Ashish Nehra <—> Naan
Like a naan, Nehra is not good for very long. No wonder, he is not picked for Test cricket despite being impressive in the limited-overs format. (Let us assume that this post was written before that India vs SA World Cup encounter where the security guards had to stop the South Africans who were adamant on awarding the Man of the Match award to Nehra for winning it for them single-handedly.)
Not only does this polio-infected bowler need a physique befitting a pace bowler but also a chisel and hammer to end his smile. Specially at times, he smiles after getting smashed for a boundary as if his face will be put on currency notes. The quality of his fielding is comparable only to the quality of the food packets air-dropped in third world countries. Being as unreliable as Chinese goods, Dhoni must always be chilled to the marrow when he would see Mr Glass (of the Unbreakable fame) running to bowl. But for that 6 for 23 against England in WC 2003, watching Nehra playing for the national side has been as embarrassing as shopping for an enema kit.
Gambhir <—> Pickle
You make the mistake of under-estimating it and the next thing you know is your bowel movements get elbowed-out next morning. Ravi Shastri may blow his lungs out shouting that Gambhir is the best player of spin in India, but what interests me is the guts that this tiny southpaw has. Just imagine a 250 gm body elbowing-out Watson and Ma-Behen-ing Afridi ! He gets a thumbs-up from me just for being a man! Attaboy!
Sehwag <—> Chicken Leg Piece
Everybody is ready with their forks out on the first appearance of a chicken leg piece. Similarly, all of the opposition players come to action when Sehwag comes out to bat. Unfortunately, as is with a leg piece’s appearance on the eating table, Sehwag’s presence at the crease too is short-lived, nevertheless entertaining. A bowler could for once ignore blood in his urine but cannot just ignore the impact that Sehwag could have on a match. And what would hurt opposition most is that he goes about his batting like a relieved nightingale. Bowlers to Sehwag are like those Ethiopian slaves that Cleopatra used to push around. During his triple at Multan, Shoaib Akhtar almost became Late Shoaib Akhtar but somehow saved himself from appearing in the next day’s obituary column. Always inclined to a long dialogue with the umpires accompanied with laughter, I wonder what Sehwag always has to say to them. But Sehwag is of paramount importance to our team and if you don’t believe me then go and ask any of the opposition captains, “Which player causes them constipation on the eve of a big match against India?”
Yuvraj <—> Aloo Paratha (Shudh Desi Ghee)
With a half-acre ass, he could easily start advertising now for Desi Ghee instead of Revital. On a serious note though, after more than a decade of international cricket the lousy prince has finally matured. But all said and done, the one thing that Yuvi has in heaping measures, is natural talent.
FYI, when it comes to Bollywood divas, he matured into a Caligula long back. If this helps, then Hansika Motwani featured as a child artist in Koi Mil Gaya three years after Yuvi made his ODI debut and look at her now. Food for thought, huh?
Raina <—> Ras Malai
A must-have at the end, God’s gift to the gastric juices. Relished by everybody after meals (ODIs), but you can’t take Ras Malai as your meal (Tests), can you? Sensational fielder and a delight to watch while batting. Although it seemed for a while, that too much hair mousse got into his head but he will be okay. He is a Good Boy!
Dravid <—> Khichdi/Curd-Rice
You need it when you are not doing well. Of course you can have all the Aloo-Parathas and the Ras Malais when you are doing well. An embodiment of the I-Will-See-You-Through-This spirit, this twenty-minute egg is clearly the most unfortunate cricketer to have played the game. Starting from his first Test match, when his fine knock of 95 was overshadowed by Ganguly’s maiden hundred, Dravid has always been overlooked in both Tests and ODIs, thanks to Sachin and Sourav. He has been overlooked so much in his cricketing career that it’s difficult to believe that people call him The Wall. Darn! You don’t overlook a wall! Be as it may, I would kill to watch his on-drive.
