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Zaheer Khan has all the answers.

by Gaurav Sethi

Still fresh from his speech at the Bradman Oration, Rahul Dravid is asked to captain the Indians in the tour opener against the Chairman’s XI. Some of the youngsters are apprehensive, why play against a team that consists of Chairmen? They may run their big corporations, but what good could they be in a cricket match?

Dravid is amused, Duncan Fletcher is unmoved.

Dravid cites an example of the Board President’s XI, how Pratibha Patel or Abdul Kalam never played for the team – it’s just a name, like the Prime Ministers XI or the…at which point, the whole lotta them crack up, and the joke’s on Dravid.

Dravid though, stoic as ever, prepares to address his team, called the Indians. He stresses that under him, instead of huddles, each player will have the chance to make a speech – to signify the 37 minutes of his Bradman Oration, the duration should be no more than 37 seconds. He takes it upon himself to make the opening speech…

“To begin with, I’d like to thank you all for playing under me. I know it’s another useless tour opener, but we must do our best. I know Sehwag doesn’t think much of warm-up games, MSD refuses to play them, and Zaks isn’t playing because..

At which point, Coach calls time. The players are perturbed, why isn’t Zaks playing?

As the tour game plays out, more speeches are made. Ishant Sharma on bowling the third delivery of his 6th over, asks for the players to gather around him…

“I was feeling good, my rhythm was good for five overs, and I was really enjoying myself, hitting the bat hard, my lengths were good too, after I bowled the third ball of the fifth over, I felt something and remembered what The Zaheer Khan had said…”

At which point, Dravid calls time. Ishant throws the ball to Ojha who completes the over but not his sentence. The players are perturbed, what had The Zaheer Khan said?

As the second day gets underway, the Indians are 240/3, Sachin on 92, on his way to a well- deserved 100. It’s been a while too, he tells himself – this hundred could make that elusive 100th somewhat easier. Which is when Zaheer appears with  gloves, and a message for Sachin. Sachin starts to walk off, the scorecard reveals Sachin Tendulkar Retired Out 92

Sachin enters the dressing room. It’s time for a speech. Coach Fletcher starts his stop-watch.

Sachin – “ I was stroking the ball well, and enjoying myself in the middle, it was one of those days when my timing was good, both VVS and I had a good partnership, we were looking good for many more when Zaks came to me and said…

And then Coach Fletcher mumbles TIME. Sachin walks off. The players are perturbed, what did Zaks say to Sachin?

The players all look to Zaks, who also walks away. 


Anonymous said...

"cites", not "sights".

Gaurav Sethi said...

Thanks Anon.

Anonymous said... is my cricket blog, mind taking a look?