India rope in Ajit Agarkar as batting consultant for 2nd Test at Lord’s
Ajit Agarkar’s glory came in the summer of 2002 when he hammered an unbeaten 109.


By The Flying Freak

Please note this is a humour article — work of pure fiction

In a brilliant strategy to motivate Indian batting, coach Duncan Fletcher has roped in the services of Ajit Agarkar as batting consultant specially for the second Test at Lord’s starting Thursday. According to sources within then team management, Agarkar has a thorough understanding of the pitch at the Home of Cricket and has his name etched on the Honours Board, something which even Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t have which makes him a worthy batting consultant like Rahul Dravid.

“Can you realise the potential Indian batting had in the first decade of 21st century? Amongst the Laxman’s, Dravids and the Tendulkars, it was Agarkar who scored a ton here. If his valuable inputs find their way through the present Indian batting, we’ve a match-winning motivation on cards,” said Fletcher.

The most talked about Agarkar’s glory came in the summer of 2002 when he hammered an unbeaten 109 against the likes of Matthew Hoggard, Simon Jones, Ashley Giles and Andrew Flintoff. It required some courage to overturn the record of five ducks in a row in 1999-2000 (four of them golden ducks) and go on to score a century where every batsman dreams of.

However, it’s not just about motivating the batsmen for which Agarkar has roped in. In fact the most important role is to continue motivating the Indian tail-enders so that they can perform consistently. At Trent Bridge, England managed to dismiss the last-wicket pair just once. Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar scored truck loads of runs. However, Agarkar’s role is to motivate Ishant Sharma as well to chip in with valuable contributions. Going by the Ishant’s words, it seems everything is on track.

“It was a good day in the training session. I timed the ball very well. Agarkar sir taught be me how to handle reverse swing. By the time our team gets floored on a seaming wicket overseas, the ball is roughed up and reverses. My aim is to better Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and score a century hat Lord’s,” said a confident Ishant after the batting session under the eyes of Agarkar.

Agarkar though played down his role saying, “Well, I just happened to be here to check if my name on the honours board is intact. And Mr. Fletcher asked whether I could spare some time. So it’s not an official designation as such, just spending some time with the team to motivate them.”

(The Flying Freak eats, lives, drinks cricket, but likes to mix up the sport with everything. An aspiring vocalist, he is aiming to win the Ghanta Awards soon)