It was somewhere around the fourteenth over that “Bad” Hodge walked up to Dada and said, ” This pitch is getting real slow. I think if I stick around till the end, we can get 135. That will be a winning score here.”
Dada, struggling himself like an old Dadu searching for his dentures in the dark, replied “What the eff are you saying? The opposition has already scored 168 runs. We are chasing, not setting a target. Don’t tell me that’s why you have been batting like this for so long.”
Hodge ran his hands through his graying hair. “Bloody hell, mate I think I am playing the wrong match. I must have forgotten my London ki goliyaan again. Uiii Maaaaa main kitna Baad hoon…”
It was that kind of a day. Dubbed as a kickboxing match between A K Hangal and Dev Anand, on the account of the weak firepowers of the respective teams, it ultimately became a heavy-weight boxing fixture between Mike Tyson and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan with Kolkata suffering yet another humiliating decimation at the hands of the second weakest team in the tournament.
Not that I had not seen it coming. The moment I heard that Rohan Gavaskar had been left behind in Kolkata to make mishti doi while Mortaza milked the cow and Ajantha Mendis held the back legs of the animal to prevent it from kicking, I knew KKR had made yet another gigantic mistake. Because while Ishant Sharma may have learnt the art of throwing from the paper-wallah (which is why he cannot hit the stumps even it is 5 mm from him), it was only Rohan Gavaskar who had learnt the art of appealing from the pallu-dropping starlet as he had held closed the eyes of everyone else. If that was not a glaring error, Agarkar was once again left on the bench and Shane Bhondu, who seems incapable of bowling a decent spell, was selected in his place.
Even in a mismatched game, the weaker team sometimes gets a few minutes when it dominates or has a decent chance of winning the match. In today’s match, the only time when KKR had a shot was the first ball of the game when Michael Lumb (rhymes with Dumb) fell to an exuberant Dinda . From the second ball onwards, it became all a one way street. The Rajasthan Royals, who have had trouble against every decent opposition in the tournament, went medieval on KKR’s ass on a pitch which was not even conducive to strokeplay. Once a score of 168 was reached, the game was effectively over since KKR’s band of geriatrics were obviously not going to be able to get to 169. Not that they really cared.
Hodge was his incomparable self. Manoj Tiwari exhibited less life than ND. Pujara sparkled for a while but he just doesnt have the T20 abilities of a Rayadu or a Saurabh Tiwari. Owais Shah looked like a kindergarten kid being given a differential equation to solve, so clueless and vacant was his face.
And Dada? What to say about him. Brandishing his bat like a blind Alok Nath shooing dogs, his batting was downright embarrassing. One could scarcely believe that it was the same man, who even in the last disastrous season of KKR, gave a command performance against RR bringing KKR so-close to a win. Today he could not get out even when he tried, struggling to find his feet like a cockroach turned over on its back and I for one was half-expecting Rohan Gavaskar to come and hold his hands over my eyes so that I dont have to watch the cringe-worthy display of batsmanship from someone I admire so much.
A gutless, spineless, “pantloon-ripping woh bhi peeche se angootha lagake” performance. The King’s Men are back in town.