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The Index

They're playing our song

Twelve theme tunes for people figuring in this year's IPL

Jamie Alter
Jamie Alter
Ganguly ponders the ineffable question posed by Will.I.Am, Apl.De.Ap and the two boringly named members of the Black Eyed Peas  •  AFP

Ganguly ponders the ineffable question posed by Will.I.Am, Apl.De.Ap and the two boringly named members of the Black Eyed Peas  •  AFP

1. Matthew Hayden
"Man On The Silver Mountain", Rainbow

"I'm a wheel, a wheel, I roll, I can feel - you can't stop me turnin'." Sums up Hayden's career in lyric. He's 37 but looks fitter than he has in years, leads the run-getters' list by a distance, and puts the fear of God in most bowlers. No Dad's Army here.
2: Brendon McCullum
"Passive", A Perfect Circle

Little substance, little emotion, too little production. What happened, Baz?
3. Sourav Ganguly
"Where is the Love?", Black Eyed Peas

No matter what Ganguly does, it seems he's always got someone on his back. He was Kolkata's highest run-scorer last season, but they said he couldn't play Twenty20. He's been called a geriatric in the slide-and-dive era. Before this season's IPL started, Ganguly was threatened by John Buchanan's multi-captain theory; just what is it with Australian coaches going after him? Then Kolkata fell apart, and plenty of critics targeted Dada. It's a cruel, cruel world.
4. Shane Warne
"Don't Forget My Number", Milli Vanilli

For the one and only Sheikh of Tweak and Lewd Textspeak, Shane Keith Warne, whose fingers have been as famous for tweaking the ball as they've been infamous for keying in dirty messages to the fairer sex.
5. Rajasthan Royals squad
"Clampdown", The Clash

The song that should play every time this team has to hold on to the advantage late in a game as the opposition rallies to pull the rug out from under their feet, or when they look gone for all money but turn around and shock us all. Warne's a genius all right and under him his team have stunned a couple of sides this season.
6: Jesse Ryder
"Somebody Get Me a Doctor", Van Halen

To help him score again.
7. Harbhajan Singh
"Fight Music", D12 and Eminem

At 18, he was dismissed from the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore after he complained about the food. In just his second ODI, he gave Ricky Ponting a proper Punjabi send-off, bleeped-out expletives and all. He's cheesed off numerous cricketers, mostly of the Antipodean inclination, and even slapped an Indian team-mate. Let this one blare out loud in South Africa for cricket's scrawniest bully and controversy's favorite child.
8: Aakash Chopra/Sanjay Bangar
"Song for the Dumped", Ben Folds Five

Neither contributed when given opportunities, and their exodus from South Africa was seen as a sign Kolkata Knight Riders would crack down on poor performers. Um, there's a few more in there, JB…
9: John Buchanan
"Say Goodbye", Chris Brown

What song will they play when everyone's favorite coach leaves the locker room for the last time?
8. Chris Gayle
"Hey Ya!" OutKast

Cool cat Gayle's got the hooks all right. Rarely does he show emotion on the field, but when he's batting, it's all about the adrenaline under the cold exterior. "What's cooler than being cool?" Andre 3000 hollahs in this smash hit. And the "fellas" respond: "Ice cold". That's our Gayle for you.
9. Andrew Symonds
"On the Wagon" Green Day

Like the song, cricket's answer to bottle-downer Peter O'Toole is a country-ish charmer. Symonds just can't seem to get enough of the good stuff. One minute he's everyone's favorite; the next, he's headed for rehab. Hic.
10. Tejashwi Yadav
"Fortunate Son", Creedence Clearwater Revival

Ah, politics and Delhi. Yadav, son of Bihar's most powerful couple, has found a place in the Daredevils squad despite not having played a first-class match. It's highly unlikely junior will get a game, but his old man, Laloo Prasad, sure does have some clout.
11. Sreesanth
"Cry Me a River"

The Justin Timberlake version - just cuz it's breakdancin' Sree, of Slapgate notoriety. Sreesanth, who has not played international cricket for the last 11 months due to various injuries, was overlooked for the World Twenty20, ruled out of the IPL, and instead was appointed "fan mentor", i.e. a sort of glorified cheerleader for the side. Then came the fake-IPL-player blog and with it a new nickname. Fed up by his gyrations near the dugout, Punjab's think tank tossed Sreesanth the new ball, and he was promptly carted around in his first two games. Boo hoo.
12. The "Fake IPL Player" blogger
"Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me?" Keith Urban

With hundreds of thousands of readers, who wouldn't indeed? Or at least until his identity is revealed - if it ever is.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo