August 8, 2010

India in Sri Lanka, 2010

Choppers to time-crunched India's rescue

Sidharth Monga

The Indian team is used to doing things in style. A day after levelling a Test series that looked lost, they surprised everybody by flying to Dambulla, where the team is participating in a tri-series, in army choppers, the MI 17 and the Blackhawk.

The reason was a tight schedule. They had only two days between the Test and their first ODI, against New Zealand. There is no airport in Dambulla, and the near-five-hour drive is the only way of getting there. The one-day specialists had been here for three days already. The team didn’t want to lose out on an important day of training for them. Nishantha Ranatunga, SLC secretary, said if the team was happy to pay for it, they didn’t have any problem in making arrangements.

Hence the slightly surreal scene of the team taking off on the chopper from the army base next to their team hotel in Colombo. In 40 minutes’ time, they were landing near their team hotel in Dambulla.

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Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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