Honest Ad for a Middle Order Batsman for the Indian Squad

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Honest Ad for a Middle Order Batsman for the Indian Squad

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

R

ohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli, the top three Indian batsmen, have more drawing power than the three Khans of Bollywood, and India’s picture is a hit even if one of the three stand up on any given day. In Shikhar Dhawan’s absence, India’s backup opener KL Rahul has also stood up to the test, not seeming nervous, unlike that Koffee With Karan episode. India’s bowling boasts three of the world’s top ten ODI bowlers, with Jasprit Bumrah leading the pack. An Indian fast bowler is the number one ODI bowler in the world? Someone pinch me, this must be a dream. All ’90s kids will feel my joy, for we have grown up watching Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, and Debashish Mohanty.  

India’s top three and last four seem more comfortably settled in than a Gujarati NRI in the United States. That leaves us with number four, five, six and seven; the dreaded middle order. “Who will play at number four?” became a more discussed topic than the Union Budget this year ahead of the World Cup. India’s middle order is more shaky than a city built on a geological fault, and everytime it stands exposed, it feels like the batting unit is going to fall apart like Mumbai’s bridges during the monsoon. Before the vulnerability is exposed and an opposition runs through India’s batting lineup, it’s time for the BCCI to publish the following  job requirement and put this matter to rest: 

Wanted: A Middle Order Batsman

Qualification

– Candidate must possess decent technique and not be a flat-track bully who can only play on pitches like Rajkot, Jaipur, and Bangalore. When asked to bat in England, South Africa, and Australia, he must not look as out of place as Abhishek Bachchan at an Ambani wedding.

– Candidate must be able to play difficult shots like frontfoot defence, nudging it down to third man, and gently manoeuvring the ball around for singles. ODI is not T20 and you are not AB de Villiers. Kripiya aukat mein rahe. 

– Candidate must be able to beat Kedar Jhadav in the Yo-Yo Test since running between the wickets with Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, and Hardik Pandya is more challenging than boarding a Virar local during peak hours. 

– Candidate must be able to rotate strike and not camp out on the pitch with 20 runs in 45 balls when the required run rate is mounting. There will be a separate job requirement put out for places in the Test squad.

Candidates applying for the job don’t have to worry about retirement.

Tasks and Responsibilities

– Candidate is expected to steady the ship after the fall of early wickets and not cause more panic by heading back to the pavilion after spending less time on the pitch than he did padding up.

– Candidate is expected to just give strike to Virat Kohli when batting with him and enjoy the spectacle from the non-striker’s end. Similarly, when batting with Dhoni, candidate will be expected to absorb the pressure and move on faster than selectors moved on from the prospect of selecting Ambati Rayudu for the World Cup.

– Candidate is expected to play with the tail and finish games like Michael Bevan and not give up immediately like Indian parents do after seeing the child’s Class 10 marksheet. 

Benefits

– Candidate will have not have much to do on most days since Sharma, Dhawan/KL Rahul, and Virat get two-thirds of our runs. Candidate will get to have beers with Ravi Shastri in the dressing room or play PUBG with Yuzvendra Chahal.

– Candidate won’t have to go out as the 12th man with drinks, bats, gloves, towels, or to tie a batsman’s shoelaces, since he would now be part of the team.

– Candidate will make money and be a part of a winning team, sharing credit for other people’s hard work while only being entrusted with not fucking up too badly.

Candidates applying for the job don’t have to worry about retirement. If Parthiv Patel and double up as an expert so can you. It helps if you have an endorsement from one of the following cricketing greats: Sachin Tendulkar, Virendra Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, or VVS Laxman, which means they should not have to google your name. Bowling and fielding skills will be an added bonus that could boost your chances but don’t be like Shahid Afridi, who seems like a batsman when he bowls, and a bowler when he bats. Please attach a 3D photograph with your resume to help selectors make a better assessment. Howzzat?

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