25-Mar-2015 04:56:00 GMT
Australia v India, 2nd semi-finals, SCG
SCG Set to Turn Indian for Australia Semi-final
Sydney: India fans are likely to outnumber their Australian counterparts when the two teams clash in the World Cup semi-final in Sydney on Thursday -- much to the annoyance of the home captain.
Australia skipper Michael Clarke and team-mate David Warner sent out identical tweets, saying: "I call on all Australian cricket lovers to paint the SCG gold on Thursday. We need your support. #goldout"
The hashtag, referring to the Australian team colours, has ironically caught the fancy of more Indian Twitter users than Australian.
Organisers believe that 70 percent of tickets at the sold-out 42,000-capacity Sydney Cricket Ground have been bought by by India fans, threatening to create an environment reminiscent of the frenzied atmosphere of Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
If the pitch suits spinners, as has been the case at the SCG in the past, co-hosts Australia may well feel as though they have been kicked out of their own party.
Kartik Ayyalasomayajula, one of the founders of the Swami Army -- India's version of England's Barmy Army supporters group -- forecast the Australian team would be in for a hard time from fans on Thursday.
Kartik, a Melbourne-based IT professional, said the tweets by Clarke and Warner pleading for Australian support at the match indicated how much the home team were worried.
Australian all-rounder James Faulkner said the team was prepared for a hostile response from Indian fans.