Brisbane: The vanquished Indian cricket team, barring a couple of players, headed back home on Saturday, drawing curtains on a disastrous Australian tour during which it lost more than it gained.
As soon as Sri Lanka beat Australia in Melbourne on Friday to send India crashing out of the CB series, the reservation plans were put afoot and the players lost little time in leaving for home on Saturday.
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 would 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 on Saturday afternoon (Australian time), again for Singapore where they would take the flight to Delhi.
Irfan Pathan and Parthiv Patel, with bases in Gujarat, will leave for home on Sunday.
The Indians weren't exactly glued to their TV screens on Friday to watch the outcome of the Australia-Sri Lanka match which decided the CB series finalist against Australia.
A few wandered around in the market while a small group had dinner together. Only a few were hooked onto their television screens on Friday night.
India had raised hopes of making it to the finals of the one-day series with an astonishing chase of 321 in 36.4 overs against Sri Lanka at Bellerive Oval in Hobart earlier this week. However, Sri Lanak's win on Friday ended India's chances.
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 series.
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 to Bangladesh to play the Asia Cup, starting from March 13-22. Post Asia Cup, it will be time for the fifth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), starting April 4.