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The Heavy Ball

How to get under Mitchell Johnson's skin

And what really happened between Dhawan and Kohli

Trish Plunket
06-Jan-2015
I'd like to market Brendon McCullum as a comic-book superhero. What powers do you think I should bestow upon him that he already doesn't possess? asks Merv L Stanley
Well, are these cricketing superpowers or all-purpose superpowers? Because if the former, the only thing I can think of is to give him some scary bowling abilities. Maybe an adamantium spine so he can keep on wicketkeeping and throwing himself around the field like a panther with uncommonly good catching ability.
In fact, even as a mainstream superhero Baz might benefit from something akin to super healing. Unlike some, he's not been entirely injury-free, and if you were looking for someone to market for a cricket-related X-Men knockoff, you could do much worse than having Baz as Wolverine. Short, beardy, often angry, freakishly talented… Just a pity New Zealand has no small carnivorous mammals to model his super moniker after.
Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli's fight: can you use your keen psychological insight and tell us what really happened? asks Tab Lloyd Reeder
I'm going to shatter your illusions all in one go and say I missed this occurrence entirely. There was a dressing-room spat? Handbags at dawn? A very quick Google got me all excited because there could have been knives involved, but actually reading the article was a letdown because that was just MS Dhoni attempting to be funny and utterly failing. I did also see suggestions Virat Kohli is a spoiled brat, which doesn't exactly make him unique in professional sports.
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What Shaz is really doing with the Indian team

And what Ajmal should do during his ban

Trish Plunket
30-Sep-2014
Can you draw parallels between the ICC's drive against suspect actions and McCarthyism? asks Commie Mbangwa
That is a long bow to draw, my friend. Although the zeal with which the ICC is going after bowlers could be seen as excessive, it has yet to reach the heights set by old Tail Gunner Joe. It hasn't progressed to the point where schoolboys are sending letters to the ICC reporting that their 4th XI team-mate might be straightening his elbow just a little too much. That may be the eventual goal, of course.
But right now, the ICC is opposing one of the central tenets of McCarthyism - it isn't going after the loony left. Of the 16 actions investigated by the ICC, 15 belonged to right-arm bowlers.
What do you think Ravi Shastri is really doing with the Indian team? asks Dunkin Flescher
Do you remember when you were a kid and you had a whole lot of little toys - action figures or Happy Meal trinkets or Barbies or MiniFigs, or whatever, and you could set them up all over the floor, and you were a giant, all-powerful god who could dictate the lives of these toys in an instant, who could make them bend to your will, or call down massive natural disasters that decimated their communities?
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A hobby for Srini

And the alien life form that haunts cricket. Our agony aunt knows it all

Trish Plunket
29-May-2014
I'm about to play my 100th Test but I hate Test cricket. How do I keep myself awake through the whole shebang? asks Sweet_Azz T20 Star
Firstly, congratulations on your 100th Test. And wow, no doubt you hate Test cricket. I think I'd hate anything that I spent more than a full year of my life doing, unless it involved sleeping or alcohol. Since watching Test cricket involves alcohol, and playing ideally does not, you're coming out at the bottom of the arrangement.
Frankly, if you're old enough to be playing your 100th Test then you're really bloody old and no one can rightly expect you to stay awake for the entire thing. Take a lesson from the blokes in the Long Room and drop off to sleep when you are not actually batting or bowling. You can get a substitute fielder on these days.
My dog wants to go to county cricket every day. Is there a way to train pets not to misbehave in this manner? asks Pet Refyed
Clicker training is apparently a good way to train your pets to behave, as is the use of rewards. You might try asking yourself what your dog gets out of county cricket that you are not otherwise providing in its life. Rain? Young men with odd names?
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How to qualify to coach England

And advice on ending the BCCI's reign of power

Trish Plunket
17-Feb-2014
I am a top international cricketer recently sacked by my team for being too much of a prima donna. They say there's no "i" in team but I say there is "m" and "e". Am I wrong? asks Fired-up
Well, no, linguistically you're completely correct. That's not going to help you, though, because what they really mean is they have been waiting forever for you to get over yourself and stop feeling special for being able to hit a ball with a bit of wood. However, since you don't seem to have gotten the message that they want you to behave like an adult and not a 14-year-old with access to far too much money, they have decided to get rid of you. After all, there are a dozen other MEs in the team. And as I have often said, there's no "i" in "team", but there's a "u" in "dumped".
I run the cricket board of Timbuktu and have ambitions of overthrowing and replacing the BCCI as the overlord of international cricket. Inspire me says IM Bicious
Do you have a lair? I think that every super villain should have a lair - and don't be mistaken, the BCCI is full of super villains. Having some kind of radiation poisoning in your back story and the ability to look good in tight PVC/latex is also a must. You must have TV companies in your pocket, so that they want to cater to your whims as much as their own, because you're in a parasitic relationship. You should be hell-bent on having the game run exactly as you want it, even if you have to ban something that would help your team, just to prove you're in charge. And you should be able to bend other cricketing boards to your will by controlling the drip-feed of that sweet, sweet money.
I'm really not sure how you're going to achieve this from a medium-sized city in Mali. A lair will probably help, though.
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Why Tendulkar can be sued for retiring

And what Shane Warne can teach Ish Sodhi about leggies

Trish Plunket
01-Nov-2013
If you ran a cricket board, what sort of biscuits would you serve at the general body meetings? asks Tea Lady
If by biscuits you mean alcohol, then gin. And if by biscuits you don't mean alcohol then you're asking the wrong question. Next!
I had money on Tendulkar breaking Wilfred Rhodes' record of being the oldest cricketer to play Test cricket, at 52. Do you think I have a case to sue him for wilfully misleading fans into believing he'd never retire? asks Safe Bet
I know several lawyers with the smallest scruples who would take that case. I believe he has been around forever, and since he started so ridiculously young, there will be the case that he should have finished ridiculously old.
But Tendulkar can't be blamed for this alone. I'm pretty sure you could make a case against the BCCI for threatening Tendulkar as some kind of inhuman run-scoring machine in order to make other cricket boards cower in fear and acquiesce to their every whim, and since the BCCI has a lot of whims it didn't look like it would be done threatening everyone else with him anytime soon.
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