Please note: This is a humorous piece – pure fiction.
Colombo: Sep 18, 2012
The Indian preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup got a shot in the arm after Joginder Sharma, T20 specialist bowler and member of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning squad, visited the Indian team nets to give the boys, especially the bowlers, a much-needed pep talk.
Recounting his match-winning effort in the 2007 T20 World Cup final, Joginder said it comes down to mental strength rather than skill or guile. “To excel at this level, a bowler doesn’t need to rely on fancy yorkers or bouncers, even rank full tosses and long-hops can yield rewards, provided one is patient and willing to mix it up,” advised Jogi, as Irfan Pathan and Lakshmipathy Balaji, still licking their wounds from the mauling at the hands of their arch-rivals in Monday’s warm-up game, assiduously took notes.
The strictly military medium pacer rubbished the notion that the T20 format is fast-paced and doesn’t allow a bowler to experiment. “On the contrary, it’s about being patient and playing mind games. In the 2007 final, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni told me: “ ‘Jogi, we are in a position from where only extremely pedestrian bowling can make us lose. I just want you to bowl your four overs and dismiss that scary Misbah dude if possible. Because he can later turn out to be a real pain in the a***.’ So I was patient and fed him half volleys, full tosses and rank long hops to lull him into complacency. And after he had carted me all over the park, I unleashed my secret weapon – the long hop drifting down the leg. Finally, the dude lost his mind and played that asinine scoop to be snapped up by Sreesanth at deep fine-leg, thus instantly popularising T20 cricket in India and leading to the birth of IPL.”
Misbah-ul-Haq, the former Pakistani skipper, also lavished praise on Joginder: “I still get nightmares of that dismissal. Since then, I have a mental block against Indian bowlers and prefer to defend and lose rather than hit out and lose.”
Later, skipper Dhoni paid an emotional tribute to Joginder saying he did for Indian T20 cricket what Kapil paaji did for Indian ODIs by winning the 1983 ODI Word Cup.
“It was Jogi who taught me that it is not just about winning but winning in style with nail-biting last ball finishes. When the side is comfortably placed, it’s very difficult to lose from there. But Jogi taught me the art of stretching it to the very end. Wish they would make more blokes like him,” said the Indian captain before embracing his former team-mate with moist eyes in a rare show of public emotion.
(The above post written by UnReal Mama was reproduced with permission from http://www.theunrealtimes.com/. The UnReal Times is one of the top websites for satire, spoof, parody and humour in India)
NB: The above article is pure fiction.