Sunday, 6 May 2007

Tendulkar, Dravid…Ganguly next in the hit-list?

(Rahul Dravid, following his bleeding nose to dressing room)

A day in the life of a conspiracy theorist.

If you just recall the freak incidents in Team India’s conditioning camp at Eden Gardens, the uncanny similarity raises the obvious question. Are the juniors, reportedly browbeaten by their senior teammates in the World Cup, out there to avenge their humiliation in the Caribbean?

Reports claimed one of the junior pacers was bullied by a fellow Team India senior in the World Cup. We don’t know if it was S Sreesanth but what we know that the Kerala pacer, equally capable of earning his stripes as a dancer-actor in any South Indian movie, hurled a snorter that had the Achilles ’ heel, I mean Sachin Tendulkar’s heal, sprained. Physio John Gloster, a busy man these days, rushed with the ice pack and Tendulkar was seen cooling his heels. Healing of his heels took some time and he was left alone to count the rows at the Eden Gardens.

The second incident had a gory end. Rudra Pratap Singh was perhaps led to believe that Rahul Dravid personified all the apparent injustice meted out to him. The UP southpaw duly sent down a bouncer and The Wall collapsed, hit on the visor and left with a bloody nose. Dravid was soon following his nose, bleeding one, to the dressing room.

Don’t be misled by the incident. Metaphorically, RP did not hit Dravid’s nose, merely thumbed his own at Dravid. And RP can’t feign ignorance either, for it happened right under the nose of each and every Team India member.

The third incident went less noticed. VRV Singh (Rudra Pratap/Vikram Raj Vir…valour galore) brought a groundsman to his knee with a mighty throw during the practice. Indian players were practising running between the wickets – against An achilles’ heel-- when the incident took place.

Now my gut feeling is that VRV, assigned to take care of another senior member, actually had Sourav Ganguly in his hit-list. The poor Punjab pacer probably mistook the Bengali-speaking groundsman for Ganguly and it was a rare classic case of a fast bowler delivering a leg-break.

Ganguly, of course, can take heart from the fact that cats have nine lives and a desperate lot still hails him as the Big Cat, the Royal Bengal Tiger. But the danger is clearly far from over.

(Photo: The Hindu)

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