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Last Updated: Monday, 11 October, 2004, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Wall of noise fails to bring down Aussies
Phil Long
By Phil Long

Halfway through the first Test I bumped into four Australian supporters looking somewhat bewildered amid the usual melee of supporters, rickshaws and vendors.

They turned out to be the parents and grandparents of Australian debutant Michael Clarke.

Their bewilderment was probably due in part to the fact that Clarke's grandparents had left the shores of Australia for the very first time just two days prior to this Test match.

They were lucky enough, of course, to see the new pride and joy of Australian cricket score a century on his Test debut.

Anil Kumble Circle
A local hero gives his name to this Bangalore roundabout

But for the thousands of local fans who thronged the Chinnaswamy Stadium it proved to be one long funereal procession of Indian batsmen.

The Bangalore public certainly more than made up for their batsmen's lack of application with a deafening performance throughout most of this Test match.

Drums, whistles, trumpets, Mexican waves and the full roar of 25,000 fervent cricket fans should have turned the Chinnaswamy Stadium into a lion's den that any Aussie Kangaroo should have been nervous hopping into.

And when Anil Kumble, who has a roundabout here named after him, snared his 400th Test wicket on his home ground the volume got turned up a further notch and the roof over the 50 rupee-a-head enclosure rattled alarmingly as his fans sang his praises.

Not to be outdone, the visiting Australian fans certainly also made themselves seen, if not necessarily heard, throughout the Test.

But even Clarke's awesome debut ton supplemented by Adam Gilchrist's run-a-ball century couldn't quell the cacophony inside the Chinnaswamy.

Finally, the noise ended.

When Glenn McGrath nipped one back through Rahul Dravid's defence to reduce India to 4-2 you could have heard a 10-rupee note flutter to the floor even in the most raucous parts of the ground.

Haidee Tiffen
Was it Irfan Pathan or this Kiwi lass hitting a fifty against Australia?

Then the final day dawned and the forecast black clouds of the late monsoon failed to arrive on the horizon. India were doomed.

The Deccan Herald might have poetically described the situation 'like a deer wriggling in the jaws of a juvenile tiger' but thousands of locals still flocked to the Chinnaswamy in search of a Sunday morning Calcutta-esque turnaround in fortunes.

Of course, that never materialised but with Sachin Tendulkar sidelined for the foreseeable future the local fans are on the lookout for a new hero.

Step up Irfan Pathan who turned in a performance that gave India's fans something to cheer.

So spare a thought for the 19-year-old when, on reaching his maiden Test match fifty, the giant electronic scoreboard hailed New Zealand women's all-rounder Haidee Tiffen on her 50 at the ground last December.

With Indian resistance almost at an end there was still time for the home crowd to engulf the stadium with one last roar as, with an impudent dance down the track, Harbhajan Singh smashed Shane Warne way over the long-on fence.

After that hit, Warne had conceded 100 runs for the innings and Harbhajan daringly applauded the bowler for his efforts.

The crowd loved that moment but it was short-lived joy - Jason Gillespie soon finished the match by dismissing Harbhajan.


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