The Heavy Ball

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India brains trust fixes the Test team

Stuttering side put back on track after vital meeting

Alan Tyers

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A
Duncan Fletcher, MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar at practice, Mumbai, November 9, 2012
Duncan Fletcher chairs a "How to get out of this one alive" strategy meeting © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of India
Teams: India

With the Indian Test team in crisis, an emergency meeting was convened among some of the country's most respected cricketing figures.

"Thank you all for coming," said Ravi Shastri. "Welcome to this lovely conference suite that has been laid on by the wonderful senior management at BCCI. What a sensational job they have done on organising this meeting, with the little bottles of water and breath mints and so on.

"As I brilliantly joked to Alastair Cook, the cook may have become a Masterchef, but our glorious masters at the board have cooked up such a feast of outstanding leadership and organisation that they are like a hotel with full board and a Michelin star."

An embarrassed silence fell upon the room as Shastri's latest witticism sank in. Eventually it was broken as players' representative Virender Sehwag woke with a start.

"What? Eh?" shouted a disorientated Sehwag. "More rotis. And some Snickers bars. With a pizza."

He dozed back off.

"We face some tough choices," said chief selector Sandeep Patil. "For instance, do we keep Fletcher in place to absorb some of the blame, or do we blame everything on him and sack him on the spot?"

"Now look here," said Duncan Fletcher. "I've done everything I can. We've a lad in at eight who can't spin it much but is getting some useful runs down the order.

"I tried to get some of the batsmen working on the forward press but they said they found it tiring and needed to spend more time with their accountants. I am confident that we can find a battery of pace bowlers who can reverse at 78mph for minutes at a time before needing surgery. What more can I do?"

N Srinivasan stood up.

"You can recognise the crisis facing Indian cricket in one of the most significant weeks of our history," he said. "There is a chance that Chennai Super Kings might be doing a really big sponsorship deal with Kentucky Fried Chicken, and we all need to focus on what is really important."

A flunky passed him a note.

"Sorry, I am mistaken," said Srinivasan. "The big issue is, of course, whether Sachin can get his 256th catch in international cricket in the next Test. Everyone in Indian cricket must work together to help achieve this key goal and magnificent milestone."

"Hooray for the wise leadership of Srinivasan," said Shastri. "Can I have my money now, please?"

Everyone patted each other on the back and went back to the important business of arranging IPL deals and smashing up video-recording equipment. Sachin was sure to take that vital catch. The future was in good hands.

RSS FeedAll quotes and "facts" in this piece are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?
Alan Tyers' new book with illustrator Beach is Who Moved My Stilton? - The Victorian Guide to Getting Ahead in Business

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Comments: 26 
Posted by KukaSekhon on (December 12, 2012, 2:33 GMT)

Yeah its kind a right sarcastic write up but you missed out Dhoni. Theevergreen Caprtain cool. lol. We had the god working hard to get 256th catch. Nawab busy complaining about food. And temparamental Gambhir busy being uspet. Zaheer busy being injured and that completes the pic. Cement guy did well in your piece. You missed out on Pawar, Shukla, Manohar, Shetty the BCCI flag bearers cause they were busy planning funeral services for sentiments of Indian cricket fans

Posted by JShells88 on (December 11, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

Great Article, completely sums up the Indian set-up!

Posted by vpk23 on (December 11, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

It looks like tendular is waiting for his SON to be selected so that he can open the batting with him to create what will surely be an unbreakable Record. (Will surely ...is crazy as an idea can be in the real future tense)

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

quite funny, and true too! BCCI does have a bug up it's ugly bottom!

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

a masterpiece out here.a master piece..kudos. "The big issue is, of course, whether Sachin can get his 256th catch in international cricket in the next Test. Everyone in Indian cricket must work together to help achieve this key goal and magnificent milestone." omG..lol. why doesn't the guy retire.

Posted by Optimistix on (December 11, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

While I agree that immediately after the World Cup win would have been a perfect moment for Sachin to retire, it is hilarious to see so many people compare him with Ponting, as though Punter wasn't hanging on. Ponting had a much longer lean spell in tests before leaving.

It's always sad to see people asking greats to leave, but very few players get the timing of their retirement right - Gavaskar, Imran and McGrath are among the exceptions who come to mind.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

lol good one Alan specially Shewag waking up had me in stiches. Indian Fans ask BCCI to spend some money on a collective sense of humour

Posted by Krishnahk86 on (December 11, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

He..he...while people on this page chide away impartially or otherwise @ Sachin Tendulkar and other players, without playing a single game of international cricket...i'm tempted to wonder. Seriously.

Posted by pratit on (December 11, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Good one. Especially the Srinivasan part. The Ravi Shastri part was easy. He has become a walking caricature now

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

Pretty boring. This is more like "earning my daily bread" rather than actually writing. Recommending Zaltzman.

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Alan Tyers
Alan Tyers writes about sport for the Daily Telegraph and others. He is the author of six books published by Bloomsbury, all of them with pictures by the brilliant illustrator Beach. The most recent is Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects. Alan is one of many weak links in the world's worst cricket team, the Twenty Minuters.

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Alan Tyers Alan Tyers writes about sport for the Daily Telegraph and others. He is the author of six books published by Bloomsbury, all of them with pictures by the brilliant illustrator Beach. The most recent is Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects. Alan is one of many weak links in the world's worst cricket team, the Twenty Minuters.
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