Indian team stopped their practice on Friday after a top Cricket South Aftrica official declared that the team would lose the following match to pay homage to the late Nelson Mandela.
“He won it for us. Now that we have lost him, there is no point in winning,” he was quoted as saying. Captain AB de Villiers added that they can still win the series easily as long as they did not lose another leader in the meantime.
South African fans on the other hand have come in favor of the move as it is the only thing that will make the series come alive. ” We have seen them play. We cannot lose to them even in a game of poker,” said Venugopal, an Indian who is supporting South Africa after last match.
Pitch curators were happy as it had made their work easier and they will leave the green grass as it is, so that India can play 3 spinners. He also added that no new balls will be taken so that the Indian batsmen can keep going at the seamers.
Meanwhile Indian captain MS Dhoni has rubbished claims made by South African board saying that they will stay focused and will still try to win the game. Asked on why the practice session was cancelled, the captain retorted spontaneously saying they could not digest the loss (of Mandela) and will be back in action later in the day. The captain added that whatever the pitch he will go in with 3 spinners and has nothing to do with the announcement.
The turnout in the stadium is likely to be more than the last match which saw more Indian supporters than the home crowd. The Board has also promised to provide free tickets to the next match for spectators turning up for this match to get some crowd to cheer for South Africa.