The British lions vicious intimidatory tactics backfired on them spectacularly as insulted by their throwing of jelly beans at him while he was batting, Zaheer Khan ripped through the English line up with the second new ball.
Yes you heard me right. The English fielders (and Pietersen was the prime suspect) threw jelly beans at Zaheer Khan in a display of mature gamesmanship, though why the throwing of jelly beans touched a raw nerve in Zaheer I cannot say except that maybe he thought they were referring to a certain part of his anatomy.
India’s Zaheer Khan has claimed that the prank played by England’s fielders inspired his five-wicket haul in the second npower test at Trent Bridge.
Zaheer was batting on Sunday when a number of jelly beans were thrown onto the wicket – an action he described as “insulting”.
An angry Zaheer was then seen brandishing his bat in the direction of Kevin Pietersen at gully, with match umpires Simon Taufel and Ian Howell subsequently speaking to England captain Michael Vaughan about the incident.
But the left-arm seamer had the last laugh on Monday, Zaheer taking five wickets for 74 as England were dismissed for 355.
Of course, it could also be that the jelly beans referred to “crack cocaine” (one of whose street name is jelly beans) and from the looks of the umpiring (possibly the worst seen in recent times) with consistently outrageous decisions, one could be forgiven in thinking that the umpires were under the influence of strong hallucinogenic substances and were the ones responsible for the presence of the jelly beans in the playing arena.
However all’s well that ends well and it was spectacularly gratifying to see a strong opening partnership on foreign soil and in adverse batting conditions setting up the game for India. Not to mention the nostalgia-tinged joy of seeing the much maligned Sachin and the even more monstrously maligned Sourav Ganguly, in the twilight of their glorious careers, push back the years and anchor a victory. Of course the joy was tempered with the realization that with the Fab Four in the last lap of their careers , an yawning gap will soon be left in the Indian middle order and that the man who will have to bear the baton is cooling his heels in the dressing room, possibly eating jelly beans, losing in the process the most productive years of his career and the chance to ease himself into a responsibility that will inevitably be his.
The solution is a tough though simple one. By the end of the series, one of the Fab Four will have to be put to pasture—possibly migrating to the cash-lined green fields for the aged and infirm (also known as the India Cricket League) —leaving a permanent spot for Yuvraj Singh.
But which jelly bean shall it be?
[Totally unrelated update: Sachin Tendulkar reveals the secret of good, tension-free partnerships with Sourav Ganguly here.
He (Sachin) singled out Sourav Ganguly’s innings of 79 as solid and described the player as “terrific”.
“He looked very solid. To me he is a terrific player. It is a treat to watch him. So many times I talk to him in Bengali which takes pressure off us,” he said.