Baking News: It doesn't get hotter than this. Unless of course it does. In an extreme measure, the Emerald Isle has Dialed M for Murder and done the unthinkable- murdered Sri Lankan cricket.
Was there no other way? After the first day's play of the first Test match at Nagpur, it appears not. After winning the toss, Sri Lanka, yet again, decided not to bat. And then followed that with deciding not to bowl.
Indian batsmen Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara piled on the excruciating hours, making escape difficult for both Sri Lanka and the spectators. For long passages of play it looked as if nothing was happening - which only confirmed Sri Lanka's worst fears, that they couldn't do anything about nothing.
Sri Lanka's captain Dinesh Chandimal quoted an anonymous report when he said, "If we can't do nothing about nothing then we are nothing and nothing doesn't deserve to play, so we have decided not to play. Nothing's gonna stop us now. The starship has landed."
Virat Kohli now doesn't need an adversary as he plays against himself and his own lofty standards. Photo: PTI/File
When asked what he meant by the starship's landing, he appeared non-committal.
Faced by the daunting prospect of a rampaging Virat Kohli on the third day, followed by his deputy Ajinkya Rahane and the ever-talented Rohit Sharma, the Lankans are in no mood to give the impression that they are even trying to play cricket.
Sri Lanka not playing cricket did not stop Virat Kohli - who it is now confirmed doesn't need an adversary as he plays against himself and his own lofty standards, setting new benchmarks and benching new players every other game.
Such are Kohli's standards, that his 19th Test century, appreciated by an unpacked house on Sunday, has thrown jaded journalists into a tizzy, approaching the age old debate of Kohli vs. Tendulkar with new zeal and without the crutch of statistics.
When contacted at lunch, Kohli, batting on 123, was non-committal, "I still have unfinished business, can't you see I have one more roti and a chicken breast still to go. Oh yes, I do have a healthy appetite for lunch and the post-lunch session, next please…" All-in-one and head coach, Ravi Shastri, meanwhile, was spotted stirring yet another cup of tea with disdain, admonishing the waiter for standing by as he stirred.
Shastri was not surprised that Sri Lanka is giving up on cricket itself: "You can see…there are no two ways about it, they have mastered the art and they have got quite good at giving up on cricket and a team must play to its strengths, and if not playing is their strength, then so be it, but at the same time, they must give it their all…because giving up itself will take a lot of effort and the years of trial must be abandoned wholeheartedly."
Sri Lanka's "giving up" efforts have started in earnest. When the players asked for the physio to take the field, he refused to turn up. Same for the 12th man, who didn't turn up with a drink. The coach too was spotted taking a snooze.
The medium pacers had started bowling with a shortened run-up akin to that of a spinner while the spinners were refusing to bowl overarm and wanted to return to their old cricketing ways when they simply chucked the ball as kids.
As for the captain, he was the last Sri Lankan standing on the field. Fielders could be seen lounging, taking selfies with their phones. Chandimal mustered the courage to comment again, "I really hope that I too can start taking selfies with the crowd in the post-tea session. We want to make our last game of cricket special for everyone. In the years to come, nobody will believe that this team played India so many times. Our movement is inspired by the non-violence movement. Peace be with you, bro. Can't wait to update my bio on Linked-in with 'ex-cricketer'."
(However true this may sound, this is largely a work of fiction)