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Australia vs India: Really excited to start playing in front of crowds, says Virat Kohli ahead of 1st ODI

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India skipper Virat Kohli

Rival skippers Virat Kohli of India and Aaron Finch of Australia on Thursday expressed relief and joy at the prospect of playing in front of crowds when the two teams lock horns in the first One-day International at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here on Friday.

The three-match ODI series between India and Australia will also be the first time that men’s cricket will see spectators in the stadium since March when international cricket had come to a halt following the Coronavirus outbreak.

“It is a great opportunity. Everyone is really excited to start playing in front of crowds, which we had been missing since we came back to action. But we also have to remember that we came back to action after a very difficult period and things are still getting better as we speak. The situation in Australia is at a place, where you play in front of crowds, gives players a big boost,” Kohli said on Thursday while speaking to the media virtually.

“Without the crowd, it was a different experience. But playing in front of the crowd can’t be replicated, something as sportspeople we always look forward to. So, yeah, we are really excited to get back into a stadium full of noise and fans,” he said.

The first two matches at the SCG will be played at 50 per cent crowd capacity while the third ODI in Canberra will be played at 65 per cent crowd capacity.

The Coronavirus pandemic had forced all international series as well as domestic competitions, like the Indian Premier League, to be played behind closed doors.

Australia’s limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch on Thursday said that his team, too, was excited to play in front of crowds again.

“The last time we played in front of crowds in Australia was a very long time ago. There has been a huge amount of work going to allow that to happen — from the public in various states there has been tremendous amount of work done to keep Coronavirus under control. We are really excited. We know how much of a great atmosphere would it be,” he said.

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