The 97-run margin of victory doesn’t just say innings defeat, it’s an innings defeat after following on. Rising Pune Supergiants Supergiant barely managed to make more runs than Sanju Samson made on the night. Twice in three games, the bowlers have set personal worst records.
A loss of this scope and magnitude calls for much introspection. When one has played so badly, giving the opposition their biggest ever win, one needs to take a good, hard look inside…. the players' kit bags. That is where you will find the evidence that will solve the whodunit of defeat. And there are a few prime suspects:
There is the usual detritus you expect to find in a fast bowler’s kit bag: spare spikes, more shoe spanners than shoes, and about a dozen pairs of socks. But there is also hair gel, M-seal, Fevicol and Fevikwik, along with a few other brands of adhesives. He collected the adhesives after the first game, to seal up the leaks in his death bowling. Unfortunately, the effort it takes to get direction with his unorthodox action leaves him confused: the Fevikwik was used to hold the headband in place, and the hair gel tried to seal the cracks at the death, resulting in more misery. Thus the unbelievably stable hair and equally unstable last over. 19 runs, in case you were wondering. If he were in the Harry Potter universe, he would always be entitled to free drinks at the Leaky Cauldron.
With a leader like MSD in the team, you can’t keep him out of the game. You can’t not give him responsibility, even if he isn’t captain. Dhoni is probably in charge of team morale; who better than the man who never loses his cool. So after the loss, after the stadium has emptied, out comes the football and the team plays a little game of bich ka bandar (monkey in the middle) in the dressing room. Doesn’t matter if his highest score in three innings is 12, and everyone is already talking about Rishab Pant keeping for India in T20Is. He’s still got a mean right cross.
Old Rs 500 and Rs 100 notes, that’s what you’ll find in the English all rounder’s kit bag. Bidding Rs 14.5 single-minded crores for him was a shrewd move by the team owners to get rid of all that cash. Poor Stokes, with no idea about demonetisation, gullibly accepted, and is now trying to get rid of the currency.
Some of it would have been used to buy coach Stephen Fleming and skipper Steve Smith a few drinks, to make sure they played both leg spinners against Delhi. Sure fire way to keep Carlos Brathwaite out of the XI, no? Problem solved, no tall fast bowling all rounder shall six-blitz him in the last over in this game, right?
A bottle of chilled Fosters, or whatever brand is passing as Australian for beer these days. It’s bad enough that he is being upstaged in the leg spin department by a fellow who wasn’t even on the team to start with. But then when you concede your worst ever figures in T20 cricket, what better draught to drown your sorrows than the Australian favourite, eh?
That’s when matters got worse though, as the stadium security didn’t let him open it. Alcohol ban near the highways you see.
“Ridiculous. Can’t a man enjoy a beer in peace? And skip, I’ll be wanting that lucky headband back; about time I got some of the luck it’s bringing you.”
Team owners usually don’t carry kit bags, usually they just sit at the sidelines and pray, jump (Preity Zinta), and wave (Shahrukh Khan). But Goenka has a kit bag, and a rather large one at that. It contains the giant S that he had removed from the end of the team name at the start of the season. He wanted to cremate it and spread its ashes on the MCA International Stadium, but his astrologers wouldn’t let him. They didn’t like it when he took his numerologist’s advice and removed the S you see, and have promised Goenka’s team a dip in fortune should he set fire to anything.
Luckily, Sanju Samson does not have astrologers or numerologists, so he had no qualms razing the Rising Pune Supergiants Supergiant on their its home ground.