Last Friday we witnessed the 3rd ODI between Australia and India at the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium in Uppal. After a lot of confusion and yes/no we managed to get tickets for the same. It was a great experience despite the fact that India lost the match.
Its funny what the back of ticket actually read : Strictly Prohibited : Mobile Phones, Electronics, Plastics, Glass, Water Bottles, Musical Instruments, Matches, Lighters, Fire Crackers, Mirrors, Carry bags & any other article which may be used as missile). We have all decided to not carry phones to avoid any hassles, which caused lot of troubles in coordination between the 13 of us going in two cabs. Thanks to all the wisdom and experience ppl had, we decided to reach the stadium around 7:15-7:30 (When the match was scheduled to start at 9 AM) which did cause some of us to start as early as 6 AM.
As we arrived at the Stadium, we were to see concrete and bars instead of a well furnished structure we expected. Definitely a turn-off at first spot. While walking through the gates the people at the security check would take-away binoculars one of us carried. As we walked in I forgot all my grudges, It was one of the scenes I have only scene in TV. The stands opposite to our entry gate were already jam-packed. The stadium's under construction state was not at all obvious. (so badly I missed my camera). By 8:10 AM we were all set for watching the game start, for this I would definitely appreciate the management/execution at the entry which avoided any long queues at any stage.
In short time both the teams came to the ground for practicing. The Aus team was closer to our side but the Indian team was visible. Very soon some one noticed how aggressively the Aus team practiced as against the Indian one. The toss went in Australian favour and they chose to bat first. That was definitely what everyone didn't want. We wanted to see Indian team bat first our bowling is definitely no great to watch and stuff except from some actions we were expecting from Sreeshant :D. As the match progressed we were curious as to when the camera was on us, but the buggers didn't set the screen right for a lot of time. All we could see watch some flowers and sceneries. Purely the Hyderabadi-chalta hey attitude at play again. When you have a screen which is functional why not use it for what its meant was the question. After some time the screen started working. We could see some cricket in between lot of ads. Very soon we realized though that we were not getting covered by the camera anyways :( Wrong choice of seat location and wrong height I would say.
The Mexican waves and lot of Hyderabadi-Hindi-style comments all around made for good entertainment during the match. We tried getting some hooting in to action were not majorly successful probably the choice of stands was not the right one for that. Dyuti told had we been in 250 bucks stands we could have had lot of fun of that sort.
As India started batting post Lunch we were all waiting to show those 4s/6s boards and everything but soon we say we had three batsmen back to Pavilion and score at 13/3. Everyone was tense, disappointed and cursing. Fortunately Sachin and Yuvraj played some good cricket and brought back some action/smiles/cheers/noise in to the stadium, as we clapped, shouted and enjoyed every 10 runs on the board. (30 up, 40 up, 50 up :) :))
Yuvraj's performance (with contributions from Sachin and Dhoni at right time) definitely made us think we might be back in the game. But soon as Dhoni was gone and wickets starting falling again the match was boring again and crowd was quite. What everyone did notice was how solidly Australian team did performed fielding super, batting great and bowling super solid. The dives/chases were definitely world class. Even with almost no support from the crowd the team played like champs, sometimes we couldn't avoid commending the great game they were putting up.
Overall it was a great experience, though ppl would think India's losing the game made us regret about buying the tickets and spending time and effort, none of us in the group felt so. We enjoyed the game.
1) Binoculars might be a good idea. Though against wisdom you can clearly follow the ball with naked eyes. Binoculars would help see the players better.
2) Camera and Cell-phones (sometimes for recording the crowd cheer) would be a good thing
3) Walking in/out of the stands to get food/water might be difficult and these things would cost a lot on your seat (50 bucks for a 5/10 Rs candy bar for e.g). So before the game begins you could possible stock up all these things.
4) Tickets are usually sold at UCO bank counters. News paper etc would provide more information. Tickets selling started just 5 days prior to the match in Hyd and seems like they were sold out in 2 days. (The bank fellow is expected to give just 2 tickets per buyer).