Modi, Albanese watch India-Aus Test match for after taking round of stadium

AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on Thursday morning watched the fourth Test between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi stadium here for half an hour after taking a round of the imposing sports arena on a golf cart.

Modi and Albanese handed over Test caps to their respective team captains Rohit Sharma and Steve Smith at the start of the game, which is the fourth of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

The two prime minister's watched the match from the President's Box at the world's largest stadium.

The round of the playing turf on a golf cart by the two dignitaries was applauded by thousands of spectators.

Modi and Albanese met players from both sides and stood along side them when the national anthems of India and Australia were sung.

The two PMs also visited the 'Hall of Fame museum at the Narendra Modi stadium.

The crowd had started assembling from different parts of the state since early morning, most of them carrying the Tricolour and sporting face paint.

Vendors selling India t-shirts and other items for match day soon ran out of stock.

"We came here to watch PM Modi. He is our lucky charm and his presence will turn the tide in the favour of India in this Test match. Modi hai to mumkin hai," a fan said.

"My entire family are fans of cricket. We never miss a match in any stadium in Gujarat. Seeing so many people, I am sure the Indian team will be motivated," said Rakesh Desai, who had travelled with his kin all the way from Surat for the match.

Sources said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had arranged a large number of passes for the match and had distributed it to people. Several of them left after spending some time at the stadium.

Albanese arrived here on Wednesday and attended some programmes, while Modi reached the state late last night.

India lead the four match series 2-1. Australian captain Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat in the series-deciding fourth Test here.

Usman Khawaja and Smith engineered Australia's most productive session on the tour, taking their side to 149 for 2 at tea on the first day.

( Source : PTI )
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