India’s vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah said on Tuesday that in their first friendly against Sri Lanka in Mohali, the team are not thinking about the lack of crowds and are focused on winning the opener of the series. The PCA Stadium will be without spectators for the 1st Test, which will also be Virat Kohli’s 100th game in the game’s longest format.
Jasprit Bumrah, addressing the press 2 days before Test 1, said the crowd brings energy to the competition but the players can only focus on the controllable.
Bumrah’s comments even come out as excerpts Fans express their disappointment about playing Kohli’s 100th test in front of empty stands. While the T20I series against Sri Lanka was played with spectators in both Lucknow and Kolkata, the 2nd Test in Bengaluru at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium will also be at 50 percent capacity.
However, the Punjab Cricket Association confirmed last week that the 1st Test at Mohali would be played without spectators, citing Covid-19. PCA Treasurer RP Singla told the PTI that the decision was made in accordance with a guideline from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“Right now we’re focusing on what we can control. Of course it’s great when there’s a lot of spectators because they bring energy. But that’s not in our hands. We can only focus on winning the game,” said Vice-Captain Bumrah called.
“SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT FOR KOHLI”
Meanwhile, Bumrah praised his former captain, saying 100 friendly matches are a testament to Kohli’s hard work over the years.
Kohli is ranked after Sachin Tendulkar (200), Rahul Dravid (163), VVS Laxman (134), Anil Kumble (132), Kapil Dev (131), Sunil Gavaskar (125), Dilip Vengsarkar (116), Sourav Ganguly (113) , Ishant Sharma (105), Harbhajan Singh (103) and Virender Sehwag (103).
“It’s always a special achievement for a player to play 100 tests. Virat has contributed a lot to this team and will continue to do so. It’s another feather on his cap and I want to congratulate Kohli. It’s a testament to that his hard work,” he added.
Rohit Sharma will lead India in Tests for the first time since he was named to replace Kohli, who resigned from his top job in January after India lost a Test series 2-1 in South Africa.