Monday 19 March 2012

Why Rahul Dravid Is Likely To Come Out Of Retirement

If you are Shahid Afridi, your idea of a perfect week goes probably something like this:

Monday: Sulking.
Tuesday: Threatening to retire.
Wednesday: Retiring.
Thursday: Hinting a comeback.
Friday: Negotiating comeback.
Saturday: Announcing comeback.
Sunday: Sulking.

But then Rahul Dravid is no Afridi despite their obvious similarity in the sense both are like poles. Dravid north and Afridi south.

So when Dravid retired, you naturally thought he was gone for good.

Doosra, however, has reasons to believe Dravid will do an Afridi and come out of his retirement.

The following conversation between The Wall and his Wife (what do you call a wall's wife? Firewall?) explains why.

Wife: There you are. Why did it take so long to get the boys from school?

RD: Well...I mean...I sort of missed the school bus.

Wife: Home come you missed such a distinct-looking bus?

RD: Err...I mean from where I stood, the bus looked quite outside the off-stump. So...I...sort of...let it go.

Wife: What! Have you lost your mind? OK, from now on you’d pick the boys from school itself.

RD: Sorry, I’m not going to that school again. Those infernal kids! One of them wrote something on my back. "Uncle, do you see what I wrote on your back?" I said "no". He said "Too bad you can't see the writing on the wall."

Wife: What!

RD: You heard it. That nickname has become my albatross. One of those little devils went further and said "Uncle, I lost my pet dog. Can I stick a bill on your back, please?"

Wife: What!

RD: And they call my son half-wall!

Wife: Good lord! What do you do now? Can’t take you to shopping either after that fight with the shopkeeper.

RD: As if that was my fault! It rained for a while and I was perfectly within the laws to ask him to revise the price under Duckworth-Lewis method.

Wife: And who started the fight in the furniture shop? You drilled 19 divans with that car key!

RD: See, I was just testing the bounce.

Wife: Bounce my foot! Gawd, don’t know what to do with you. You are no good at julienning tomatoes or dicing a cucumber, so not much of a help in the kitchen either.

RD: See I spent my career building a sound technique, largely avoiding risky cuts and slices.

Wife: You drive me crazy. You can’t polish your own shoe – you apply saliva and rub it against your trousers; you crouch and spit on your hand before you catch a flight; you refuse to go to market after tea, insisting on sending a nightwatchman; you criticise me for not having a proper follow through while ironing. I’m tired of it.

RD: So am I.

Wife: Well, get it in your head. This can’t go on. You are going back to playing cricket. You got it?

RD: I guess you have a point there, a silly point.

Friday 16 March 2012

If Not A Cricketer...

...Sachin Tendulkar would have been Albert Einstein!

And it does not take rocket science or any theory of relativity to figure out why.

If you correctly recall Tendulkar in his early days and compare his mop on top with that of the Nobel Laureate, the first thing that strikes you is their common gravity-defying streak!

So there you realize, the inkling was there and pretty early too. It's only that we missed the point.

Peep into their private life and there they come, walking down the aisle with elderly ladies. As a footnote, Einstein scored over Tendulkar, doing an encore subsequently.

Let's get into serious business.

Einstein propounded E = mc2. Tendulkar's riposte was a solid T20 = Dessert, an equally revolutionary formula with a gastronomic tinge about it.

Einstein was considered a science icon but Tendulkar does not lag behind either.

In fact, Tendulkar is a certified Mumbai Indians icon and the attestation was done by none other than Lalit Modi, the then master of the T20 universe.

And if you still insist on similarities, here goes the clincher.

If Einstein is the Father of Modern Physics, Tendulkar is...well...father of two.

Now that should settle the issue once and for all.

P.S. Those who prefer it the other way round, read If Paris Hilton Been a Cricketer and Had Harry Potter Been A Cricketer elsewhere at BCC!.

(A reproduction of a September 11, 2009 post)


Wednesday 14 March 2012

Duncan Fletcher’s Secret Diary: Virat Kohli and His Irrepressible Middle Finger

Sort of liking VK even though he calls me, among other unmentionables, 'His Lipidness'.

In an otherwise dull dressing room-- VK insists it's Undressing Room -- he sticks out like a sore middle finger.

VK is full off aggro. Can be pig-headed too. Imagine a pighead with a Mohawk on top.

"Fatso, I got no middle name. Just middle finger," he whispered in my ear in our first meeting.

Asked him how he saw my appointment.

"S**t happens."

And he shrewdly gave me the bird.

"You like my ring?"

He'll make a good vice captain. Has all the vices of a captain.

Advised him "You just need to curb that middle finger. Learn from others."

He warned me not to equate him with team mates.

"Paancho ungliya barabar nahi hote," he said. Obviously giving me the finger to drive home the point.

Poor chap. Couldn't digest the fact that he has to be a floater as long as the seniors are around.

"S**t floats."

Could have been a good weightlifter as well. Always lifting something -- team performance, spirit, Tendulkar.

Just as we were about to leave our hotel in Australia, VK got down from the bus, walked back to the lobby and suddenly lifted the bellboy.

"Poor dude. Carried the burden of the guests since joining the job. It's time we carried him on our shoulder."

So much so that Tendulkar refuses to share room with him.

"Aila, I don’t want to open my eyes in the night and find myself perched on his shoulder. It’s so unnerving."

Friday 9 March 2012

Rahul Dravid - Methuselah in Flannel

This piece of statistics confirmed our worst fears last years.

Rahul Dravid has faced most deliveries in test cricket's history. A staggering 29,125 before he resumed the self-flagellation in England and Australia.

And by the time he was sick with test cricket, Dravid had faced 31,258 deliveries, to go with the 15,284 in ODIs and 1369 in T20s.

Now -- and here I want you to follow closely-- if you quickly look around to make sure none is watching you and shrewdly put them together, Dravid has faced 47,911 deliveries.

For argument’s sake, let's assume every delivery took one minute each.

After all the sightscreen has to be moved; the batsman has to make sure the rival skipper has not sneaked in an extra fielder; the non-striker has to conclude his chit-chat with the mid-on fielder wherein both inquire about the female members in each other’s family and so on.

Also, the ball has to be licked, rubbed, roughened, scratched and its seam assaulted -– with nail, both human and iron, bottle-openers and even Afridi's teeth -– before the bowler starts his run up.

And if Shoaib Akhtar is the bowler, a batsman can afford a quick power nap without risking oversleeping as the Pakistani's grunt would wake him up just in time to face the ball.

You can safely say Dravid has spent an estimated 47,911 minutes waiting for deliveries.

Any stout calculator will tell you that’s slightly less than 800 hours or nearly 34 days.

To give you an idea, a female White Stork which has just laid a clutch of eggs would rush back expecting them to hatch after she had watched all deliveries aimed at Dravid at one go.

Now it takes a lot of patience to do that and I’m not talking about a female White Stork’s egg laying.

Even his staunchest detractor would admit Dravid has been patient.

In fact so patient that he was promptly drawn to a doctor who became his better half. Three-quarters, if you fuss.

So if Dravid looked like cricket's Methuselah, you know why.

He faced 47,911 deliveries, mind you. And that excludes his wife's two.

(P.S. This is a mildly-tweaked reproduction of a July 20, 2011 post)