In the serene, tranquil and exotic locales of Tamil Nadu’s Madras Boat Club region, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, resides, in his majestic villa, one of the most powerful, exceptional and noteworthy personas of India. The Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements, Mr. Narayanaswami Srinivasan, is better known as the President of the richest cricket board in the world. He also happens to be the father-in-law of the Chennai Super Kings’ former team principal Gurunath Meiyappan (whose identity cannot be faulted since he turned into a self-proclaimed “cricket enthusiast”). By virtue of one or all of the above reasons, Mr. Srinivasan, more colloquially referred to as ‘Srini Mama’, has emerged as the despotic ruler of world cricket today.
Is it, then, really fair that his very own team (no, not CSK, they win every trophy within their reach) – the Indian Cricket team – should repeatedly suffer from the ignominy of humiliating overseas defeats? Can he not reverse the fortunes of a disgruntled and dejected Team India? Can’t the proud owner of the ‘yellow jersey’ do something to uplift the spirits of the Men in Blue?
Of course, he can. As long as Srini Mama is at the helm, India have nothing to worry about. After all, his position safely ensured that CSK continue as a team in the IPL, and so, overseas losses should be no big a deal for him.
Here are 5 things Mr. Srinivasan can do to avoid India’s overseas failures:
5. Termination of IPL contracts
If there is anything cricket enthusiasts love more than Srini Mama himself, it is, undoubtedly, the cash-rich Indian Premier League. If cricket is a religion, then India is the abode of all pilgrims, and the IPL is the most popular ritual amongst the devotees. And for these devout cricketers, the IPL brings with itself the proverbial pot of gold, unforeseen fame and glory. But what happens if these players are not permitted to participate in the tournament anymore? The fear of losing their IPL contracts could certainly lead foreign players to realize that going against Srini’s team is nearly blasphemous. Fast bowlers would soon obey themselves and not bowl short to the specialist Indian batsmen. The batting heavy-weights would also resign to the fact that the BCCI are a superior body, and they should reserve their power-hitting abilities for the minnows. Easy, isn’t it?
4. Indian bowlers to bowl against the ICT
Our batsmen may be flat-track bullies, but it is a proven fact that even the worst of the lot can exploit Ishant Sharma’s bowling. Shikhar Dhawan might poke and get dismissed, Rohit Sharma might mistime the occasional pull shot, and Suresh Raina might always struggle against the shorter delivery, all against the likes of Dale Steyn and Mitchell Johnson. But which one of them cannot face the pace (if there is any to boast of) of Vinay Kumar, or loft R Ashwin’s carom ball for a six? Indian batsmen will have no trouble in away games at all, if only the Nehras and Dindas are allowed to bowl for the opposition. A slight tweak in the rules could make this possible. The ICC rules are ever-changing anyway. Srini could easily take one for the team.
3. Indians should play only in the subcontinent
If there are no overseas games, where is the question of overseas losses? The BCCI has lately been famous (or infamous) for altering the Future Tours Programme to suit its own needs, which Darren Sammy’s West Indies team would agree on. Then why not propose a complete revamp of the schedule such that Team India plays all its International matches at home or, at the most, in the subcontinent only? Virat Kohli will relish the opportunity to play in Sri Lanka once again, and the others won’t be too disappointed either. Anything to avoid the lively, green tracks of Australia and South Africa is acceptable. At the end of the day, the Indians are the biggest ‘home-ground bullies’, right?
2 No appeals against the CSK team members
Excessive appealing against the CSK-quota players in Team India should be banned by the umpires. Considering the fact that almost half of our team is made up of CSK members, this move can prove to be very effective. It will allow Suresh Raina to slog, even when he faces the short ball; it could permit R Ashwin to run two or even three, for a change; and it would let our captain MSD to freely play the helicopter shot at will. Not many dare to appeal against Sir Jadeja anyway, and when they do, there is always a Rod Tucker who will rule it in favour of the batsman. That’s a solution to half of Team India’s worries.
1. New coach? Agarkar, anyone?
Although Duncan Fletcher seems to be doing his job well (he is essential for dressing room harmony), Team India could do with a few legends at the helm. The pitiful state of our bowling department coupled with the inability of our bowlers to bowl yorkers at the death is our undoing, and in times such as these, Ajit Agarkar can be the saving grace. Even the likes of Ishant Sharma will bowl with renewed energy, enthusiasm and zeal. Further, Agarkar also has a century at Lords, the Mecca of Cricket (outside India, obviously). He could be a role model for R Ashwin, who aspires to play as a specialist batsman very soon. However, if that is not possible, Srini could always rope in CSK bowling legends like Manpreet Gony and Joginder Sharma. Success, then, will no longer elude us.
The yellow jersey has sprung up various surprises in the past. Does Srini have a googly up his sleeve this time?
Disclaimer: This article is a work of fiction and hence, should not be taken seriously.