ICC Champions Trophy: Why MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli & Duncan Fletcher are feeling low in energy ahead of the semis!

India have played 44 ODIs against Sri Lanka in the last five years © Getty Images

By UnReal Mama

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

For once, just for once, Indian cricket fans are hoping that rain washes out today’s semi-final clash in Cardiff so that viewers are spared the tedium of watching yet another India-Sri Lanka One-Day International (ODI) match — the two South Asian nations have played each other over 44 times in the last five years.

“I would rather watch the rain, which is far more engrossing  than have Indian and Sri Lankan players going  through the motions for the gazillionth time, man,” wailed Sundar Ram, an avid fan of the Men in Blue.

Accordingly, cricket fan clubs, in partnership with farmer associations, are holding yagnas all over the country for copious rain not just over the subcontinent this monsoon but in Cardiff as well.

Star Cricket, in keeping with the prevailing mood, is hoping the entire match gets washed out, which will attract far higher viewership. “We will command premium spot rates in case of rain, but if the teams take the field, ad inventory will go unsold,” disclosed Sougata Dasgupta, head of marketing at the sports channel.

Meanwhile, a pall of gloom and ennui has engulfed the Indian dressing room ever since Sri Lanka made it to the second spot in their group. “We were promised by the organisers that apart from that painful warm-up match against them, everything possible would be done to avoid another Indo-Sri Lanka clash,” grumbled a senior member of the team.

There are even rumours of Virat Kohli sending his resume to Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) for a regular IT desk-job since he is increasingly struggling to charge himself up for such matches. “My friends in IT sector tell me that they are able to actually focus on coding whenever India plays Sri Lanka. Kahan phas gaya yaar,” moaned the Delhi lad, who has now played 35% of his international matches against Sri Lanka.

Coach Duncan Fletcher said that playing against cricketers from the Emerald Isle will be India’s biggest hurdle. “High pressure of an Indo-Pak clash — check. Bowling to Chris Gayle in the death overs — check. Surviving a session of hostile pace in seaming conditions — check. The boys can cope with all that and more, but there is no antidote for the listlessness and enervation of playing against Sri Lanka, man,” bemoaned Fletcher.

MS Dhoni said that he had to grapple with a similar situation in the 2011 World Cup. “At least then, I managed to charge up the boys by exhorting them to do it for Sachin Tendulkar, but what excuse do I offer now?” he wondered.

As a precautionary measure, the management has ordered the boys to keep injecting prodigious quantities of caffeine into their bodies to remain awake in case the match does take place.

(Originally published in www.theunrealtimes.com“Unreal Mama” is the pen name of CS Krishna & Karthik Laxman, founding editors of the site which is India’s favourite satire, spoof, parody and humour portal)