It might not have been the Test with the highest attendance at Eden Gardens (thought to be in excess of 120,000), but the second Test between India and South Africa has seen busier stands than Nagpur where the spectators were generally waiting to bat.
There are a few stands down for renovation at Eden Gardens at the minute, but it’s vast enough that they can still cram in 35,000 wide-eyed nutters who will cheer India along. It makes a difference.
The politics of Indian cricket means Eden Gardens hasn’t seen much Test action in recent years and that’s a tragedy, both in the sense that Test cricket deserves great crowds, but also for India’s own interests, because it turns them from a team which concedes 500-and-odd for six wickets into one which carries out spectacularly vitriolic assaults on the opposition without a moment’s warning.
Spectators spur on players, which excites spectators, which spurs on players, which excites spectators. The whole thing hinges on people like us; sitting on our fat arses on undersized plastic seats, occasionally getting overly excited about something that doesn’t really matter.
We are the cholesterol-clogged beating heart of this whole thing.