With the opening game of the three-match India-West Indies ODI series set to begin here at 1:30 pm today, there was excitement all round as hundreds of cricket enthusiasts turned up at the Nehru stadium to cheer for the two teams during practice yesterday.
Rain, however, remains a matter of concern for the fans at the venue which can seat about 50,000 people. Given the manner in which India beat the visitors in the two-Test series, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side start favourites in the 50-over format as well.
But the captain said they will not be taking the West Indies lightly. “The West Indies are a good team. You may say that the Test matches got over on the third day itself and it was easy but it was not.
There were situations where we were under pressure and then we had to build a partnership. It was not an easy series as the scorecard suggest. In one day they are definitely a very strong side and we will never take them lightly,” Dhoni said.
“It is important that we approach the match with a right frame of mind and not think whether the opposition played well or not,” he added.
West Indies arrived at the ground after lunch and practiced for about two hours before returning to the hotel and skipper Dwayne Bravo said the team would be looking to bounce back after the 0-2 drubbing they received in the Test series.
Run feast expected
Meanwhile, the pitch and the outfield look fresh and a KCA official told IANS the pitch will be full of runs. “Kochi has always had a good batting strip and this time too it’s not going to be any different. The atmosphere will be electric with fans already arriving from across the state,” said the official.