Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Black Friday - Mar 23, 2007

So India is out of the world cup. Let's try to paint the picture of what happens now -

(1) First of all, Greg Chappell's contract renewal won't happen. India starts shopping for a new coach. It looks like Mohinder Amarnath would get the hot seat. And oh, from now on none of Chappell's fingers will be wounded so easily ;)

Boy, Bob Woolmar may have been killed, but in reality Greg is the one who died!

(2) Rahul Dravid is sacked ignominiously before Bangladesh series. Whoever (probably Sourav) gets the captaincy wins big time in Bangladesh and ensures a solid job stability for next two years.

Guess who would be fielding in deep thirdman now? Sad, but I think a lot of members in this team totally hate him and whoever becomes the captain would avenge for all of them.

(3) Kumble retires from one-day cricket. How humiliating it is when you're 37 and still not considered in big important matches. Remember how our parents used to say "Get older, and you too can play". It's really difficult to say the same to a 37 year old and have him convinced.

(4) VVS comes back to one day team. If Sourav is captain, he asks VVS to keep wickets, may be just behind Dhoni. Just in case. D Karthik continues to be the 3rd keeper in team. Just in case. We still keep playing four bowlers. Only two of them in 20-20s.

(5) Sachin Tendulkar gets "hurt" during some low-key practice match. He gets a "six-month rest advised" by Ananth Joshi (or his now-practicing son). That way his contracts etc remain intact, he still earns Rs 3 crores a year guaranteed as a "Grade A" player. His reputation will mostly be salvaged by big media. Outlook and India Today both place him in the list of "Top 10 Influential Indians".

Someone does a PhD from Trichie proving Tendulkar's lack of -- err -- height was totally caused by the heavy bats he's been using.

He will stage a big comeback in the next domestic tour of New Zealand by scoring 11, 113 and 3 in a three match series. His interview next day will be titled "I never cared about critics" in Mid-day Mumbai.

(6) M S Dhoni's decline accelerates. His woeful wicket-keeping and more- than-what's-due batting acclaim subsides. Lack of technique in cricket is like terminal lung cancer. None survives more than few months. OK, may be a year at the most.

Second ring of wicket-keepers start hovering in and out like between 2002 and 2005. Parthiv Patel re-enters the team at some point. As one of the "senior" members this time. This is better than last time since now he can legally enter any bar - with Yuvaraj and Kim Sharma as company. No one cares about his birthday anymore though.

(7) Virendar Sehwag's life goes on. He puts on a pound every 2 month, becomes 30 with 3 hair on his head that he calls a "shaved" one. Scores a 289 in a drawn to yawn test against Sri Lanka in Chinnaswamy Stadium and a total of 347 runs in the whole year.

(8) Zaheer Khan continues eating the Ranji and Dulleep batsmen for breakfast, dinner and munchies. In the tri-series final with England and Australia he loses the match for India in first 3 overs and 2 balls.

(9) Ranadeb Basu gets a chance. Fails because he's too old for international level fast bowling now.

(10) Kaif makes a comeback. Publicly wants to know from selectors why he was included in the team. Some people anyway get mad and paints his home black. Asian Paints stock shoots up on a desperately down BSE day.

(11) About 4 years later, Indian junta lines up signing the gigantic bat travelling between cities, a 'fake' world cup replica gets broken in Chandigarh display, Kapil Dev reminisces about June 25 and finally accepts he did lick the champagne not tasted it - Clinton congratulates him, Sunil Gavaskar attacks Australia for winning everything for last 3 year and hopes Indian team the best. Sponsors this time spends 97.5% of the entire worlds cricket marketing after "Team India". And then, it's deja vu all over again...

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