Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Wanted: Fit NRIs, holidaying Indians to join Men in Blue

These days, it’s not really safe for an NRI in the United Kingdom. Laid low by cold bug, Team India is struggling to put 11 fit men in the park and any holidaying Indian or NRI run the risk of being kidnapped and transported to Ireland to prop up Rahul Dravid, bowling his running nose, and his ailing team play South Africa.

S Sreesanth, MS Dhoni, Ramesh Powar, RP Singh and Ajit Agarkar have been worst hit by the bug, while Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer – count Robin Singh too – are also not keeping well.

Rakesh Patel and Arjun Yadav simply could not believe their luck when they got SOS from the Indian team to join the ailment-hit squad. For a breakthrough, you have to be at the right place at the right time, and UK is surely the place for paceman Patel and all-rounder Yadav, son of former offie Shivlal Yadav.

Patel was playing for St Helens Club in Liverpool and Yadav was closer to the Team India base at Eglinton, Ireland. It’s a life-time chance for the duo and their best chance to make an impact at this level.

It was learnt that Monty Panesar was being persuaded to join the squad, after all it's the country of his origin. In case Monty declines, his brother Isher is a certainty. BCCI, however, assures it can also pencil in Samit Dravid and Arjun Tendulkar, if needed.

Back home, pace duo of Ishant Sharma (Delhi) and Ranadeb Bose (Bengal) were also handed over their plane tickets for Ireland.

The dressing room resembles a medical ward and Dravid seemed to be reading out a medical bulletin in his pre-match press conference. It’s an awkward situation for Team India and obviously Jacques Kallis is not perturbed.


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