There is a distinct calm in Rajkot. The new stadium is a fair distance outside the city, on the highway to Jamnagar. A grand structure in the middle of nowhere; remote enough that as the players practise in the nets, over the wall behind them, a herd of buffaloes shuffle about, slowly, contentedly, peacefully. Virat Kohli punch off drives off throwdowns from Anil Kumble on one side. From the other, a big old moo sounds.
There has been a smattering of people at the ground every day since the Indian team has been in town. Kids mostly, phones shooting out of pockets faster than guns did in the old westerns.
"Century lage, na?" Arvind Pujara chuckles, and says, "Why should he stop there?" when asked how much he'd like Cheteshwar to score a ton on his home ground in its first Test. It will be the first time the father will watch his son bat live.
There is another player for whom this would be special. The portraits of him in the stadium make careful note of the twirl in his moustache. The Rajputana twirl. Ravindra Jadeja has already displayed the "sword celebration" at Lord's, the home of cricket. Plenty will be wishing to see him do so again, at the home of his cricket.
He learnt the game in Jamnagar, a few kilometres down the road, becoming a fine addition to the town's heritage of left-arm spin. One of their residents, Vinoo Mankad, helped India to their first Test win. Jadeja would be expected to follow suit and win Rajkot's first Test too.
Considering the city's history, it's almost disarming to see how quiet things are. A few people were at the airport when India arrived. A few at the ground to catch a glimpse of the men they've only seen on TV or on paper. Life simply goes on. Perhaps the people have already been spoilt. They have two entire tournaments named after men with roots in Saurashtra. The Ranji Trophy - for Ranjitsinhji who also gave cricket the leg glance. And the Duleep Trophy - for his nephew Duleepsinhji. Their domestic team has been active since the 1950s and were the runners-up last season. This is just five little days of international cricket.
There is nervous energy among the administrators though. The Saurashtra Cricket Association president Niranjan Shah has made a few trips out to the middle, to check on the pitch, and then other proceedings. On Wednesday, he would have completed the "ultimate" achievement. He has invited the state's chief minister to watch the game. Arrangements have been made to felicitate Test players from the region - all the way back to Salim Durani, the great allrounder of the '60s and '70s - and also those like Sitanshu Kotak and Jaydev Shah, who have been part of over 100 domestic games.
The Pujara family has been in Rajkot for 50 years. Cheteshwar grew up in the heart of the city. With his father having worked for the railways, living quarters came with the job and there was a ground close-by as well. Every morning he would wake up at six and get some training in until nine, when school started. He wouldn't even change out of his uniform before heading off to play some more, his father in tow. Both of them began thinking about cricket seriously when Cheteshwar was seven-eight years old.
Jadeja's path was harsh. He trained at Cricket Bungalow, an academy in Jamnagar, where making mistakes would earn a beating. He had to dive around on hard, abrasive surfaces. He was taught flight by avoiding the head of a boy who would stand on the middle of the pitch. Outrageous things happen here. That a Test match has finally come along is no real biggie.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo