Oh no, not again India-Sri Lanka-fication. There’s pollution outside, and if you stay indoors, and turn on the TV to watch this series, there will be pollution inside. No air-purifier will come to your aid. As you watch and inhale the extra-large pollutants off your extra-large flat screens, you will be numbed into submission; just as Sri Lanka is supposed to. Not yet to have won a test match in India, the islanders return, because they were asked to, no, commanded to – and who wouldn’t want to play India in their right financial mind? Bermuda has been lining up for years after that magnificent slip catch, but they never made it past that triangle.
What could sort this repetitive mess, once and for all, is if India start to play India – not like Indian cricketers playing each other in first-class tournaments or list A matches, but proper internationals with two Indias. Anyway, it’s fast emerging with greater certainty that there are two clear Indias out there. What could be better than forming two Indias based on players’ political convictions.
But what about the players who don’t have any political beliefs, and just want to play cricket? That could be tricky. In such cases, abandon the politics and go for an outright auction. It will take care of more broadcast rights to be sold, and even create an opening for many more Indias.
Anything to do away with the Sri Lanka series. But what if Lanka were to turn the tables and become a far more adept team? Wouldn’t that be equally unacceptable? How will we ever forgive our boys for losing to them?
Defeat could be a far greater threat to our viewing than one-sided wins. Disillusioned with the national side, we may not just stop watching this bilateral bullshit, but abandon the team with all our heart.
There is no solution to this, but to not watch at all; to rest ourselves. Yeah, just like Hardik Pandya has been rested. After being promoted to all positions and corners of the team, and found wanting every now and then, his workload has been reassessed, his hair follicles have been processed – and the modern BCCI science has arrived at the perfect solution. In cricket parlance, it’s defined as a “much-needed break”. In common terms, it is chilla-X. Also worth noting is the point that Pandya was to bring that X-factor. So when you ask the X-factor to chill, that’s why it’s called what it’s called.
But in BCCI speak, which is sounding more like it has outsourced its PR to Wimbledon, here’s what’s being said:
"Considering Mr Pandya's heavy recent workload, the decision was made to negate any possibility of a major injury concern. Mr Pandya will undergo a period of strength at conditioning at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru."
Oh dear. Mr Pandya, did they say? It almost sounds like they’re saying Game Miss Graf, Miss Graf leads Miss Sabatini by two games to one, first set. But who does Mr Pandya lead? Who knows, but we sure could take a lead out of his book – and at the risk of repeating myself, I’ll say it again, rest ourselves.
We may even add an air of dignity to ourselves. Catch someone saying, “Mr Sethi has been rested from the series so as to lessen the viewer’s chance of eye injury. Considering the viewer’s recent writing load, the decision was made to negate any possibility of a writer’s block. Mr Sethi will undergo a period of blindfolding at conditioning at the non-watcher’s academy at an isolated location. Should he remove the blindfolds, he may see a TV screen but there will be no cable or dish connection.”
Some major dude once said, “Extreme times require extreme measures." And it’s not like watching this Sri Lanka series will land us a viewing coach position in the Mumbai Indians’ dugout.