Munaf <—> Phate Dudh Ki Chai (Sorry, but I couldn’t think of anything more worthy)
My personal favorite. Whenever I see him, I get into fits of laughter-therapy-like laughter (Remember Dr Asthana of the Munna Bhai MBBS fame?). Dull as a butter knife, I am yet to see a more disinterested cricketer in life. Watching him is becoming more painful than undergoing the proverbial three-finger rectal examination. The way he carries himself on the field, he needs a discrete psychologist more than a good bowling coach. He seems to hate cricket so much that he wouldn’t touch a cricket ball from a ten-feet pole. I am sure, he wouldn’t enter the cricket field until Dhoni shouts Ja Khelne Ja. And then comes out “The Smiling Assassin”, as cheerful as a plane crash, on most occasions not even caring to wear a cap. Always several days away from shave, he almost always manages to look like a stool sample. Moreover, he was introduced into the team on the recommendation of Venkatesh Prasad, which in itself is an excellent reason not to pick him. If it was not for that, he would be selling his organs to earn a living. Well, he hasn’t let Venky down. Very much like him, Munaf also bowls five slow balls and the sixth even slower.
Whenever I see Munaf, I start imagining the following scenario: When the team meeting for a very important upcoming match concludes and everybody gets up to leave the room, all of a sudden, Dhoni is reminded of a labourer-like man who is also present among them and says ‘Arre Bhai, iska kya karna hai ? Iske over kaun phekega?’
Sometimes it becomes difficult to decide which is worse—his batting or bowling. To say that he is a pace bowler is like sugar-coating hell. He bats as if he is brushing off a mosquito from his clothes. On getting bowled, he makes it look like an accident. Jokes apart, let us give it to him for being the Jonty Rhodes of India, after all he also just plays in the side for his fielding, which by the way doesn’t look too different from a high school girl flapping around in her frock. I am sure that Dhoni would have tried his best to make Munaf bowl like a pace bowler, but to change a severely damaged human being like Munaf is not a mean task. Dhoni could as well try chloroform and a rope next. In my view, we have already seen sufficient of Munaf to long a last time.
Sachin <—> Water
One for all seasons, you grew up witnessing its importance till it became a part of your daily lifestyle. Sitting on the cloud of runs with a rainbow of records around his shoulders, Sachin succeeds in soothing the tremors of a billion plus people. Majority of the media channels take cricketers’ interviews to ask just one question and they ask that one question just to listen to this one answer “Of course Sachin is my favorite cricketer and the best batsman in the world!” According to me, Sachin could be blamed for making a billion plus people forget/overlook all their personal shortcomings and failures in life and enjoy his success as their own. But make no mistake that the prospects of winning this World Cup has turned out to be the new wick in this old flame.
Dhoni <—> ButterMilk (Chaach)
You can’t digest all the Naans and the Chicken without buttermilk, can you? Mostly renowned for playing attacking shots only in TV ads, Dhoni also holds the record of being spoken about, maximum number of times, by cricket commentators with words “We all know how destructive he could be“. But we must not forget that when you are handling useless pustules like Nehra and Munaf, then anything short of entering a coma is perfectly acceptable. For Dhoni, Munaf and Nehra represent the ultimate devil-and-deep-blue-sea choice. However after watching the latest PSPO fans ad, Dhoni entered from the list of my favorite sportsmen to the list of cheesy people I would like to burn alive and dance on their pyre (like Rakhi Sawant, Rahul Mahajan, etc) with the speed of a tracer bullet.
By the way, Dhoni also single-handedly molested the entire country mentally by picking Ravindra Jadeja time and time again until Jadeja himself confessed that he is not a cricketer. Only Dhoni knew what Jadeja brings to the table other than an entire cricketing career of abject failure.
Virat Kohli <—> Salad Dressing
Style Bhai of our team. Immense talent combined with the over-confidence of a typical Delhite. Seeing the number of tattoos on his body it becomes very hard to believe that he is not suffering from a short term memory loss. But the good news for team India is that off-late, his attitude has improved, although he still occasionally throws the oppositions’ mothers and sisters in the mix. Slowly but surely he is beginning to hit all the checkboxes in my list of a good batsman.
