Dhoni: Hello Dada!
Sourav: Hey MS! That’s the first time you’ve called me that. I knew this day would come! Ha!
Dhoni: Don’t joke around Dada! I am in need of some help here.
Sourav: Understandably. Go on. Tell me. What does India’s most successful captain want?
Dhoni: Don’t embarrass me Dada! I need some tips on how to win abroad. It was you who was responsible for starting this trend of India winning overseas …
Sourav: … and it looks like you are going to end it. Ha!
Dhoni: You have to sympathise with me here, man! What should I do?
Sourav: Look up.
Sourav: Look northward.
Dhoni: I didn’t get it.
Sourav: This country has places other than Chennai as well.
Dhoni: Oh stop it you! Even you think I favour the CSK players for inclusion in the team?
Dhoni: Dada? You there?
Sourav: … sorry, was gulping down a rasgulla. These things are just great, man! You like rasgullas?
Dhoni: No I don’t. And speaking of rasgullas, what do I do about Duncan Fletcher? He never does anything. How were the coaches during your time?
Sourav: There were two of them, MS. One of them was Wright, and the other one, well, not so much.
Dhoni: Ha! I see what you did there!
Sourav: Let’s leave it at that. Getting back to the topic, winning abroad.
Dhoni: Yes, I’ve almost forgotten what that feels like. Any tips for the upcoming Test series?
Sourav: Don’t get anxious. You have Ishant Sharma. He will get things done.
Dhoni: You don’t make sense.
Sourav: Remember his spell against Ricky in Perth? And New Zealand has pretty similar bowling conditions as Australia, right?
Dhoni: Yeah, but Ishant is a completely different bowler today.
Sourav: Is he? Anyway, I won’t know. I haven’t been following cricket much nowadays.
Dhoni: What are you up to then?
Sourav: Rasgullas, didn’t I mention?
Dhoni: Oh please! Any word of advice? How do I win abroad?
Sourav: Ha! I just thought of the perfect idea!
Dhoni: What is that?
Sourav: Schedule a tour to Bangladesh next!
Dhoni: Wait. You do remember that I won the World T20 and the Champions Trophy abroad, right?
Sourav: I do, but you better do something fast, because people don’t take long to forget the good things about you.
Dhoni: True. You know what I am going to do the next time I win abroad?
Sourav: Take off your shirt in the balcony and swing it above your head?
Dhoni: No, I will do some wheelies around the stadium with my bike. Abhishek Bachchan style. Or maybe with an auto … that should look cooler, right?
Sourav: Do whatever. Just don’t lose another series. And another thing. Assess the conditions while you are there, since this is the venue for the next World Cup.
Dhoni: Oh yes! And going the way we are, I don’t think we stand much of a chance.
Sourav: Maybe you can pick the hero of the last World Cup.
Dhoni: Me? Oh no … that was Yuvraj! Just because I played well in the final, I keep forgetting that he was, after all, the Man of the Tournament.
Sourav: Same story MS, same story. People forget the good things.
Dhoni: I will think about him. Anything else?
Sourav: Yes. Visit Kolkata sometime.
Dhoni: I will. During the IPL. Ha! Remember IPL?
Sourav: Oh yeah! I do! And you better hope it is played in India this time. Otherwise you might as well not play.
Dhoni: You are mean!
Sourav: Just kidding, man!
Dhoni: Anyway, I am also very worried about who will lead India next. Who should I groom for the job?
Sourav: You honestly think you get to choose the next captain? Wake up, my friend! Remember how you became captain?
Dhoni: What do you mean?
Sourav: You don’t decide who the next captain will be. Nor do you decide when that will happen.
Dhoni: Sharks! I didn’t even think of that. Now you’ve made me nervous!
Sourav: So you can be made nervous. Ha! Eureka!
Dhoni: Obviously. I just don’t show it by biting my nails.
Sourav: I never did that!
Dhoni: Who said you did?
Sourav: Whatever. I’ll go now. Nice talking.
Dhoni: But I have things left to ask you …
Sourav: I’ll get back to you later. Or better still, call Dravid. He’ll guide you further.
Dhoni: As you say, Dada!
Dhoni dejectedly puts the phone down, while Sourav gulps down another rasgulla, chuckling.
Every dog has his day.