Melbourne: The entire nation was in a mood to celebrate India's brilliant victory against Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup opener in Adelaide but for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys, the Mission Defence has just begun and there is no time to celebrate.
Although the Indian fans who had descended in Adelaide celebrated late into the night at the heart of city centre, the cricketers wanted to get away from all the frenzy and hoopla. "It's only the first match against Pakistan. Everyone is happy that we have won the match but why do we need to celebrate one victory? Have we won the World Cup? There were absolutely no celebrations. The cricketers were tired after a gruelling match and they needed a lot of rest. Everyone just retired to their rooms," a key member of the Indian support staff said after reaching Melbourne on Monday.
"The Indian team had a morning flight from Adelaide to Melbourne. We were here for the last fortnight and everyone had to do their packing and all after the match and also needed a good night's sleep. We came by a Qantas flight and the players will get a couple of days rest before they again hit the straps," said the source.
It has been learnt that Dhoni and Team Director Ravi Shastri wants a relaxed environment but at the same time do not want the concentration level of a young team to waiver.
The general notion in the team is that we can take some time off from the game but there is no reason to rejoice as the next opponents are South Africa led by the talismanic AB de Villiers and a bowling attack led by world's best fast bowler Dale Steyn.
However there was no such compulsions for the Indian fans as there was a sea of humanity at Adelaide?s famous Hindley Street where they all sang and danced till midnight. "Having bought tickets worth 180 AUD and driven all the way from Melbourne, this was really a dream come true. What more do you want than a Virat Kohli century and a big Indian win against Pakistan. I don't mind bunking office on Monday as I will only reach Melbourne in the evening," Adarsh, a student said as he took generous swigs from his famous Aussie beer.
There were some hundred Indian fans with 'dholaks' at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Adelaide where the team had put up but the players were too tired to celebrate as they quickly left the lobby and disappeared into the elevators.