Yusuf Pathan <—> Extra Pav
He is like the extra pav that we ask for, after the first round of pav-bhaji. His role in the Indian team is that of an extra batsman, who in most cases is not needed and when needed then has no role to play. With his Orangutan-like looks, he could indeed be, in the words of the biggest optimist in India (Ravi Shahstri), very destructive. But then, for Yusuf to be destructive, there need to be just too many favorable conditions. Innocent firangi spinners (whom Yusuf could molest at will) tops the list. Off-late his stay at the crease is only exceeded by the time a low-esteemed Indian takes to upload snow-fall pics on landing in US.
Bhajji <—> Panipuri (Golgappa)
Sounds threatening but is all air inside. He could easily be the most over-rated Indian cricketer in the last couple of years. My thoughts have also been echoed umpteen number of times by Bishen Singh Bedi, so much so that he almost developed an autistic disorder trying to belittle Bhajji by saying that Sehwag is the best off-spinner in the country. According to me, there is just one thing that Bhajji needs, and that is the same kick at the back (of course differently) that was given to Yuvi and Zak, making them make comebacks as greatly-improved cricketers. But if only he was not a close buddy of Dhoni….
Sreesanth <—> Guntur Chicken
Very spicy and chilly but too little on the performance front. The after-effects are realized the next morning which is analogous to what happens in the match referee room after a match featuring Sreesanth.
By the way, did you ever imagine what his kids will think when they will see the video clip of their daddy crying after being slapped by Bhajji?!
Ravindra Jadeja <—> Radish Salad
Person who makes the folly of picking out radish, stinks! Believe me, Dhoni would vouch for that after almost having lost his captaincy thanks to Jadeja. But for a prescription mix-up, what could possibly make Dhoni see anything special in Jadeja. Some even started speculating this male bonding from different angles. Ever since Jadeja made himself scarce, cricket has definitely become a better game. He would always be remembered as a useless, God-help-us-ish cricketer because of whom the Indian team always ended up looking like corpses waiting to be sent back to their graves. But I guess he deserves some credit for bringing unity in our country, after all when was the last time you witnessed all the Indians agreeing on one cricket opinion while watching cricket, which is ‘Iski Dash Ka…’
Zaheer Khan <—> Tadka (On the Dal)
You realise its importance only during its absence. After getting a kick on the back once, Zak has returned with a bang and according to me, and I know I could be taken to the cleaners for saying this, he is THE most important player in our team right now. Yes, you read it right. He is the most important player. More important than even Sachin!
VVS Laxman <—> Maggi
Like Maggi is a lifesaver for most of us throughout our lifetime, so is Laxman when it comes to cricket. Ask Australians, who have been spanked like a pornstar by Laxman. The way he is picked only for difficult tours and then conveniently dropped for ODIs, it should be BCCI who should be called VVS, Very Very Selfish.
With IPL starting in a week’s time from the day of World Cup final, the cricket circus will continue. People will continue to crowd the stadiums like the Black Hole of Calcutta. Cheerleaders will dominate the matches more than the cricketers and the game itself. Some known and other unknown players will again be bought and sold next year, with the businessmen feasting at the expense of the game. But what could get buried unnoticed in this hoopla will be a dream of the favorite son of India. Friends, lets just wish our team the best of luck to win the World Cup this time for SACHIN TENDULKAR. Even though it might look like a script straight out of the Yash Raj Production house, but so was the Sharjah-Sandstorm knock from Sachin. Wasn’t it?
By the way, since we spoke of IPL, any guesses which dish befits Uthappa?
P.S. You are requested to ignore the fact that the author, as untalented and incompetent as he is, is trying to use the cricket fever that has covered the nation to his advantage and get some quick hits. That point about winning the cup for Sachin was an emotional masterstroke, wasn’t it?
P.P.S. It wouldn’t kill to write a similar article for Pakistani cricketers, what say?
P.P.P.S. Do share/like the article if you found it pleasing as every-time you do that, a sum of five paise goes to the NNMLF (Neil Nitin Mukesh Like Fairness) trust which sponsors fairness creams for the poor black kids of Somalia.