Virat Kohli and Co. have reached Australia on Thursday for one of the most anticipated series of recent times. The Border-Gavaskar Trophy is expected to be the most important section of the tour as it will be part of the World Test Championship, where Team India is currently leading on the points table. The Asian giants will be without their skipper Virat Kohli after the opening match of the series as he has been granted the paternal leave for the birth of his first child.

After the confirmation regarding Kohli’s unavailability in the last three Test matches, there has been an increase in demand for tickets for the opening encounter at the Adelaide Oval, which the Indian skipper will be part of it.

According to Melbourne-based cafe owner Angadh Singh Oberoi, who runs the Swami Army supporter group of Indian cricket fans and will be dishing out the tickets via a ballot, the demand for tickets in the group has been particularly high for the series opener.

“There’s a lot of interest in the day-night Test because we’re getting inundated with requests for that. So there is certainly demand but it’s whether all the logistics and ticketing can come together in time for it,” Oberoi was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.

“We’ve been in discussions with Cricket Australia about numbers. They seemed a little bit optimistic that it might extend beyond the 25,000 but who knows?” said Oberoi.

Cricket Australia has confirmed that 50 per cent (27,000 spectators) of the total capacity of the stadium will be permitted on all five days of Adelaide Test.

Oberoi further acknowledged travel restrictions in Australia due to COVID pandemic.

“We’ve put in a request for a couple of hundred to start with, to see how that goes. Obviously, travel between states and from overseas is compromised at the moment so we’re not having expectations of a few years ago where we had a few thousand each day. It’s a lot different this time around,” he said.

Although Kohli will miss the last three matches of the Test series, he will play in the three ODIs and as many T20Is, which will precede the Tests.

For the Boxing Day second Test, to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26-30, 25,000 fans for each day have been allowed by the Victorian government. For the third Test in Sydney, from January 7-11, spectators will be allowed only for 50 per cent capacity of the stadium. Brisbane’s Gabba, venue of the fourth and final Test from January 15-19, can host up to 30,000 fans, which is 75 per cent of its total capacity.