We in India tend to be cricket crazy, but only a little. We know our limits. At the most we boo at our failed cricketers, hurl rocks, make obscene gestures (which are promptly returned) or attempt suicide. In return our cricketers show a lot of dedication, passion and give their all every game as I realized recently.
Rahul Dravid (captain)
This man is a highly talented fellow who used to have the habit of turning his back to the ball whenever he was batting and used to take an average of twenty balls to get off the mark, much to the annoyance of the non-striker. It is generally agreed he has lost this habit now. However, since becoming captain, maybe he has made a new habit of winning the toss, but without much consequence.
The most experienced man in the team, this man has hit an uncountable number of centuries and fifties. These days however, he forever seems to be either in a bad patch or recovering from an injury.
If all the members of the Indian team were asked to drop their pants, you would probably find this man to have the most worn out knees, among other things, because he invariably makes "valiant efforts" on the field by sliding after the ball on his knees. While bowling, he rarely turns the ball, but claims he turns the ball half the width of the bat, thereby getting the edge. However, I suspect most batsmen get out because they never get used to having a leg-spinner bowl so fast.
He can clobber Waqar Younis over third man for six. That's about all he does. Invariably instructed by the team management to play his natural game, he gets out with a strike rate of two hundred...having faced five balls.
Sportstar recently gave him a rating of 3/10. That pretty much speaks for itself. However, he is retained in the team for his message passing capabilities as a drinks man or "super sub".
He won the match for India at the Natwest final, some four years ago, and people still talk about that to justify his selection in the team. Other reasons for his selection in the team include his astounding ability to dive into the ground or throw himself all around the ball, without affecting its progress to the boundary at all.
A gem of a person off the field, he is a GEM of a person on it. (GEM : Ginger Eaten Monkey). His batting stance and ability to hit the stumps long after the running batsman has crossed the crease will prove my point to you.
A left arm "pace" bowler, this man can swing the ball prodidiously, only to find that the batsman has clobbered it for four, or gone wide. Also an upcoming batsman, he regularly scores more than the top order batsmen.
This man regularly comes in the dreams of the Aussies wearing a Putka, sporting a pointed tail and holding a syth in his hand. Harbhajan is a very emotional type, and can work himself into a frenzy on taking a wicket, even if it involved a number 11 batsman getting holed out at long on.
M S Dhoni (Wicket Keeper)
He was selected in the team for being a hard hitter of the cricket ball and a passable keeper, but cemented his place in the team recently when he made the President of Pakistan insecure with his hair-style. He recently discovered that no one could fool a man twice with the same trick even if he was a Sardarji when he holed out to Monty Panessar at mid-off in the final innings of the third test against England.
At last a fast bowler for India who looks like a fast bowler and also bowls fast. He however, seems to be terribly unlucky, what with his team members dropping catches off his bowling without fail. One hopes to God he will not have too many injuries, lest he be pushed into the sidelines and later be completely forgotten. Remember Balaji?
Sreeshanth, RP Singh and Ajith Agarkar
The other fast bowlers for India. The first two have had good matches, but are yet to prove themselves by bowling the last over when the opposition needs six runs, with two wickets in hand. The other has the "uncanny knack" of picking up wickets, of batsmen number nine, ten and eleven when they are going for runs in the end overs, and attributes it to "reverse swing". He is a senior member without too much experience.
Coach Greg Chappell
This Australian beat people like Jimmy Amarnath, who is making a fool of himself on Fourth Umpire making people rather relieved he was not the coach, to become the coach of Team India. He has the distinction of being the second most laptop touting cricket coach in the world, the first being Bob Woolmer. Chappell can not even dream of comng close to Woolmer in the sense that Chappell only plays Minesweeper when a match is in progress, while Woolmer plays Quake. Chappell is so dedicated a coach for the team that he regularly injures himself, especially his middle finger.
India is truly well on its way to winning the world cup next year.