4:02 am PST: Among a sea of blue. Shouts of Jeetegaa Jeetegaa, India Jeetegaa erupt in unison. The sound moves from stand to stand in succession. The tricolor flag of India is everywhere.
And have you heard about the Bharat army? They do not wear army gear. Oh no! They carry the dholak and wield curved sticks that beat out a rhythm energizing Indian fans into a frenzy of dancing and whistling.
Am I in a cricket ground in India or England? I have to remind myself that I’m indeed in the land of high tea, scones and orange marmalade. To be in a sea of Indian cricket fans from all over the world is an experience that defies a wordy description.
The India Bangladesh match in Birmingham is quite an experience for the senses.
5:50 am PST: The captains take the field for the toss and Kohli won the toss electing to bat first. His choice was greeted with cheers and it seems to have paid off. The runs have been flowing at a steady pace. Opener Rohit Sharma scored an effortless century and lost his wicket right after. KL Rahul provided to be a steady partner at the other end scoring 77 before losing his wicket. With a couple of wickets falling after that, i witnessed a confident 48 runs from Rishabh Pant. With the departure of Pant, it’s Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik with the score at 277 for 5.
9:43 am PST: India finished with a score of 314 for 5, lower than what was expected in what is turning to be a batting wicket.
Only when Bangladesh took strike, could you even hear the cheers of the small but noisy contingent of fans wearing green supporting Bangladesh. Their captain Shakib has departed after a strong knock of 66. The batsmen so far have shown a lot of heart holding down their wickets and adding a steady stream of runs on the board. With Bangladesh racing to 200 the Indian fans are suddenly silent, watching intently waiting for the fall of wickets that India sorely needs.
9:53 am PST: 91 runs required off 65 balls now.
10:36 am PST: Finally, after a few overs where the Bangladeshi batsmen kept hitting the ball to the perimeter, India prevailed. What a feeling! Cricket unifies Indians from all over the globe in a way that nothing else can.
11:24 am PST: The tunes I heard today? Jai Ho with a lot of bhangra in between. Every tune and every shout resonated. But the tune that was the loudest? Jana gana mana of course. The vibes of good luck from Desi fans traveled through the air with each note and carried the team to the finish.
What a phenomenal experience!