Indian substitute captain Ajinkya Rahane returned home Thursday after being greeted on the red carpet in Mumbai, after leading a severely exhausted team to a famous victory in a series of tests in Australia.
India’s regular captain and main drummer Virat Kohli had returned home to witness the birth of his daughter after the opening loss in Adelaide, where the touring team were regrouped for 36 – their lowest heats score in trial cricket.
Under Rahane, India leveled the streak in Melbourne and got a nerve-racking draw in Sydney before triumphing in the decision maker in Brisbane with a second string team to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
After the victory, Rahane gave a poignant speech where he appreciated the fighting spirit of his teammates.
“This is a huge moment for all of us,” said Rahane.
“What happened in Adelaide and how we got back to Melbourne was really good to see. Ek doh nehi all contributed. (applause).”
“I also want to mention Kuldeep and Kartik. I know you haven’t played a game, but I think your attitude really was. We are now going to India, your time will come, ”he added.
Earlier, India’s head coach Ravi Shastri had an emotional moment in the locker room addressing his boys after the historic result.
“Guys, I had tears in my eyes, the courage, the determination, the spirit that you showed, you know, is unreal. Not for once, you were down (despite the) injuries, the 36 all-out, you know, you had confidence in yourself.
It doesn’t happen overnight, it has happened over a period of time. But now that you have the confidence in yourself, you can see where you have taken your game as a team.
Today, forget about India, the whole world will rise up and greet you. So, remember what you did today. You have to take advantage of this moment, don’t let it slip away, but enjoy it as much as you can.
For all the newbies, support staff, masseurs, slingshots everyone you have all been exceptional, ”Shastri said as he was applauded by the players,” Shastri concluded.