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The night before the India Bangladesh game

by Gaurav Sethi

Previously in the shallow waters of the kids’ pool, here’s what happened.

Present - 
It’s dark except for some muted low lights behind the pool chairs; the hotel staff is cleaning the pool, some wade through the shallow while others walk alongside the pools’ perimeter with their pole-vaulting type cleaning rods. The Indian team mgt has bribed the cleaners to use the pool after hours. As planned, they meet in the deep end of the pool with Gary.

Gary: MS, you have something to say…

MSD: Well of course thanks Gary you are right there as I had said earlier when we met in the shallow waters of the kids’ pool with the water proof scorecard of the 2007 World Cup game with Bangladesh to do a quick recap that we will meet in the deep with Gary because more than a Revenge match that Viru had so rightly called it we need to see who are the big boys who will take the fight when the going gets tough so we are here where the going is tough in the deep and the pool cleaners will make it hard for us even though we have paid them off to carry on our monkey business at this hour of night so who all are in attendance I will make a roll call because I can’t tell in the dark who is who and what is what…Sachin

Sachin (adjusting his trunks in the water, the great one squeeks): Present

Gary: Thank you Sachin for coming, you didn’t have to

MSD: Well of course it sets an example for the youngsters that even a senior player like Sachin has come for a late night meeting in the pool when we know how he feels about late night meetings from the IPL parties which he so rightly did not attend to extend his career…Viru

Right at that moment, Viru jumps into the pool..and lands on Raina…

Viru (almost like Sachin): Present…sir

Raina is knocked out, seeing stars…and barely a second later Gambhir jumps in, also landing on Raina

Gambhir: Oh, sorry bhai…lagi toh nahi…(and to MSD, like Viru) Present sir

MSD: Of course Viru and Gauti are coming from their late night dinner date and have just made it in the nick of time, that settles the top 3…Gary has suggested we do a random call now, pick names written in florescent ink from the water proof bag…what do we have here…of course it's Suresh Raina…

Raina has still not recovered from Viru+Gauti’s moon-landings on him. Yusuf and Kohli and Chawla have somehow laid him out flat outside the pool – Kohli is trying some artificial respiration on him. Raina has come around but Kohli continues with his mouth-to-mouth – Raina tries to mumble a 'yes sir' but his voice is lost against Kohli's lips...

MSD: Well of course seeing that Raina has not answered in time we take it that he has not made it for the Deep end of the pool test to select the team which means the batsmen choose themselves and we don’t need to call out any more names

Which is when Kohli releases Raina, who yelps out

Raina: I’m here…Kohli…

MSD: Well of course you are here but a little late and why are you so out of breath – you sound as if Viru and Gauti jumped you in the pool

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