Curtains down, Team India heads home
The vanquished Indian cricket team, barring a couple of players, made its way back home on Saturday, drawing curtains on a disastrous Australian tour during which it lost more than it gained.
As soon as Sri Lanka pipped Australia at the post in Melbourne on Friday, reservation plans began and the players lost little time in leaving for home on Saturday.
The players with bases in Mumbai and south India -- Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin and the entire support staff -- took a morning flight to Singapore, where they will board respective connecting flights to Mumbai and Chennai.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar and Rahul Sharma left Brisbane this afternoon, again for Singapore, from where they will take the flight to Delhi.
Irfan Pathan and Parthiv Patel, with bases in Gujarat, will leave for home on Sunday.
Hobart win raised India's hopes of reaching final
The Indians were not exactly glued in front of their television screens on Friday to watch the outcome of the Australia-Sri Lanka match, which the latter won by nine runs in the final over.
A few wandered around in the market while a small group had dinner together.
Only a few were hooked to the television screens.
India had raised hopes of making it to the final of the One-day series with an astonishing chase of 321 in 36.4 overs against Sri Lanka at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, earlier in the week.
A suffocating three-month trip for the Indians
The Indians had finally liberated themselves on an otherwise suffocating three-month trip to Australia during which they were blanked 4-0 in the Test series and claimed just two matches in the triangular.
Batsmen and bowlers suffered collective failures and only Virat Kohli, and to a lesser extent Umesh Yadav and Vinay Kumar, redeemed themselves during the debilitating tour.
The Indians, after a few days' rest, will head for Bangladesh to play the Asia Cup, between March 13 to 22. Post Asia Cup, it will be time for the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), starting April 4.