Bright sunshine dappling on the grass, a cathedral lending a solemn air, ducks preferring the slow-life on River Torrens that skirts around the Adelaide Oval and out in the middle, the roller was pressing the turf. This was the calm before the storm as the venue geared up for Thursday’s ICC Twenty20 World Cup semifinal.
India and England throw up historical threads harking back to the Empire-colony duopoly, spice trade, tea and the plunder of the Kohinoor. And the cricketing backstory is equally riveting. Be it the triumph over the host in the 1983 World Cup semifinal in England, Graham Gooch sweeping India away in the 1987 World Cup semifinal at Mumbai, Bombay then; or Yuvraj Singh launching Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over during the inaugural 2007 ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa, this is a rivalry that had its moments in white-ball cricket.
Another chapter will be added when Rohit Sharma and Jos Buttler step out for the toss. A semifinal will usher in extreme pressure as knockouts always unleash a thousand butterflies in queasy stomachs. India has the momentum, riding on batting supremacy and largely effective bowlers while England bats deep and has the pacers to test the best.