The President of the Club loves taking below-the-belt potshots but mistakes them for wisecracks. Lampooning the coach of your own team for being a drunkard might qualify as humour or candour in public galleries, but points towards lack of the former and excess of the latter among grown men with big responsibilities. Whatever happened to the maxim that discretion is better part of valour, especially for Pretenders occupying Highest Offices.
Prince of Nonce-kata or the Puny Master of Puritania?
Maybe the whole set-up is a Big Joke.
On the fans and hapless viewers!
Indian Team, indeed, or the BCCI XI?
The mad dog who used to be the coach till recently is now blustering with ominous intent. The glib talker played spin doctor for four years, and is now free to spin theories on the hows and whys of Indian cricket. The President who began the free-for-all looks all at sea. Perhaps he should not have let the power hunger interfere with his Presidential obligation of ensuring that the team had a sober coach to steer them. Perhaps the joke is on the Prince, or maybe, he is himself the joker.
The ex-White Ball Captain prioritizes his personal life over cricketing commitments. If one is not grudged a three-Test long Paternal Leave during the most important Test Challenge of the Calendar, skipping a meaningless bilateral ODI series must almost be considered as a matter-of-right. Curiously, the President claims that the ex-skip was asked to retain the reins in the shortest race, but ‘saddle soreness’ had become too much for him to withstand. The jilted President and his spurned buffoons have retaliated by snatching away the mantle in the intermediate format.
What the Bunch of Buffoons seems to have forgotten is that you can select your horses, but you cannot force them to run under a particular jockey. The ex-White Ball Skipper is a legendary racehorse with illustrious history. He can afford to ‘pick and choose’ when he runs- depending upon the jockeys, and the tracks, and his own moods and engagements otherwise. For now, we have a scenario where our two best bred horses have the liberty to run as and when they please, or rest otherwise, as demonstrated in Kanpur.
At the mention of tracks, one is tempted to talk about chickens and chickening out. The President once retreated into his shell at the sight of fresh grass. He must be impressed that the new-White Ball Captain keeps a set of pet bitches and calves that conveniently start acting up at the prospect of finding juicy tracks on international tours. The calf was not quite healthy, hence had to back off from taking the Kiwis head-on last year. An astute decision, one might point, considering that the whole team struggled to handle the ‘movement’.
Pulled Hamstrings are a bitch that can be made to bark and bite at the least bit of prodding. They kept the new-White Ball Captain safely ensconced in his Bubble during the Brisbane mauling and the Melbourne fight-back. One cannot hazard too many outings Down Under, if one is to maintain the myth of the Batting Genius. You play a long, full series- you are thoroughly dissected, analyzed and laid threadbare to dry up. Why take chances when your stocks are soaring and age is catching up?
To be honest, the chickening-out happened last year. This year, the new-White Ball Captain has enjoyed some Red Ball success. That daddy hundred on a surface-less pitch at Chennai, where ball randomly turned, won us the match. Another ton plus a quarter arrived in the second innings at the Oval when conditions had quite eased, and even the Breached Wall, the tubby Gilchrist and the Lord of the Flies managed to get fifties . A huge partnership at the top of the order, requiring exemplary patience, had set us ahead at Lords in another test we ended up winning. These exploits are enough to last him a couple of years. After all, he has successfully negotiated the swing and turn in 2021, if not the seam and bounce yet! There is not much point in risking one’s reputation, if not the career itself, on the grasslands of South Africa.
One might argue that the ex-White Ball, current Red Ball captain might not necessarily require the services of the new-White Ball captain in Red Ball format, but the new-White Ball Captain shall definitely need the former to fire on all cylinders in every White Ball fixture. The President has invested all his capital on building the legend of the new-Coach who comes carrying the burden of expectations, and the heavy cross of work-ethics. The problems that require solutions are legion- the mismanagement of the Master Spinner, the nascent seeds of insecurity germinating inside Sir Left-Armer, the decision on the repair or razing of the Breached Wall, the Jinx Question and the work-load on bowlers. The Rebuilding has begun in right earnest, and hopefully the Coach knows how to deflate the giant egos. Maybe get the wives to talk, and keep ‘wokeness’ out of dressing room?
The President can help by desisting from sounding his own bugle. Maybe care for Brand BCCI more than the individual Brands that players seem to have become.
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