Satire: How India conspired to lose the 4th ODI to keep the series alive
On the eve of the 4th ODI, the coaches and captains of both the Indian and the South Africa teams met. Pleasantries were exchanged and hands shaken. Virat Kohli assured his RCB teammate AB de Villiers that his team would pay him a tribute in his comeback match. A contract was signed to keep the series alive.
What transpired in the Pink ODI at the Johannesburg was all part of India’s plan to help the Proteas regain their lost confidence.
Winning the toss and batting first was one of the many acts of kindness that were to soon follow. Despite the thunderstorm forecast and the knowledge that Duckworth–Lewis favours the team batting second, Kohli chose to take strike. He tried not to let the cat out of the bag at the toss when he apprised Michael Holding.
“That’s something we don’t want to focus on.… Weather is not under anybody’s control. You don’t know whether the thunderstorm will hit or not.”
The other "acts of kindness" were as follows.
#1 Gifting wickets
Adhering to the contrivance, Rohit Sharma gifted his wicket to Kagiso Rabada by prodding at an in-swinging delivery first up. He skillfully pushed at the ball with hard hands so much so that it could just reach Rabada’s hands, giving the impression that KG had pulled off a blinder.
In came Virat Kohli, the orchestrator of the entire plan. He paired up with Shikhar Dhawan to take the Indian innings forward. The skipper, through his free flowing drives and meticulous running between the wickets, gave the sense that order had been restored.
It was when he saw that the South African shoulders had begun to droop, he thought it to be the most opportune time to throw his wicket away. Which is why, he lobbed a simple catch to David Miller at short cover off Chris Morris. Why else would a batsman who barely plays the ball in the air in the initial part of a new spell try to go aerial?
Ajinkya Rahane came in next. As soon as Rahane found his feet, the Rain Gods were summoned as part of the pre-decided scheme of things. They came withal pomp and show, with lightning leading the way. The Umpires were clandestinely suggested to suspend play.