A friend of mine, still giddy from seeing the newly released Christopher Nolan’s mind bending movie “Inception“, asked whether I have seen it yet. I told him that my head is still spinning from Nolan’s earlier work, Memento and The Following. I need to give my mind or whatever is left of it, a little rest before I set upon journeys from which I may never come back.
Since the next best thing for me to do was check on the schedule of India matches, I was pondering about the possible reasons as to how a second string Board President’s XI squad thoroughly bitch-slapped the first choice India test XI. That’s when it occurred to me the elaborate cloak of deception India has spread out, unbeknownst to their modest neighbor from the South.
Even before the tour of Sri Lanka began (consisting of 2 tests and a triangular ODI series featuring New Zealand as the third team), India’s leading pace bowler Zaheer Khan withdrew due to injury. The replacement, the effervescent but always petulant Sreesanth, who would have given the Indian pace attack some semblance of “pace” and “attack”, went Khan’s way and now India are staring at the real possibility of having a debutant share the new ball with Munaf Patel (I do not know which is worse).
The Indian think tank quickly went in to overdrive and tried to erase from the memory of Sri Lankans the pre-series talk by Virender Sehwag about Ajantha Mendis. Sehwag, in an interview to a Indian newspaper suggested Indians have decoded the mystery of Mendis.
He [Mendis] had a really good series against us last time. But we have played him rather well since then. They didn’t pick him in the one-dayers (Asia Cup). Even if he is not picked for the Tests we have to prepare for Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv. We have failed to win a Test series in Sri Lanka in the recent past. We have some unfinished business… like an unfinished assignment in Sri Lanka. We will definitely try to win this time.
The Sri Lankans, who seem to scour Indian newspapers (which ceased to be actual media long time ago but are just tabloids now) for any kind of inside information, promptly pulled Mendis out of their test squad. They thought they will give the Indians false sense of confidence by including Mendis in the BP XI side. But the clever, shrewd thinking Indians rather easily saw through the Sri Lankan schemes and out-bluffed them.
1. They held back their main spinner Harbhajan citing injury (wink, wink) so that the BP XI batsmen do not hammer the fragile psyche of the Turbanator. (So, He is now woefully out of match fitness for the longer version).
2. They dropped like flies when Mendis came on to bowl, hoping Sri Lanka will do a u-turn on their decision to drop Mendis from the test squad.
3. Yuvraj scored a century. Everyone knows as a test batsman, Yuvraj pretty much sucks. Actually, he has been sucking as batsman in all formats lately. Now, the Indians made the Sri Lankans think that Yuvraj is the straw that stirs the drink and thereby, taken the attention away from their actual batsmen.
Now that the trap has been sprung, the Indian team just has to play the waiting game. Insect.. Meet Venus Fly Trap.