MUMBAI (INDIA) – After leading the Indian team to a rousing win in the test series against Australia, India’s stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane returned home to a red carpet welcome in Mumbai on Thursday.
After a disappointing start in Adelaide, where the Indian team saw it’s lowest innings score of 36 in a test cricket, under regular captain and main batsman Virat Kohli. India levelled the series in Melbourne and secured a nerve-wracking draw in Sydney before triumphing in Brisbane with a second-string side to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy. The team was then led by Rahane after Kohili had to fly home to attend the birth of his daughter.
Cricket – frenzied India reacted with shock and disbelief at the team’s capitulation in Adelaide, with fans thronging to social media platforms to vent their anger at the performance of their favourite sporting side. Since the win, the mood has been transformed.
Rahane, accompanied by coach Ravi Shastri and other team mates, were congratulated by local cricket administrators on their arrival in Mumbai.
A viral video on social media showed Rahane, 33, being showered with flower petals as he walked along a red carpet amid the beating of drums and loud cheers.
India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, whose performance drew comparison to former captain and wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, also received a hero’s welcome in Delhi. He was adjudged man-of-the-match in Adelaide and finished as the highest scorer for the team despite being ignored for the first test.
“It feels amazing when you compare me with MS Dhoni,” Pant, 23, told reporters outside Delhi airport. “But I want to make my own name in Indian cricket. It’s not good to compare a legend with some youngster.”