(The following series has been written solely to put a smile across faces of beleaguered Indian fans. The statistical coincidences mentioned below shouldn’t be misinterpreted as anything other than humour)
The best piece of cricketing news any Indian got the past thirty days was that Zimbabwe re-entered test cricket and won a test match. At the time of writing, they looked set to win the odi series too. Finally, someone is sharing our sorrow – and who better than ‘friendly neighbour’ Bangladesh. Our cricket board has always extended hands to prolong their undeserving presence in international cricket; they are now reciprocating by extending their shoulders to cry on.
No one else is willing to share the sorrow. Experts and commentators, back home, are all up in arms with their version of “I told you so’s” with most of them using this as an opportune to take digs at BCCI (they never praise BCCI when the team wins, though). The print and scream (read: tv) media have used all possible headlines with ‘D’ company “demolished to disgraced to dethroned” and their English counterparts are rubbing it even harder with nastiest of words.
All the television ranting (by ex-cricketers and anchors) aside, those insanely intelligent people are still not able to zero in on exact ten reasons for defeats and suggest the fixes. Here’s my take on the first five steps we need to take, to ensure our return to the zenith:
1. Get Dhoni divorced. Captain cool M S Dhoni got engaged around July 2010. His scores pre engagement and post engagement look as far apart as ‘BCCI’ and ‘vision’. Since Mrs. Dhoni came into his life, in 17 tests, Mahi has averaged just 30.6. This is around 33 per cent lower than his average of 42.6, accumulated over the previous 43 tests. Even behind the wickets he is less alert. Post July 2010, he affected just five stumpings ie. one in every 3.5 tests; however pre July 2010 he had 20 stumpings to his name ie. one in every 2.2 tests! Another 33 per cent drop in performance!
2. Give the team enough breaks for biriyanis and laddoos. The team wins a world cup and the poor cricketers are not even allowed to celebrate. For every job news, engagement news or passing of examination we gobble sweets aplenty. Be it Gen X, Y or Z, asking for a ‘treat’ is a bare minimum bit of celebration. Yet, what wrong did our cricketers do to not deserve the desi ghee ke laddoos after THAT night in Mumbai? Reports during the first two tests, of the biryani eating and subsequent loss of concentration after lunch and tea breaks, should be looked at with sympathy and seriousness. The senior cricketers have started protesting this vociferously – look no further than Veeru’s scores, a pair of laddoos.
3. Let the cricketers celebrate their festivals. In the holy month of Ramzan, you get the best kebabs and phirnis post sunset. It’s not without reason that Zaheer couldn’t resist the stuff and headed home in time. The Bangladesh team’s performance further underlines the theory. News is that prince Yuvraj, extremely popular with all the girls in his life, decided to return home for the Raksha Bandhan festival. Since the number of princesses in Yuvi’s life are more than his test runs, he will need more time to do the filtering (read: able to clarify whom he wants as a sister and whom otherwise) and hence not available for ODIs.
4. Don’t tell VVS that he has to bat up the order. Whenever he comes early, he has the tendency to play extravagant shots (read: hook) and gift away his wicket. He likes playing with the tail. Hence when he pads up, whisper two bits in his ears
a. That Raina and Dhoni are not batsmen, currently, they are very much part of the tail and hence he needs to bat responsibly.
b. Further, the opposition is not England – they are all Australians playing for England. Australia being mentioned in front of VVS is deadlier than ‘kutte’ being mentioned infront of Dharam Praaji. This is proven over his vastly superior averages vs the kangaroos. VVS will be sure to ‘khoon pi jaaunga’.
5. Give it to England – they waited for it, they prepared for it, they longed for it, they were desperate for it and so now they will blow the trumpet, loud. During build up to the series the queen’s media interviewed every possible living English cricketer barring Richard Blakey – from Darren Gough to Alan Lamb to Ian Botham to Andrew Caddick. Midway through the series, they started making a fresh collage of interviews where experts were predicting 4-0 scores. England will keep reminding us of this summer for the next x years, but majority of Indian fans will forget and ignore it the moment we win something of note or when Sachin scores his 100th hundred, whichever comes earlier.
And we pray both come early; we sure need independence from this nightmare!
Happy Independence day!
to be continued…