A failed date with Sourav Ganguly saw a miffed Eden Gardens jeering at every Indian failure as South Africa rattled the hosts in Kolkata on Friday.
It all began with Greg Chappell springing a surprise by sending Irfan Pathan out to open the innings. Third ball and the budding all-rounder was returning to the pavilion while the crowd jeered.
In walked Sachin Tendulkar, warmly greeted by the 75,000 odd spectators, awaiting a brilliant innings. But he let down the crowd, which was seen booing again as captain Rahul Dravid walked in.
As 'The Wall' struggled and the Indian batting fell apart brick by brick, the crowd was getting more restless, irritated and disturbed at the absence of their favourite son of the soil.
Rohit Dutta, a spectator, said, ''Sourav is being missed sorely. He carries so much pressure on him. He could have stemmed the rot.''
Another fan Sujoy Saha was more pragmatic, ''Okay Sourav has been kept out. But is the team doing any better without him here?'' Black arm bands, head gears and banners of 'Bring back Dada' were aplenty and so was the emotion of a sports loving community that was protesting the exclusion.
In the meantime India were skittled to 188 and the giant screen showed a Ranji update of Sourav's 159 in Bengal's 378. The crowd erupted in a rapture to hail the all-round comeback of Sourav.