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England ring in dietary changes
After a worrying performance in the first Test, a desperate England have gone back to the drawing board to make some important changes. First among these appears to be adjustments to the team's dietary requirements.
"I can't understand it, but it would appear that the piri-piri breaded tofu with tomato salsa isn't working out as well as I thought it would," said Chris Rosimus, England's performance nutritionist and the man responsible for the much-derided 82-page list of dietary demands that was leaked before the series began. "As a remedial measure, I've made the executive decision to go ahead and substitute the tomato salsa with mango salsa, and in place of the quinoa with roasted butternut squash, apricot and parsley, we're going to try a long-line-caught Pacific Ocean codswallop delicately braised with a pre-chewed paste of organic sundried heirloom tomatoes. If that doesn't lift our performances in the games to come, I don't know what will."
Joe Root growing moustache for Movember
Joe Root has grown a moustache in observance of Movember, according to Joe Root. "Yeah, always happy to be a part of a good cause," said Root, referring to the month-long event involving the growing of moustaches to raise awareness of men's health issues. "I can always shave it off later," he added, making what appeared to be twirling motions with his fingers on either side of his bare upper lip.
"For god's sake, don't tell him there's nothing there," hissed Kevin Pietersen. "We don't want to shatter his confidence at such a crucial juncture in the series."
In related news, "What's Movember?" asked Ravindra Jadeja and Shikhar Dhawan.
Tino Best to appear in Tamil film
After Darren Bravo, it's Tino Best's turn to take a star turn in a Tamil movie. While Bravo made a cameo in a dance sequence, Best is all set for his role as a good Samaritan who selflessly devotes his life to looking after an elderly woman suffering from Parkinson's, before tragedy strikes one day when, for no discernible reason, Best lifts the woman in her wheelchair and smashes it against a wall while screaming histrionically.
Steve Rixon has expressed his indignation at being asked to fly all the way to Sri Lanka to be present for an interview for the post of Sri Lanka coach. "Look, someone of my stature and international coaching pedigree can't be expected to go to Sri Lanka for an interview, and then, if offered the job, to be expected to go to Sri Lanka to coach the team," sputtered Rixon. "Don't they have Skype down there?"
India's lost generation of middle-order batsmen
As news of Sachin Tendulkar's retirement reaches even the remotest outposts of the world, members of India's lost generation of No. 4 batsmen have slowly started making their way down from the tiny Himalayan village where they have been sequestering themselves in self-imposed isolation for the past two decades or so.
These forgotten no-hopers were shunned as outcasts by their own board for as long as Tendulkar was in the line-up, and it may be recalled they eventually gave up on thoughts of ever gaining a place in the national team and migrated away from their respective state associations to this tiny hamlet in the middle of nowhere, seeking refuge against the crushing discrimination they otherwise experienced. But Tendulkar's retirement has given them a new lease of life.
"We've been waiting for this day for a long time," said Subramaniam Badrinath, clothed in the white single-piece toga that the community has adopted as its own. "Even if it's too late for any of us now to make it as a No. 4 batsman in the national team, there is new hope for our children."
At press time, however, the long line of middle-order batsmen making its way down the mountain had since reversed direction and gone back up, as reports of a 15-year-old Mumbai batsman already being dubbed "the next Sachin Tendulkar" filtered through.
All in good fun
Michael Clarke has dismissed as harmless "banter" his comments to Jimmy Anderson that he was going to get his arm broken during the final session's play of the first Ashes Test. "As professional players, we know better than to take such things seriously," explained Clarke. "I'm sure that later on we'll have a drink and laugh about it. Maybe I'll break the ice by telling him that I'm going to eat his children while he watches. Yeah, he'll probably get a kick out of that. Oh, such fun."
Captain hesitates before deciding what to do after winning toss
In a break from the norm, a captain hesitated quite a bit before making the choice of whether to bat or field upon winning the toss. "Well, let me see now," he said, "on the one hand I can insert the opposition without any hesitation. On the other, I could act without any hesitation myself in inserting ourselves in to bat. Decisions, decisions." The skipper continued to hem and haw for 20 minutes before being able to come to a decision, leaving dumbfounded commentators unsure of how to begin their work, as the term "didn't hesitate to" used in relation to the captain's decision upon winning the toss had been taken away from them.
Sidhu talks through his donkey
With Navjot Singh Sidhu's return to commentating for international matches, broadcasters have had to make some adjustments to better accommodate his unique style. The biggest change by far has been to modify the commentary box so there's enough room in there for his donkey puppet. "As always, when Sidhu commentates, you have to put in an extra seat and microphone for him to accommodate his puppet donkey," said a technician. "Everyone knows he likes to ventriloquise. He just loves talking through his ass."
R Rajkumar tweets here.
All quotes and "facts" in this piece are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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