Following the Indian cricket team’s embarrassing performance in England, there has been a flood of suggestions from anguished fans on how to get our pampered stars back on track. The appeal to provide them Pampers has been rejected, but there are some suggestions worth considering. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so here goes.
The ice bucket challenge: Is the hot new trend; or cold, rather. It has gone viral and could be just the shock treatment the Indian team needs. It calls for all team members and support staff to douse themselves in ice cold water till they start shivering. The more critical will say they were doing that anyway while facing Broad and Anderson, but the original ice bucket challenge is meant to support an affliction called ALS, which could translate into Addicted to Losing Syndrome.
New coaching staff: Ravi Shastri has been drafted in, but since the rest of the commentary team covering the series has all the answers as to exactly what the remedies are, they should all be called upon as their patriotic duty. Sunil Gavaskar as batting coach, Sourav Ganguly as left handed coach, Sanjay Manjrekar as casting coach, Rahul Dravid as technical coach, Harsha Bhogle for advice on growing hair on their chests, and, for light relief, Gautam Bhimani as adviser on how to get the runs. Of course, that means the Indian team sponsor, Star Sports, will be left with an empty commentary box, but it’s time for all good men to come to the aid of the touring party.
Sonia’s support: Some crazed fans called upon Sonia Gandhi to fly to England and mentor the Indian bowling line-up. The logic behind that is that in every speech she has made since May, she talks about bouncing back. Indian cricket fans, not the most rational of people, think that she could help our fast bowlers with their bouncers, and the team generally with inspirational talks on bouncing back.
Limiting overs: Now that the limited-overs version is starting, fans are hoping the team can give a better account of themselves. The reasoning being that while playing the Test series, they generally lasted 20 overs — which might prove good practice for the matches to come.
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The Big B effect: It’s a questionable idea, but one worth mentioning. Get the team’s star batsmen to the Kaun Banega Crorepati set where they are asked the following question: ‘Where is the Off Stump?’. They have to select the answer from among the following: a) Next to the middle stump, b) Next to the leg stump, c) Behind the middle stump, d) Stumped!. Each wrong answer will entail a reduction in match fee.
Fevikwik solution: We’ve all seen the ads where Fevikwik adhesive users find a fix for everything, whether atop a bus, repairing broken objects and, most relevant, catching fish. The suggestion is to hand over Fevikwik tubes to the slip fielders, so they can catch more than a cold, and also the opening batsmen, so they stick to the crease longer than the current average of one over each.
Motivational coach: By popular fan demand, Chetan Bhagat’s name has been suggested to give motivational speeches to the team derived from his book ‘The 3 Mistakes of My Life — batting, fielding and bowling’, and a private talk to Virat Kohli titled ‘Half Girlfriend — the other half for cricket’.
The Modi effect: Most popular suggestion; while BJP workers boo the players, they are made to listen to recorded speeches of Narendra Modi on the campaign trail where he says ‘Achche din aane wale hain’.