My dog, Bolshoi The Boxer, wants me to buy him a plane ticket to South Africa.
Bolshoi is a huge cricket fan and the performance of the Indian cricket team in the first Test at the Centurion has him worried.
“How can the No. 1 Test team in the world stutter to 136-9? And none of the batsmen could score a 50?”
“That’s easy to answer. They were Morkeled and Steyned.” I reply.
“We were supposed to be well-prepared to play the Proteas. Isn’t Gary Kirsten the team coach, a local? Why couldn’t he warn our boys?”
“I think he did his best. The schedule doesn’t include any warm-up games and whatever you do in the nets, it all pales in comparison to match situations.”
“Sehwag had to go for a duck too.”
“That’s the way he plays. A huge hit or a huge miss.”
“Tendulkar too couldn’t register his 50th ton. What a pity!”
“Yes, maybe our guys will take some tips from Harbhajan Singh on how to tackle the fast bowlers. I especially loved the six he smashed.”
“Talking of tips, I had some money riding on the Indian team.”
“Oh-oh! Bad news for you. That’s good money down the drain.”
“Not if I can help it. I want to go to South Africa and cheer the boys up. I think a couple of pep-talks will do them good.”
“It’ll take more than pep-talks.”
“They can gain inspiration from my never-say-die attitude. We boxers are a hardy breed and have descended from the British bulldog. I am of German origin. And the Germans are known to be tough customers. Look at how they rebuilt the fatherland after the Second World War.”
“You’re no German. You’re not Russian either.You’re not even an import.”
“The boys can learn from me how to reconstruct an innings. I will show them how to build character.” Bolshoi ignores my snide comments.
“Bolshoi, you can do your best. But unless you face the chin music, the cricketers are not inclined to hear out arm-chair critics.”
“Pack my bags and my cricketing gear. If push comes to shove, I intend to open the innings myself.”
Bolshoi always has the final word.