Cardboard stumps and diplomacy as Modi, Albanese parade at Test
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese performed a lap of honour aboard a cricket-themed golf cart Thursday before settling in to watch the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
Both leaders waved to cheering spectators as they were driven around the outfield at the world's largest cricket stadium before play between India and Australia.
Their transport had cutouts of cricket bats and stumps, and there were also large billboards of both men at Narendra Modi Stadium, which is named after the Indian premier.
The ceremony inaugurated the arrival of 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 can house 132,000 spectators but predictions it could be close to capacity proved far wide of the mark.
Instead it looked about half full for the opening day of the fourth and final Test.
Thousands of people then left after both prime ministers departed after the first hour.
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 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.