As a cricketer, my experience of warming the benches

Author : Suhithkumar

It must be tough warming the benches for Ambati Rayudu

Being a cricketer and recognized as ‘one’ by your daily circle of people is one of the delightful things to experience. You sometimes get the treatment of a celebrity, and it’s all good to be looked at that way.

But, if you’re a cricketer, and you’re often the one, who warms the benches and carries the drinks for your team mates, don’t bother to show yourself as a cricketer and for obvious reasons. People who can’t even manage to lift a bat and play a forward defense mock at you, and it’s kind of insulting to swallow such an aberration.

Irrespective of the aforementioned commodities, what are the things you experience within your team, what the captain means to you, how do you put a facade and pretend as if you’re a team-player, who loves what he does? Keep reading.

Trust me, it’s easier to have a slump in form and still be able to find a regular place in the playing XI, than having to warm the benches on a regular basis and feeling helpless about the scenario.

And being a cricketer, I’ve experienced this quite a few times; when I’ve had to carry drinks to my team mates, play the role of a cheer-leader, and maintain a rapport with all the members of team, which is probably the most difficult thing to do. Because, often times, you do not exist to the players who find a regular place in XI if you’re a regular part of the team bench.

You, like any other member of your team, carry your kit-bag to the ground on the match day, go through the warm-up routines, adorn the white clothing, but for the fact that you’re going to get dropped and spend the whole day watching your team-mates play. Being a cricketer can be absurd when you’re not playing for your team. It can be exasperating.

So, you get to the venue for the match, complete your pre-match ethics, and your real job of being a cricketer ends there. Before the captain walks out for the toss, you’re sitting there and looking at him like someone who controls your destiny in the side.

What does the captain do? He grabs the unfilled team-sheet from the match scorer, sits alongside the coach, or a senior player and jots down the names, who are part of XI he picks. Once that job is completed, he calls the entire squad over to give a pep talk in a team hurdle, and he mentions the players who are not going to play on the day. Can you imagine how that would feel?

Finally, your team walks out to the middle, in case of fielding first, or the openers in the side walk out, and you’re sitting there cheering them on like “come on and by whatever name they have”. And it’s imperative that you encourage your team members for what they’re doing on the pitch, otherwise you’ll be seen as someone who’s not interested in the team’s well-being.

The match follows it’s own course, and you’re hardly involved with what’s happening to your team, you feel isolated and there’s a whole lot of uneasy feeling to be a cricketer on a day such as this one.

At the end of the day, you walk back home with your whites as crystal-clear as it can be and well, there ends the agony of watching someone perform the trade you’re vying for. Spare a thought for someone like Varun Aaron, Ambati Rayudu, who invariably know that they have to warm the benches and the feeling is that bit more infuriating, when MS Dhoni is the captain of your side and he hardly ever changes his playing XI.

-Life of a player in a team sport, more so in cricket!

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Bangalore vs Mumbai

On Now: Bangalore vs Mumbai

Bangalore hold Mumbai back to a paltry 115 after electing to field. More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »