Cricket

Heroes of India’s historic series win return to rousing reception

Victorious cricket captain Ajinkya Rahane and coach Ravi Shastri are greeted at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport after their arrival from Australia on Thursday morning.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Chants of aala re aala Ajinkya aala headlined a red carpet welcome for Ajinkya Rahane on his triumphant return from Australia with some other teammates.

The chants (meaning here comes our Ajinkya) were accompanied by the beating of the traditional dhol tasha and showering of flower petals at Rahane's residential complex.

Besides stand-in captain Rahane, also arriving in Mumbai were coach Ravi Shastri, star batsman Rohit Sharma, pacer Shardul Thakur and opener Prithvi Shaw, while Brisbane Test hero Rishabh Pant landed in the national capital early this morning.

Mohammed Siraj drove straight from Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport to the graveyard and paid his last respects to his departed father Mohammed Ghouse.

T. Natarajan, who was originally picked as a nets bowler but became the first Indian cricketer to make his international debut across all three formats during the same tour, landed in Bengaluru and then took off for his village in Tamil Nadu's Salem.

Once he reached his native Chinnappampatti village, Natarajan was accorded a festive welcome, complete with garlands and a chariot ride through the streets.

The players from Chennai — veteran off-spinner R. Ashwin, rookie Washington Sundar — and bowling coach Bharat Arun are currently in Dubai and are expected to arrive on Friday.

On arrival in Mumbai, Rahane, Shastri, Rohit, Shardul and Shaw were felicitated by Mumbai Cricket Association officials. Rahane also cut a cake to celebrate the team's win.

However, more surprises awaited at his housing society in suburban Matunga, where residents had made elaborate preparations to accord their hero a royal welcome.

Rahane was joined by his wife and two-year-old daughter in the celebration.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 8:38:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/victorious-team-india-arrives-home-after-series-win-against-australia/article33623933.ece

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