Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

With the iconic Barabati Stadium hosting the second T20I of the five-match series on Sunday, cricket fever has gripped the whole State for the last couple of weeks.

Following the completion of the online ticket sales within hours, there was a frantic rush for offline tickets as well. Subsequently, with women fans fighting among each other for purchasing tickets, a stampede like situation occured forcing the police resort to mild lathi charge to disperse the crowd.

However amid the high craze for cricket, fans are ruing over the fact they will miss the stars like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Jasprith Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav in action as they are out of the team due to rest and injury issues.

“I am a big fan of Rahul. He has a pretty balanced approach towards his batting with strong defending abilities and attacking prowess. He was unfortunately excluded from the team at the last moment due to an injury. It was a great opportunity to see my favourite player in action so close to me while watching the match at the stadium,” said Krushna Chandra Mohapatra.

“Watching Virat and Rohit batting is a bliss in itself for any fan. We will miss those superstars in action. Besides, we will also miss Bumrah’s lethal Yorkers,” said another fan.

Despite missing most of their favourite superstars, the fans have not entirely lost their confidence on the Indian team. They are hoping that the team with a blend of young and experienced players will make a strong comeback to level the series 1-1 in Cuttack.

“Hardik Pandya is a very utility all-rounder. His form was a bit indifferent in the last match in Delhi. I am sure that he will come off with flying colours both with the bat and ball this time,” said Sasmita Choudhury.

“We all know that skipper Rishabh Pant can win the match for the team by himself on his day. The explosive batsman has an incredible ability to hit any bowler out of the park on a consistent basis. We are hopeful that he will fire at Barabati to help the team win in an emphatic manner,” said another fan.