Being played on weekend and on a festival day, the decider game lured a capacity crowd of over 30,000 to fill the stands in the first hour of the game despite travails of frisking and stringent security measures.
When word went out that India would bat first as MS Dhoni lost the toss, there was a scramble at all the 20 gates to enter the stadium from the serpentine queues that were a mile long.
“As we were eager to watch our openers (Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan) bat from start, we came to the venue very early and were in hurry to get into the stadium before the first ball was bowled because the duo have been in great form during this series,” Ganpati Subramanian, an avid fan of the Indian team, told IANS in the eastern stands of the stadium.
Sudden downpour interrupts play for 25 minutes
The fickle Bangalore weather was at it again, as the sky opened up and the gathering clouds gave way to a sudden downpour 70 minutes into the game when Rohit and Dhawan were at crease and India was at 107 for no loss in 17 overs. With a blazing sun playing hide-and-seek with darkening clouds, the unpredictable rain stopped play for 25 minutes, forcing players to run for cover while groundsmen ran into the middle to protect the pitch from rain Gods.
Though 25 minutes of the game was lost, umpires Nigel Llong and S Ravi declared that India would play its full quota of 50 overs, bringing relief to the fans, many of whom came in hordes flagging the Indian tri-colour and sporting T-shirts of Indian team’s men in blue.
The sudden disruption, however, cost India heavily, as Dhawan, who got into groove with nine striking fours, was bowled leg-before by left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty on the last ball of the 19th over for 60 in 57 balls.
With in-form Rohit, Dhawan had put up 112-run opening partnership in 114 balls before he misjudged a spinning ball and was plumbed.
Virat Kohli’s dramatic run out stuns die-hard fans
A foolish mix-up in the middle cost India heavily, as vice-captain Virat Kohli was run out for duck when Rohit at the non-striking end failed to cross over the 22 yards in the 20th over, stunning die-hard fans who waited eagerly for long to watch the danger man go against the Aussie attack.
Coming into bat at the fall of Dhawan’s wicket, Kohli was looking for a run after facing two dot balls of Clint McKay, when Nathan Coulter-Nile at mid-off stopped a straight shot and flung the ball to wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, who whipped the bails even before the desperate Kohli could return to the crease as Rohit chose to remain at the other end.
“There was actually no run off that ball as it passed by the bowler, McKay, and was stopped by Coulter-Nile inside the circle at the bowler’s end and risky for Kohli, who ran from the batting crease before Rohit could decide to run,” sports analyst Govindraj said.