“I may be a captain on the field, but off the field, I don’t like discussing cricket.”
– M.S. Dhoni (Indian cricketer, regarded as one of the best in the game)
Akash, my school friend, was angry with the Indian cricket team. “We never win outside India, and in the last three decades we have never chased a score of over two hundred to win a match; it’s a pathetic performance,” he said. “I am disappointed that the Indian team lost the series to England.”
I decided to change the narrative.
I pointed out what the Times of India reported, “Virat Kohli’s team was beaten by one of the weakest teams in recent times. An aging bowling attack of Jimmy Anderson- Stuart Board along with off-spinner Moen Ali tormented the Indian team just like they did during the 2014 series.”
“Exactly” Akash roared, “Ravi Shastri and his bunch of tiger at home sheep abroad were slaughtered. They have no shame.”
“Isn’t it amazing that their bowlers are over thirty years old and Jimmy Anderson is thirty-six?” I said, reading from the article.
“Hmm.. but our guys should be dumped in the English Channel” Akash still rued about the shocking loss.
I tried to reason, “Why are we so attached to the Indian cricket team; why not learn from the English team’s perseverance and Virat Kohli’s determined batting and positive spirit?”
“But I am proud to be an Indian and our team is more important than Virat Kohli’s individual glory, and besides, he’s a lousy captain” Akash declared conclusively.
I scrolled down and saw there were five hundred plus comments on the news item and each of them condemned the poor Indian team. I realized Akash wasn’t alone in drawing patriotic mileage from a bunch of cricket players.
To be continued….