when India beat England. The Tourists still won the series 2-1.
The space was leveled in 2015 and took five years to rebuild with doubled capacity.
The new stadium was a project of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet while he was the head of state cricket until 2014.
Secretary of the Cricket Board of India Jay Shah and his father Amit Shah, former President of the General Administration and Indian Minister of Interior, took the project to completion.
The perfect round seat promises an unobstructed view from every angle and features amenities, including four locker rooms and a clubhouse equipped with an Olympic-sized pool.
fk / tw / jc