Navratri revelry before Test

Indore Caught Up In Festivities Ahead Of Landmark Match

Miles away from the chaos in New Delhi where the SC is hearing BCCI’s reluctance to adopt the new set of proposed rules and regulations, the Indian cricket team woke up on Thursday morning to return to what was simply another day at work.The busy narrow lanes of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, have been bustling all week with the Navratri celebrations and every chowk in the town here is reverberating with the sound of bhajans on giant loudspeakers. The beauty of the festive season wasn’t lost on scores of Indoris who religiously turned up at Holkar Stadium here to catch a glimpse of their favourites while the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) kept itself busy with the last-minute preparations.

The drama in New Delhi wasn’t lost on the local administration here but there was no doubt in their minds whatsoever that the Test match was going ahead as scheduled. Indore will be hosting its first ever Test match when India and New Zealand walk out on the morning of Oct 8 for the toss. In the middle of its own chaos -a beautiful one at that, celebrating the auspicious festival of nine nights ­ Indore is decked up for the game.

The Indian team’s bus made its way to the ground just after noon for a practice session and had a new passenger in it ­ Mumbai’s Shardul Thakur, who replaced an injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The latter has been ruled out of the third Test after he sustained a back injury in Kolkata. “The local organisers have great motivation. Even for the practice, there are 3400 people. There is excitement wherever we go. We talk about Test cricket dying, but looking at the response the Indian team is getting, I don’t think there is any dearth in cricket’s popularity,“ Indian team’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar said.

The team has been on a high this week, climbing to the top spot in world cricket rankings in Calcutta.

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