There is no RP Singh, ominous for India’s opponents. Also, Irfan Pathan will not bowl the last over, so you can’t afford to have anything more than 16 to get in the 20th. And the freebies in the super-overs sans Ishant Sharma, not going to be the same. Also Ishant hasn’t spoken to any of the youngsters (they’re older than him), so the semi-quicks will not carry with them the burden of Ishant’s youth.
Angry young man Gambhir will open the batting, and running with him will be rough. Dravid’s not there, so after Gambhir, there will not be anyone to keep up the high standard of aimless running between the wickets. India’s opponents will have to be on their toes, a few wickets could be gifted through idiotic running, but after Gambhir they’re pretty much on their own. Even taking Gambhir’s wicket for granted could be perilous, his bad run could well be a no-show, as in, he refuses to run.
If MS Dhoni is incapacitated (too much T20, takes a sabbatical) and Gambhir captains, India’s exit could be during the post toss interview, wherein Gambhir angers Afghanistan – calling them a dangerous side, or some such politically incorrect remark, mixing politics and cricket. Following which, Afghanistan does indeed become a dangerous side, rocket launchers for bowlers, guerrilla tactics in the field (fielders hiding behind boundary line hoardings appearing when least expected, snaring catches, blocking boundaries – as is the saying in Afghanistan, there are no boundaries…we like to seep into Pak and Iran and here and there (not quite the same when translated from Pushtoo, but that’s the gist).
Matters could worsen if Gambhir is unplayable too (banned) and BossDK takes over. Under him, the side will overachieve as nincompoops, following in his battered footsteps of derailed captaincy, keeping and batsmanship.
It could all go very wrong if Yusuf Pathan sticks to his international form, first ball duck coming. Rohit Sharma too would’ve snapped out of his IPL run, and will be all un-intense for the national squad. What about Raina, even he doesn’t know if he can resist the lures of midwicket.
But there’s Bhajji’s propaganda, Bhajji wielding Sachin’s bat, wanting to bat up the order, bowl up the order, field up the order, and cause general anarchy up the order – if all else fails, Bhajji will cheer you up. Zaks will make intense faces, become bowling captain, and urge overkill after a wicket. Praveen Kumar will bowl inane bouncers at 125 kmph. Piyush Chawla will make baby faces. Murali Vijay will always be grownup, always staring.
But there’s no Jatman. But it’s the T20 world cup, and he’s never there.
On Bored: Lalit Modi in the Carribean