AHMEDABAD: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode on a cricket-themed golf cart Thursday for a lap of honour around the stadium bearing his name before settling in to watch the fourth Test with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese.
Both leaders waved to cheering spectators as they were driven around the outfield before play between India and Australia, flanked by cutouts of cricket bats and stumps.
The ceremony formally inaugurated the arrival of Australia’s Anthony Albanese in India by recognising both nations’ love of cricket.
“Celebrating 75 years of friendship through cricket,” Albanese wrote on Twitter alongside a beaming selfie with Modi from the stands.
Narendra Modi stadium is the world’s largest with a capacity of 132,000 and looked about half-full for the opening day of the deciding India-Australia Test.
But thousands of people left the grounds after both prime ministers departed after the first hour for other engagements.
Australia have a chance to level the series 2-2 in Ahmedabad after two bruising defeats inside three days at the start of their tour.
The hosts meanwhile need a win to clinch the series and secure their berth in the World Test Championship final, scheduled for June at The Oval in London.
Albanese is on a four-day trip to India and will discuss deepening trade, defence and economic ties between the two countries over the next three days.