Satire: Team meeting before the 2nd Test turns out to be chaotic
An urgent team meeting was called to chew over the game plan before the 2nd Test. It’s not so often we see a team losing after taking a first innings lead of about 200, as it needs some rare and mysterious skill to lose the ground after being in such commanding position most of the time. Losing Test matches one after another for at least a year, is probably the one and only way to acquire this unique skill.
The atmosphere inside the room wasn’t calm and serene as its owner Ajinkya Rahane. The walls were full of red ball imprints, and Shikhar Dhawan who is next to his room has already expressed his displeasure towards Jinx’s ‘throw and catch’ game, as it was disturbing his slumber in the middle of the night.
Virat Kohli is walking to and from in the middle of the room, thumping his right fist on his left palm occasionally and murmuring something in Hindi. As usual Dhawan was enjoying the beauty of his moustache by twisting its ends up and down. Rohit Sharma looks perplexed by the 2x2 Rubik’s cube gifted by his would-be. Harbhajan Singh is staring at the red Kookaburra in his hand just as he was seeing it for the first time. Wriddhiman Saha and Lokesh Rahul were running aimlessly in the middle playing ‘hide and seek’.
Suddenly everyone’s attention turned to Saha, who fell back after colliding with something like Burj Khalifa. Oops! He just ran into Ravi Shastri.
Shastri didn’t utter a word. Instead, he gave his typical stare at Saha and entered the room. Saha seems scorched.
Shastri took his seat near the wall. Between all those red imprints, Jinx found some space to hang a photo of Shastri, just above where he was sitting right now. Nothing but, mere coincidence.
Shastri: So boys, It’s time to turn the tide. It may sound humdrum if I quote the adage ‘Failures are stepping stones to success.’ Anyway…
“The next step is on the moon!” Somebody commented. Nobody laughed. Nobody dared to laugh. The facetious remark just dissolved in the utter silence.
Kohli: Ravi bhai, where have you been for the last couple of days. I’ve been looking for you since the day of our loss.
Shastri: Oh! I had a really bad headache. Decided to take some rest. That’s just what the doctor ordered.
“This headache seems to pop-up only when we lose” Bhajji muttered. Ashwin controlled his giggle.
Shastri: I heard you, Mr. Harbhajan Singh. Tell me, how many wickets did you take in the match? I think I have got more balls, sorry, more eyes than your number of wickets. So don’t speak too much.
Everyone chortled. Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin hooted with laughter until Turbanator retorted.
Bhaji: How many of your Test centuries were in the winning cause, Kohli? And Ash, what about your 10 useless wickets? Jinx took a World record of 8 catches and still we lost. Why?
Bhaji: We lost not because of me, but because of our spineless batting. We batted well in the 1st innings but failed to emulate the same in the 2nd innings. And adding salt to the wound, there were umpiring blunders by Nigel Llong and company. I still don’t understand why he adjudged me out. The ball hit my pad first and then the bat. Ridiculous decision! Had I been there at the crease for a longer period, I would have won it for India.
Dhawan (with a contemptuous smile): Go and study the rules of cricket, you moron!! I know you have forgotten how to spin a cricket ball, but I never knew that you have this much of memory loss!! Urgent treatment needed.
Bhaji: How dare you call me a moron! Where was your impetuous tongue when you were struggling to put bat on ball in England and Australia, idiot. You were just as good as your moustache. Good for nothing other than show off. (Paused for a while and continued) Have you heard of the famous Kolkata Test of 2001? 6+7, 13 wickets against the old and mighty Australia. And do you have any idea about how I pulled off an astonishing victory in the Mumbai Test of 2004? And you are trying to teach me cricket! You silly boy!
Dhawan: If you wanna open the old history book, let it be so. Do you know who was the player of the tournament in the 2013 champions trophy which India won quite comfortably? Who gave the much-needed impetus to the top order of the Indian team after Viru bhai left?
Bhaji: You think you are emulating Sehwag! God, how pathetic!!
The squabble went on until Rohit Sharma stood up and exploded.
Rohit: Cut the crap!! Will you guys stop this blabbering? Yes, we lost the game, but not the spirit. Our batting needs more solidity. I think it’s time for me to reproduce one of my incredible innings. A double ton is on the way. Why fear, when 264 is here?
The narcissist inside hitman popped its head out.
“be*c**d!, One more word and I’ll cut you into pieces!!” Kohli went ballistic.
Kohli: Do you remember promising me something like you’re going to break all the records of Test cricket in the previous match? And what an idiot I was, to believe you. That cursed moment I chose you over Pujara! Class, talent, double hundred and a load of bull s**t!
Shastri: (thumping his fists on the table) Enough! We’re not here for any stupid fight. We need to sort out our issues in the longer format of the game. So let’s get into the subject. I think what we need is a change. A radical change. A drastic change. A draconian change. Do you guys get it?
“No.” Amit Mishra responded. Now he really looks like a kid.
Shastri: What I mean is, I’m planning to bring Umesh Yadav in place for you, Mishra.
Mishra: What the heck?? I don’t understand. I didn’t do anything wrong. Why always me?
Shastri: Sorry Mishra, you are already over 32 and I’m looking for some young blood. Harbhajan came here with a recommendation letter from Nita Ambani, so I should respect that. And I need some serious pace. More speed, More aggression, and more destruction.
The veins on Shastri’s face bulged out when he said this.