India’s maiden win against Australia at The Gabba in Brisbane was a result of the players pulling together and showing that they, as a whole, were greater than the sum of their parts. It was a necessity because the team had a number of key players missing through injuries and the playing XI for the final Test sported a makeshift look. One of the heroes of that match was pacer Shardul Thakur, who played a valuable knock with the bat while also carrying his load with the ball as India went on to script history and notch up back to back series wins over Australia.
The pacer described how the mood was when he returned back to his hometown of Palghar, with everyone wanting to celebrate the series win as soon as he had arrived.
“It was a crazy feeling. There were a lot of people who wanted to celebrate. I was sitting in the car and people wanted to take me around Palghar but I told them ‘let’s stay low profile at this point of time’ because we also need to take care of our health by maintaining social distancing,” Shardul told India Today.
“I couldn’t say no to everyone so I did meet up with a few people. As soon I entered my area, these guys were waiting with firecrackers and garlands, cakes and all to celebrate at home.”
The Australia tour was the culmination of a long six months away from home for the Indian players, almost all of whom had been in bio-secure bubbles since August ahead of the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Before that, players had been unable to get out and train due to the national lockdown and were confined inside their houses. However, Shardul said that he was glad to be back home and see his parents again after such a long period of time.
“Coming back home after five months, to see my parents, is a different feeling altogether. I was with them during the lockdown for about 5-6 months and then staying away from home for this long. It was a mixture of emotions and excitement,” Thakur said.
England will play a five match Test series starting February 5. This will be followed by a five match T20 Series and a three-match ODI series. The first Test begins in Chennai.