fosters in hand (thank you for the cheque, fosters), sony dictaphone in the other, we walked into the football-stadium-sized dressing room that kumble described in his column with a well-known paper we'll never be sober enough to write for. who needs them? we're here. only because only we can get you the best cricket quotas in the universe. straight from the players who won't know we've been there listening to them and having imaginary conversations that lead to them spilling the beans because nobody ever aknowledges us. good. it helps when you want the best cricket quotas to be that way, in nobody's way. so, let's see what we got from the gang on the eve of the boxing day match.
"it's not like we're confused even though we may be so what if we don't know who's going to open the batting for us we know who it ain't going to be and that's not a bad place to start seeing that we're so confused. you want to open the batting?" beleaguered captain kumble still looking for an opening batsman to parter wasim jaffer. we politely declined citing our important job of delivering the freshest news to our devoted audience.
"all i need is one good innings to find my touch. though, i think dravid's the best guy to open with jaffer. bumping into virender sehwag and his bowling machine...perhaps the only bowler in the world of cricket who still hasn't figured out the way to dismiss him.
"it's not like i have a problem opening the batting for india. i just don't fucking dammit bastards don't want to do it! why the fuck should i be the fall guy after being the best fuckking batsman in the fucking side!" too petrified to wait and apologise to rahul dravid for bumping into him and who seemed a bit miffed with being, again, thrust the onerous task of opening the fucking indian batting...erm, apologies. we...kinda...sorta...feel for the senior pro.
"how do i look? you think they'll make me captain soon? did you say the way i hit my off-drives in that innings of 169? i looked so good enough for a double hundred, didn't i? how do i look? i think i'll go in at 6...no...5...no, 6. never mind. i'll make up mah mind on the day of the match. yeah, tomorrow." yuvraj doing a shoaib akhtar while waiting for his god-given place in the indian middle order. just then, from the corner of our eye we see dravid walking very quickly towards yuvi. contemplating the possibilities of a juicy exchange of quotas, we retired - not yet hurt - to a corner of the dressing room the size of a football field waiting for the explosion to happen and the hurt to follow.
some silent minutes later: it really was an extrvagantly endowed dressing room the size of a footy field with a corner so far that we were unable to hear anything at all of the spat that took place between yuvi and rahul. we did though hear the sms we recieved on our good old motorazr (thank you moto for the cheque) from kumble saying he was very disappointed with us for having hurriedly declined his gracious offer of a place in the indian side as an opening batsman. so disappointed in fact that he had decided to take matters into his own hands and partner jaffer at the top of the order.
yuvi, meanwhile, is getting used to doing a shoaib akhtar. rahul is waiting for yuvi to decide so that yuvi doesn't come after his own place in the batting order. sachin is practicing batting better in the 90s. dhoni, looking assured as ever, is drinking milk, eating biscuits and dreaming of his honey. then there's an australian guy sitting in the corner of the football-field-sized dressing room - but of course beer in hand - painting the scene. sure that his masterpeice would show up on channel 9 to be hawked as limited edition cricketobelia, we proceeded to invest the next few minutes of our time into painting a sign. see you, tomorrow morning. look out for a wild-eyed guy holding up a beer and a hand-painted, limited edition, up-for-sale signboard that says, what else, "please read TPR".