Originally published in the Mirror Click here
Sportsmen are known to be superstitious but this really is stretching it a bit too far.
Hushed voices in the corridors of uncertainty are revealing that the race to the world number 1 spot in tests has been called off. Teams like South Africa, Australia, and Sri Lanka, formerly vying for that coveted crown in test cricket, are now reportedly happy with being just number 2.
The reason for this sudden change of heart is a rumour doing the rounds that the world number 1 spot is cursed. Even the two erudite Michaels – Atherton and Vaughan – were overheard comparing it to the mythical poisoned chalice, where the person drinks the wine thinking that he’s becoming the king, but is actually swallowing down what will eventually end up consuming the consumer.
The signs are there for everyone to see.
On Day 1 of the first test match between England and Pakistan, the newly crowned world number 1 team was bundled out for a measly score. And very few Indians can actually forget what happened to the previous world number 1 when they played England not so long ago.
The similarities don’t end there. India lost Zaheer Khan on Day 1 of the first test. England lost Tim Bresnan before he could even board the flight. India lost Yuvraj Singh midway through the second test. England almost lost Ian Bell before the first ball was bowled. Bell may have delayed the curse but he could not deny it, failing to score a run during an inning that brought back memories of 2005.
The panic has spread
If reports are to be believed, so scared is Australia about regaining the world number 1 spot that they have decided to go easy on India in the Adelaide test match.
Australia’s coach Mickey Arthur who had set his sights on the No. 1 rank has now publicly re-aligned his radar to the Ashes. After all, who would know it better than the former South Africa coach that South Africa didn’t win a single home test series for four years after becoming world number 1, a spell that was broken recently against Sri Lanka.
And South Africa, next in line for the cursed position, have smartly proposed to the ICC that Chennai Super Kings be made honorary world number 1 for the next five years.
ICC seems warm to the idea and are awaiting a green signal from Mr. N Srinivasan’s astrologer before making it official.
But if the curse really is true the question everyone’s asking is, why is India still playing like they are world number 1?
Ajmal tries an Agarkar
Pakistan off-spinner and destroyer-in-chief in England’s first inning Saeed Ajmal thought he could pull off an Agarkar.
Ajmal had said at the start of the series that he has developed a new ball, the teesra.
Throughout their first inning, the English batsmen remained pre-occupied with identifying the teesra. In the meantime, Kevin Pietersen lost his wicket to the pehla, Ian Bell to the doosra and Andrew Strauss to one that isn’t even numbered.
But, Ajmal’s teesra ball remained as illusionary as Agarkar’s promised all-rounder avatar.
But pulling off such hoaxes in the post-Agarkar era isn’t easy. The wisened English team is almost sure that the only teesra ball Saeed Ajmal may have developed can only be revealed in a thorough physical examination.
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