The chants of “ aala re aala Ajinkya aala ” starred in a welcome on the red carpet for Ajinkya Rahane as alternate captain, along with coach Ravi Shastri and a few other members of the team, are returned to the country on Thursday after India’s epic triumph in Australia.
The chants (here meaning our Ajinkya) were heard amid the beating of the traditional dhol tasha and the shower of flower petals in the residential complex of Rahane.
Along with Rahane and Shastri, star drummer Rohit Sharma, drummer Shardul Thakur and opener Prithvi Shaw also arrived in Mumbai, while Brisbane Test hero Rishabh Pant landed early this morning in the nation’s capital.
T Natarajan, who was originally chosen as a net player but became the first Indian cricketer to make his international debut in all three formats during the same tour, landed in Bangalore and then took off for his village of Salem in Tamil Nadu.
#AjinkyaRahane @ ajinkyarahane88 was greeted by a hero when he with @ ImRo45 @PrithviShaw and coach @RaviShastriOfc landed in Mumbai on Thursday, following the heroic Test Series victory in Australia.
Read: https://t.co/rGoHTkgsKX pic.twitter.com/AJUVggDsgT
– Sports express (@IExpressSports) January 21, 2021
Chennai players including veteran Ravichandran Ashwin, rookie Washington Sundar and bowling coach Bharat Arun are currently in Dubai and are expected to reach the country early Friday morning.
Upon arrival in Mumbai, Rahane, Shastri, Rohit, Shardul and Shaw were congratulated by officials from the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) including President Vijay Patil and Apex Council members Ajinkya Naik, Amit Dani and Umesh Khanvilka.
Rahane also cut a cake to celebrate the team’s victory.
However, more surprises awaited the reluctant drummer after he went directly to his housing company in the suburb of Matunga, where residents had made elaborate preparations to give their hero a royal welcome.
Rahane was greeted with the dhol beats, while others flooded the cricketer with flower petals.
Rahane was also joined by his wife and two-year-old daughter at the celebration.
Infused with the carnival atmosphere, Rahane acknowledged the love and adulation inflicted on him by the townspeople, many of whom waited for his team at the airport wearing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his company, residents and videographers scrambled to capture the moments and the unassuming drummer happily posed for them.
Rahane was then greeted in the traditional way as he walked towards the entrance to the building.
Dhol tasha is usually played to celebrate special achievements and on joyous occasions.
Injury-ravaged India beat Australia by three wickets in the fourth playoff of the series in Brisbane on Tuesday to clinch the rubber 2-1 and retain the Border Gavaskar trophy.
Coming after the Adelaide disaster in the absence of Virat Kohli, Rahane led by example with a classic century in the Second Test in Melbourne, guiding India to a series leveling victory.
There was no looking back as Rahane inspired a very impoverished Indian team to an incredible series triumph over a full-strength Australian team who had the best bowling offense in the world.