Updated: January 23, 2021 7:54:05 pm
India’s stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane returned home to a red carpet welcome in Mumbai on Thursday, having led a severely depleted side to a famous test series win in Australia.
India’s regular captain and main batsman Virat Kohli had flown home to attend the birth of his daughter after the opening defeat in Adelaide where the touring side were bundled out for 36 – their lowest innings score in test cricket.
Under Rahane, India levelled the series in Melbourne and secured a nerve-wracking draw in Sydney before triumphing in the decider in Brisbane with a second-string side to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
After the victory, Rahane delivered a poignant speech where he appreciated the fighting spirit of his teammates.
“This is a massive massive moment for all of us,” Rahane said.
“What happened in Adelaide and how we came back Melbourne onwards was really good to see.. ek doh nehi all 11 contributed. (applause).”
“Also want to mention Kuldeep and Kartik. I know you did not play a game but I think your attitude was really. We are going to India now, your time will come,” he added.
Earlier, India head coach Ravi Shastri had an emotional moment in the dressing room while addressing his boys after the historic result.
“Guys, I had tears in my eyes, the courage, the resolve, the spirit you guys have shown, you know, is unreal. Not for once you were down (despite the) injuries, the 36 all-out, you know, you had the self-belief in you.
It doesn’t come overnight, this happened over a period of time. But now you have got the self-belief, you can see where you have taken your game as a team.
Today, forget India, the whole world will stand up and salute you. So, remember what you guys have done today. You need to enjoy this moment, don’t let it just get away, but enjoy it as much as you can.
To all the debutants, the support staff, the masseurs, the slingers to everybody, you have all been outstanding,” Shastri said as he was applauded by the players,” Shastri concluded.