(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)
With the Oval Test seemingly having the familiar nightmarish look as our entire summer has been, I take opportunity to complete my list of reasons why India is on a losing spree.
I had mentioned five reasons in my previous piece. Here’s the rest of the reasons for India’s defeats and the fixes which will help India get back to the zenith:
6. Remove the ‘tight slap’ ad to make Bhajji perform. Turbanator wasn’t able to concentrate on work ever since ‘that’ ad started coming on tv. He somehow felt Sreesanth produced that ad, and was taking a grand revenge. There was no limit on number of times that slap would be shown on tv, and for all his listless performances, he was feeling the hit, more and more. He has now rushed back to fight the court case and do some “ungli me tinglis” to ensure that ad is off air. Had BCCI taken care of such small issues, Bhajji wouldn’t have gone into the depressive state he finds himself in now.
7. Get Ishant to grow back his long hair. The lanky pacer from Delhi was having an awesome 2011 in Test matches – 29 wickets off five tests ie an average of close to three wickets per innings. Not to forget an awesome spell of hostile fast bowling in IPL 2011 when he single handedly demolished Kochi Tuskers. He brought his form to the Lords test where he bowled a potential match turning spell. This was, till he visited some conspiring barber in England (oops, these days this breed are called hair stylists!). After the visit, his performance is down to less than two wickets per innings. A 40 percent performance dip and worse, his economy is nearing four runs per over in these Tests.
8. Spare the excess burden on Dravid. As if, batting and slip catching weren’t enough for an old man (who one time had to dress up as a girl for a jam ad), the team burdened him with wicket keeping, and then included him in ODIs. He started having nightmares and checked if Sourav Ganguly was part of BCCI now. As a damage control exercise, he immediately announced retirement from all formats of the game barring tests – ODIs, T20, Emerging players, Gully cricket, India A etc. Ever since whispers of his inclusion in ODIs started, he has scored a nett of 46 runs off three innings – a batting average which only Raina, Ishant and Sreesanth can dream of at this stage!
9. Get Sreesanth to do his gimmicks, break dancing, snarling at batsmen and extended rituals before every ball. In his debut year (2006), amidst all the dramatics he took an impressive 35 wickets in seven Tests ie five wickets per test. Since then, criticism on his onfield demeanour and Dhoni whining in public started increasing. In the following 19 tests, he picked 49 wickets ie 2.5 wickets per test. That’s a fifty percent drop in performance. At the time of writing, in England he has given away close to 400 runs ie at a strike rate of 80 runs per wicket.
10. Force BCCI to compromise on their greed and get back to making low slow turners at home. Thanks to television revenues coming for five test match days, the world’s richest board doesn’t like pitches which can end a test match any quicker. They need to reverse their policy and start gifting the team with dustbowls of the yore – where even a Raju, Chauhan or Hirwani would look like Garner, Holding and Marshall. We need to follow the SL formula and get those square turners back. If matches at England can end inside four days, if our batsmen are struggling to total 300 there, we need to ensure the same hospitality is reciprocated to visiting teams at home too.
11. Give cricketers the option to protest for Anna Hazare Ji. When entire country is busy either with Didi, Amma or Anna, what wrong have our cricketers done not to join in the movement? Had they been given the opportunity, they would have skipped the Oval test, wouldn’t have risked slipping further in rankings and spared themselves and all of us, the torture. If Australia can reach a world cup final, after boycotting league game vs the eventual winners or if England can return home midway through a series due to terrorists attack in a city hundreds of kilometers away, surely the Indian team must be allowed to participate in revolutionary activity happening thousands of miles away.
12. Get Indian companies to chase English players, make them feel like megastars, get them to play IPL and sign multiple ads. This will get them to do multiple trips to India, excess partying, travelling on bumpy roads, hogging of excess tandoori chicken and prawn curries – a sure shot formula to lose fitness, focus, sharpness and hunger. We have ample examples back home.
A dozen of my closest cricket pals gave me an exhilarating World Cup 2011 experience – personally I feel they were the lucky charm why we won it. They contribute to this piece with two bytes.
1. “for decades, India couldn’t play abroad, these days they cant play a ‘Broad'” – apt, as Broad remains my man of the series.
2. “India vs England – 1st Test – Lost by 196 runs aur mann mein tha ek sawaal “Have they made it large?”
India vs England – 2nd Test – Lost by 319 runs aur mann mein tha wahi sawaal “Have they made it large?”
India vs England – 3rd Test – Lost by an innings and 242 runs aur aaj bhi mann mein wahi sawaal, “Have they made it large?….”
Have a great monsoon weekend!