Mahendra Singh Dhoni will have the biggest stake in the first-ever One-Day International match the city is going to host on Saturday. The India captain will be leading his country for the first time in front of his home crowd and the expectation of an Indian victory is sky high.
Such is the build up for the match here that thousands of fans were present at the airport to receive the teams, many on motorcycles followed the two buses into the city.
The JSCA International Stadium will be inaugurated on Friday. Among many dignitaries, Governor Syed Ahmed and former chief ministers Babulal Marandi and Arjun Munda are expected to be present.
Novelty in workout
While the English team took a day off practice, the Indian players were in full flow for two-and-a-half hours. Warming up with a game of football is normal for the Indian team, but this day the team adopted a novelty during the workout. There was a sprint competition between two teams. Gautam Gambhir looked the fastest!
India lost to England at Jamshedpur’s Keenan Stadium when the two teams met last in 2006. The match was played under a scorching sun and Dhoni’s 96 went in vain. The previous year India lost to Pakistan. The last ODI, allotted in 2008, was shifted to Bangalore as the Keenan Stadium was found to be unfit to host the game.
This led to the JSCA to think of having its own stadium. The dream has been realised with the hosting of this game. It will be a moment of pride on Saturday for the entire State.