Kohli mania reaches peak as SCG all set to draw record crowd for first ODI

Debasis Sen, Sydney: Virat Kohli led Indian team is set to deliver the biggest one-day crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground in at least a decade. A crowd of 35,000 is expected at the historic venue on Saturday, but that number is expected to soar closer to 40,000 with the forecast of clear blue skies.

The men in blue will return to the venue where they sealed a historic test series win over Australia four days back.

The first ODI is tipped to the biggest attended since the one day against England in 2014 when David Warner and Shaun Marsh delivered a comfortable win for the hosts.

India has always proven popular in Sydney, with crowds of 33,369 recorded in 2012, 22,692 in 2015 and 33,710 in 2016.

The Indian captain will look forward to set his records straight at the venue as he has only scored 33 runs in the four ODI’s he has played here.

“It’s hard to treat [Kohli] as any other batsmen because of what they can do, but I think when guys do perform at their best I feel like I perform at my best. I’m relaxed and not really thinking about who’s standing there,” Zampa said.

The Indians were forced to train indoors after rain played spoilsport. The full squad turned up at the SCG on Thursday.

The men in blue have a long white-ball season lined up ahead of the World Cup in England in May and June this year. Kohli and his team will play three ODIs in Australia and another five ODIs in New Zealand along with a three-match T20I series there as well.

Australia then visit India for a return leg of five ODIs and two T20Is, before the 2019 Indian Premier League season gets underway on March 23.

By Debasis Sen
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