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Dhoni takes comfort in team's exposure

Plus: Shane Warne's latest musical turn, and more vital news you may have missed

R Rajkumar
Jade Dernbach celebrates another wicket, England v Australia, 2nd T20, Chester-le-Street, August 31, 2013

"Has anyone with these many tattoos been carted around the park in this way?"  •  Getty Images

Being exposed great exposure for team, says Dhoni
MS Dhoni has stated that the recently concluded Test series against New Zealand has been "good exposure" for a young and inexperienced team. He pointed to the way they were exposed as a bowling unit in the second innings of the final Test as especially useful exposure, and the cruelly exposed shortcomings of some of his more inconsistent batsmen as particularly constructive exposure that should stand the team in good stead for future exposures. Dhoni also pointed out that he was happy to have been able to lead from the front in being exposed for some cripplingly fatal captaincy decisions.
The captain later also spoke of the recent "improvement" that India have shown in away games. "Well, of course, we've been working hard on getting the number of Tests reduced and the results speak for themselves," he explained. "While a couple of years ago we lost 0-4 to both England and Australia, more recently we've only been losing 0-1 in two-Test series."
Warne's musical turn inspired by passionate affair with self
Shane Warne is apparently busy working on an album of love songs, and his singing style is even being compared to that of James Blunt. The songs are said to be inspired by his relationship with and eventual betrayal of actress Elizabeth Hurley, who broke up with the cricketer when he was discovered in the compromising position of singing "You're Beautiful" to himself in the bathroom mirror.
Scorer appreciates not being troubled
A scorer has spoken of his debt of gratitude towards a batsman who repeatedly got out without troubling him early in his career, and recently went out of his way to find the player so he could reciprocate the kindly gesture.
"I've been changing the numbers on this old scoreboard for decades," said Mr RK Patel, who has worked as a scorer at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium since the late 1960s, "and never have I been given a break as often as I have over the years by this one supposedly top-order batsman." Tears of appreciation flooded his eyes as he said: "The job doesn't get any easier with advancing age. I'm not a young man anymore, and having to constantly change the placards takes its toll on the arms and the knees."
The veteran scorer went on to explain that he had enough problems without having to be bothered about updating the numbers all the time. "Aside from having to worry about mounting hospital bills due to my failing health, I also have to worry about putting food on the family table and marrying off my only daughter. This job doesn't pay that well, you know. Which is why I wanted to express my gratitude to the young batsman for offering me some respite at work, even if only for a moment, thanks to his utter incompetence."
When the old scorer eventually tracked down the batsman's house and was at long last able to meet Rohit Sharma, the batsman slammed the door in his face before he could finish thanking him.
"Floater" Badrinath drifts out of tournament
S Badrinath has reprised his celebrated role in previous editions of the IPL as the "floater" in his team's batting order by going one step further: floating right out of the tournament.
"Well, of course, I wasn't surprised when I heard the news that he won't be playing this year," said Dhoni, Badrinath's captain when he played for the Chennai Super Kings. "But it's a testament to Badri's skill. We used to be able to play him anywhere from No. 1 all the way up to No. 11, and sometimes never at all. But to not even be part of the tournament? Obviously he's been practising hard at the whole 'floating' thing. Not everyone can pull that off, you know. That's talent for you."
Dernbach goes back to the drawing board
After suffering a humiliating few weeks in Australia, during which he was the butt of much derision for his ineffective bowling, Jade Dernbach has done the wise thing and gone back to the drawing board.
"We talked about it, and agreed that taking stock, swallowing some pride and going back to the basics seemed like the only logical thing to do," said Dernbach's personal bowling coach, who accompanied the bowler to the drawing board, which is located in a tattoo parlour in Hackney.
"I don't get it. I put in as many hours as Mitchell Johnson does under the needle, yet I can't seem to bowl at even a quarter of his pace," pouted Dernbach as he pored over the different options available. "Ooh, I like this one," he exclaimed, pointing out to the tattooist a sketch of a unicorn standing in silhouette under a double rainbow. "Can we get this one? Pretty please?"
Auction sees massive pay-cuts for Pathan brothers, Meiyappan
While players like Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Karthik enjoyed impressive returns in the latest IPL auction, others like the Pathan brothers, Saurabh Tiwary, and Gurunath Meiyappan fared a lot worse when compared to what they managed last time around.
Insiders say poor form and injury troubles saw the cricketers receive less than half of what they got in the last auction, while sudden non-ownership of an entire franchise saw Meiyappan receive next to nothing this time around.
Said a philosophical Meiyappan after the results of the auction had reached him: "Oh well, there's always the next edition of IPL. Or Iceland."
Katich's cracks face while attempting smile
Simon Katich did untold damage to himself towards the end of the BBL final recently when he momentarily forgot his facial limitations and attempted what eyewitnesses say might well have been a smile.
The gruesome incident occurred in the moments after Katich had captained Perth Scorchers to the title over Hobart Hurricanes, when his team-mates noticed something odd as their skipper came running in to celebrate with the rest of them.
"He looked like he was having a stroke or something," said the Man of the Match, Brad Hogg. "And when he came closer we saw that his face had developed cracks due to the unnatural stress being generated by the ends of his lips pulling upwards and away from the rest of his mouth," he recalled with a shudder. "We quickly tried to stanch the flow of the smile by applying pressure and reminding Simon that he will never play for Australia again, until an ambulance arrived."

R Rajkumar tweets here.
All quotes and "facts" in this piece are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?