Posted by: tootingtrumpet | August 10, 2011

How India can win

India's coach tries out a new IPL-style sponsor's name for his less than fully conditioned squad.

Half-way through a series, already two-down and with poor preparation still dogging their work, injuries mounting and a hostile press on their backs, England have much to do. Wait! Just looked at the date and noticed it’s not the 90s it’s the, er… teenies. Rewind. Half-way through a series, already two-down and with poor preparation still dogging their work, injuries mounting and a hostile press on their backs, India have much to do. Here’s a little advice for the always receptive ear of the open-minded Duncan Fletcher.

1. You’re World Number Ones, so act like you are.

When West Indies were Number Ones, did Viv Richards merely walk to the wicket or did he parade, master of all he surveyed, utterly convinced of his own rectitude, master of all he surveyed, not to be swayed by any evidence to the contrary, master of all he surveyed, in the certain knowledge that he was THE MAN? Only one Indian on this tour possesses that kind of self-belief – step, indeed, strut forward, and into Yuvraj’s slot, Mr Ravi Shastri.

2. You’re the richest cricket nation, so act like you are.

Not so very long ago, India would tour under a portly Maharajah who would bat at nine, waddle about between the overs and occasionally move Third Man (remember them?) a little finer. Sure he’d usually get hit on the head in the first Test and gamely battle through to 7 before being last man out and first man into casualty, but his job was done. He’d arrived at Lord’s bearing ivory, apes and peacocks and peacocks and shown all and sundry the wealth of an ancient civilisation. The New India isn’t short of wealthy men who can’t play cricket, so competition would be intense for this role, but with Stuart Broad back to his bouncering best and with the gentleman being on hand in the UK, who better than Lalit Modi to walk, bareheaded, to the middle, with India seven down and wear a few before being carted off to casualty?

3. Embrace the DRS.

Having recently used the DRS to see off Daryl Harper and see in Ian Bell, it’s time to forget any objections and fully implement the Dhoni Referral System. The captain is wonderfully well placed, whether batting or bowling, to make decisions (and we know he likes to) and seems to need something to occupy himself, as he’s not doing much keeping nor batting (nor even moving Third Man a little finer) on this tour.

4. Get the spinners on!

India has a rich heritage of spin, eastern wiles baffling the most accomplished of English opponents and observers. With news that distinguished media men, Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar, are on a retainer from the BBCI, isn’t time to give these two some long spells in tandem, allowing them to spin India to a series victory by the convincing scoreline of England 4 India 0?

5. Twenty20

India loves Twenty20 cricket and rightly brings some of that format’s Bollywood glamour, innovative batting and cannon-fodder bowling to the Test arena. Of course, Twenty20 needs a bit of modification for the five day game but the approach of Rahul Dravid batting twenty hours, while everyone else bats twenty minutes, isn’t quite right.

6. Nicknames

The Wall”, “The Little Master”, “Boom Boom Sehwag” (sub – check that one please) are fine back on the subcontinent, but over here, India should take a lead from their hosts. If Straussy and Cooky aren’t in the runs, Trotty and Belly are; if Jimmy and Broady don’t get you, Bressy and Swanny will. So say hello to Waggy and Gammy up top batting, Laxy and Rainy in the middle order and er… Dhoni behind the stumps.

Can you hear me Duncan? 



  1. This article may well have made me snort into my cocoa, but I would like to point out that your remarks about Mr Shastri are born out of pure jealousy.

  2. Tres drole… I wrote a piece prior to the series about why India couldn’t possibly win. Despite caking it in irony, it offended the Comm Mods at the Guardian…

  3. Comedy Gold Toots! I’m enduring my eighth consecutive day of rain and your wit brightened my soggy morning significantly,

  4. We really might need Shastri and Gavaskar out on the field…the wall, the little master and the magician dont seem to be doing their job. I’d fancy Shastri at 47 and Gavvy at 61 might do better…

  5. I’d imagine Gavaskar would be ok, but Shastri would probably do an injury trying too hard to take Broad apart.

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