Let's get those fans to the stadium

As a cricket lover, I've had many 'I was there' moments – the kind you want to live to tell your grandchildren about. I was there when India won at Perth in 2008 to become the only team from the subcontinent to defeat Australia at the WACA. I was there when thousands of Australians leapt to their feet to give Tendulkar a standing ovation at the SCG as he got to a 100 in a Test that was to be marred later by Monkeygate.

updated: November 14, 2012 19:06 IST
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Bangalore: Ever since they arrived here three weeks ago for the Test series, we have been inundated with reports of England's extensive preparations for this tour, of India's deliberate strategy to keep spinners out of the warm-up games, of MS Dhoni’s men thirsting for revenge and of England’s determination to win their first Test series in India in almost 28 years. Hours of television footage and hundreds of newspaper columns have been painstakingly devoted to documenting and discussing every net session, press conference and team activity.

Then you have the cringe-inducing 'Kya India baja paayegi England ki band?' television promos, on high-rotation on ESPN and Star Cricket, and it's quite clear that the media has collectively whipped up quite a frenzy to promote India’s cricket season at home. But am I the only one who thinks the official broadcasters and cricket journalists are more excited about this series than the cricket-viewing public?

I let out a chuckle when I read the report about Andy Flower, England's coach, orchestrating 'crowd noise' for the team's practice sessions during the three-day pre-tour camp in Dubai. The idea was to get the batsmen used to playing in the sort of cacophonous conditions they would experience in Indian stadiums. But if evidence of some of India's most high profile Tests at home over the last few years is anything to go by, then England don't have much to worry about.

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