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 per cent 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.
“It’s pretty much name your price kind of thing,” he said.”It’s the hottest ticket in town at the moment.”
India, who won the 2011 World Cup in South Asia, defeated Ricky Ponting’s Australia in the quarter-finals in Ahmedabad.