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The Heavy Ball

The Secret Diary of Rahul Dravid, Aged 29792 Balls

A day in the life of a certain Indian player. Warning: includes screaming, takeaway food, and sit-ups

Alan Tyers
When Sachin said he felt down, Rahul stepped up and helpfully tickled his side  •  Getty Images

When Sachin said he felt down, Rahul stepped up and helpfully tickled his side  •  Getty Images

Up early for a bit of private practice on my own. I've got a machine set up to simulate the sort of questions that Ian Ward might be asking me at the end of the day's play. It generates gushing compliments and I work on sidestepping them neatly, back and across, back and across, playing with a straight bat: "Of course, it's nice to do well but the team is what is most important."
After a few hours of that it's time to tidy up the dressing room.
Gave Sreesanth his rusk. Did some fitness training; Virender asked me if I wouldn't mind doing his as well. Said okay. He hurt his shoulder reaching for a particularly well-stuffed, heavy piece of pizza. If somebody has to step into the breach and do his sit-up for him, then I'm happy to do that. It's important to remember that everyone is different.
Fletcher came up, said he had spent the morning reading the bible. I assumed he meant that book he carries around everywhere (Forward Press: The Key to Runs, Success and Happiness) but he meant the actual Bible. He said it had given him an idea, and asked me if I wouldn't mind performing another miracle. I shrugged and said, sure, whatever the team needs.
I went into the kitchen. It was crowded in there; that would explain why none of the boys were at practice. It's important to remember that everyone prepares in their own way. I guess.
Thought I'd whip up a bit of a meal for the boys. I made a 23-course banquet, dishes from all over our country, some of them extremely intricate and labour-intensive to prepare. Eventually it was all ready. Most of the younger ones didn't want it, and said it was "gross". Viru sent out for some KFC and they all had that. Still, different strokes for different folks as they say. I wasn't in the least offended, although I was a little tired.
I went through to the dressing room to rest for a minute. I had been up all night doing the team laundry and because Suresh had a bad dream: he dreamed he had to bat in a Test match.
Had just shut my eyes for five or 10 seconds' sleep (weak of me, I know, but I do have my little treats every now and again) when there was shouting from the kitchen. RP and Zaheer had eaten all the food. There was a sound of sobbing. I assumed it was because Sehwag didn't get any, but in fact it was Gautam.
"You know I get a headache if my blood sugar gets low," he shouted. "And my toe gets all sore and I get this really prickly feeling in my knee, and why is everyone so selfish and mean?" Most of the others ignored him and went back to fighting over the last remaining scraps of chicken or counting their money.
I was at my wits' end, really. I called over to Sachin and said: "Can you help me out at all with this lot?" He was sitting in his favourite armchair in the corner of the room. "Sorry, Rahul," he said. "I'm happy right here and I'm not budging for nobody. You'll have to sort it out yourself."

All quotes and "facts" in this piece are made up. But you knew that already, didn't you?
More imaginary boys in CrickiLeaks - The Secret Ashes Diaries by Tyers and Beach