As the four-part sports docu-series 'Bandon Mein Tha Dum' helmed by Neeraj Pandey prepares to drop on OTT, cricketer Ajinkya Rahane penned an emotional note on his personal journey on making it to the national team.
The series follows the Indian national cricket team's highs and lows on their journey rife with uncertainty during the historic 2020/21 India tour of Australia, seen through the lens of Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohammed Siraj, Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant.
Here are the excerpts from Rahane's note where he talks about his long journey from just a dreamy eyed boy to playing for one of the most explosive cricket teams in the world - Team India, "Growing up in Dombivli, it was just raw passion for the game that drove my dream to become a cricketer.
"There wasn't much to inspire me around my place, but I knew I found my calling the moment I picked up a bat at a very young age. Key matches or selection trials don't take place in the suburbs, so long journeys in crowded trains very early in the morning were part of my daily routine."
He continued, "I made my first-class debut at 19, starting the long journey of becoming an India international four years later. Those years, I spent a lot of time on the sidelines of the first team. I made my ODI debut in 2011, did well on that tour, but the wait to get my first Test cap went on.
It was great to be around legends, learning by observing their routines and talking to them."I finally made my Test debut against Australia in early 2013. It wasn't a great game personally, but we won a big series, so those emotions overshadowed my performances.
But from there, I had a wonderful run, scoring centuries in tough overseas conditions, forming memorable partnerships with incredible teammates and even captaining the side whenever necessary", he added.
'Bandon Mein Tha Dum' pays a tribute to the true spirit of a young Indian team that defeated the world's No. 1 Test side on its home soil to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in one of India's most iconic Test victories ever.
Shedding light on the defining moment in his career, the cricketer wrote, "The biggest onus of leadership was bestowed on me during the iconic Border-Gavaskar series of 2020. To spark a comeback from a terrible setback at Adelaide required something special. This was on my mind when I walked in to bat at Melbourne.
"But once in the middle, the game took over. I found good touch, kept piling on runs to finally reach my century. It was Ravindra Jadeja who informed me when I reached 3 figures. It felt great, special. But the job wasn't done. Thankfully, we finished the job a month later in Gabba."
"It was a series where we proved no mountain is too high for us. The enthusiasm of the younger lads and the composure of the seasoned stars absolutely set the stage on fire Down Under. It was very gratifying for me personally.
It reflected leadership traits in my personality that were ingrained from my days as a boy in Dombivli", he shared further.Recollecting the events post the series, he wrote, "Once home, my family and I visited my alma mater, the SV Joshi High School in Dombivli.
There was nobody around. It was a quiet evening and the guard let us in. As the sun set, I just took a seat on the sides. Taking a long breath, I closed my eyes to recollect my formative years that were spent on this ground."
"I wouldn't have been here if not for those times. It was a special experience, truly. It felt as if I was meeting the 8-year-old Ajinkya who had played on this ground. There wasn't any plan in place. All I had was a dream", he shared in conclusion.'Bandon Mein Tha Dum' will be available to stream on Voot Select from June 16.