Ravinchandran Ashwin lauded Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman after he was handed over to India by Pakistan on Friday. Netizens have been singing praises of the IAF pilot who made the country proud with his brave efforts against the neighbouring country. And the Indian cricketer also proudly wrote that he has never seen a ‘bigger hero’ that him.
Taking to the microblogging website, the Indian test star using the hashtag #WelcomeBackAbhinandan tweeted, “In my time alive on this planet, I haven’t seen a bigger hero.”
Ashwin, a few days ago, had expressed his concern for the IAF Wing Commander and how his family would be worried about him.
The IAF pilot like the off-spinner is from Tamil Nadu. Addressing a rally in the state on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, “Everyone Indian is proud that the brave Wing Commander Abhinandan belongs to Tamil Nadu.”
Wing Commander Abhinandan returned to India on Friday, two days after accomplishing an extraordinary - perhaps unprecedented - feat in the skies above Lam Valley in J&K's Nowshera, after which he was captured by Pakistan.
On February 27, a day after Indian Air Force conducted air strikes inside Pakistan territory and bombed camps of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed - orchestrator of Pulwama terror attack - the Pakistan Air Force aircrafts tried to infiltrate the Indian airspace and attack military establishments.
Three F-16 jets entered the Indian territory, following which the Indian Air Force sent their own aircraft on air to tackle them. Within no time, the Pakistani F-16s were forced back. Wing Commander Abhinandan's MIG-21 Bison shot and brought down a Pak F-16 before being hit by ground fire. Wing Commander Abhinandan ejected but his parachute got caught in a westerly heading as a result of which he landed in Pakistani territory and was captured.
On Thursday, Pakistan PM Imran Khan had announced the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan, attempting to stitch together the narrative that it was a 'goodwill gesture'.