Satire: Dhoni addresses Rohit, Virat and Ravi Shastri after India's loss
I had settled on the sofa with a large coffee mug to celebrate the Independence Day with India's win. What impetuosity, Rangana Herath must have been thinking thousands of mile away at Galle. As wickets tumbled like nine pins, my initial helplessness turned to utter panic. Of course, I knew I will be blamed for the loss.
Within minutes of the loss, there was a text message from Virat which read "Why did you do this to us?" It was followed by an angry emoticon. If inside sources are to be believed, the team led by Ravi Shastri has come up with a plan to hold a press conference soon where they will blame me for the loss.
I am moved to see Dada has supported me and said if I had been in the team, India would have chased down the target. He has also called me the best player of spin in the country. Oh, the honour! You know why I had asked Dada to captain for the last few minutes in the Test match he was retiring? So that he could come out in my support when others would ask me to retire when my days were numbered. Dada seems to have done his duty now.
But he has also put me in a spot now. Ravi Shastri is fuming now. "I never knew Dhoni is a good player of spin," Ravi has said. "If he is, indeed, he should have joined the team and helped the players during the net sessions. He doesn't need a formal invitation after all. He should have been the patriotic Indian and been here, like he had stayed back with the team in Australia for the last Test after announcing his retirement."
Ravi, as much as I love him, seems to have forgotten my innings in the 2011 World Cup final. If I was playing today, I would have promoted myself to no. 3. That is the position where India seems to need a player now. One of those famous sixes of mine over long on would have made Herath look like a schoolboy. This guy couldn't spin the ball to save his life in the first innings and you have now made him look better than Muralitharan. What an ignominious disgrace!
Virat, the entire media will be after you if you lose another one now and your expletive-filled tirades then will dig a deeper hole for you. You know, that is another reason why Ravi blames me -- why after all these years I couldn't teach you to be calm like me. Calmness would have seen you through today. How many times have I recommended milk and padmasana to you, Virat? Tell me what did you choose instead? Expletives and tattoos!
The history of sport is the history of comebacks. If you take me back, I will make you a better number 3 I promise than that hitman whose one innings seems to have bought him life insurance. 264 is his lucky charm now -- he takes 264 dips in the Ganges on auspicious occasions now, he absolutely refuses to check into a hotel room with any other number and he has been silently advised by the priest to already name his child 264 in the future.
Alternatively, with Saha getting some runs -- though he was horrendous with the gloves -- I can now play as an all-arounder who is the fifth bowling option. My medium pace is pretty decent and surely, I can't bowl any worse than the turbanator at the moment. Can't you see Bhajji has stopped spinning the ball and bowls medium pace now? Maybe, he is trying to emulate Kumble at the fag end of his career. But at a time when we have been hearing so much about dinosaurs in the dressing room, what is Bhajji doing here?
But reports are emerging that Ravi bhaiya has other plans. I have just heard the starting XI has already been decided for the Colombo Test and the first name on the list is that of Rohit Sharma. Ravi hasn't decided where Rohit will bat but with if Vijay does not return, he thinks he will drop KL Rahul and open with Rohit.
With Dhawan showing a tendency of getting into a shell, Rohit can provide the impetus at the top of the innings according to Ravi. After all, the move to open with Rohit in ODIs has resurrected his career. If he can do it in ODIs, then why not in Test matches, thundered Ravi. This is just what the doctor has ordered.
Ravi is additionally contemplating giving Rohit the additional responsibilities of taking up the wicket-keeping gloves. Saha can then bat down the order as a specialist batsman. Anything to keep me out it seems! And of course, Cheteshwar Pujara, whom Ravi has asked to play more English county cricket to 'prove' himself.
I have just received two more text messages. The first one is from Pujara where he has said he is contemplating retiring from the Test team so that he can play in the T20 leagues around the world. There he will learn to hit the ball like a tracer bullet and might impress Ravi enough to break into the ODI squad. A lucrative IPL offer won't seem too far off either then!
And Kohli has texted me to say Ravi is turning up the heat on him to get big double hundreds now. Otherwise, the Test captaincy will soon be passed on to Rohit. I wish you all the best, boys! My position as a Lieutenant Colonel training with the elite Para regiment in Agra is far more respectful now than to bat at number 3 in Test matches.
The man who bats there in the current team has already been approached by life insurance companies for sponsorship. But Rohit, I have heard, being the true ambitious game-changer, has turned them down. He will start his own company soon.
[Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction done in jest. This has absolutely no claims to truth and is not meant to hurt anyone's sentiment.]