Tours to India may not be the voyages into the unknown that they once were, but it still helps to bring along a pallet or two of baked beans just in case. With four Tests between India and Australia looming on the horizon, we’ve put together a list of things we would love to see happen, particularly if the actual cricket is as dull as it was during England’s recent series.
In an ideal world Lyon would not only have a beard, but a thick luxuriant one you could sink your fingers into and tug on all day. Er, ahem. Anyway, he just looks like the sort of person who should have a beard, and the fact he doesn’t baffles us in the extreme. Plus it’ll probably improve his bowling. It certainly couldn’t make it worse.
A tour of the sub-continent is a perfect excuse to dabble in the arcane arts of facial hair, and we don’t mean the sort of prissy affairs most players sport every November, we mean proper efforts. It’s our sincere hope that Nathan Lyon returns to Australia a a changed man, in more ways than one.
The cricket world was seemingly united in sorrow over the ‘monkeygate’ affair (is that the best name they could come up with?). United, that is, except for those who found the sheer absurdity of the whole thing hilarious. Honestly, it was just ridiculous, and the threats from the touring Indians of booking a private plane and going home were just the icing on the cake.
While we don’t think there will be an episode quite as explosive as that one, with Harbhajan back you can’t discount the possibility either. The smart money is on a confrontation with David Warner, but we hope that Harbhajan completely loses his head and decides to start a feud with the most unlikely opponent possible. Ed Cowan would be a good option.
The highlight of last year’s IPL (aside from Katy Perry), was Steve Smith throwing up all over the place while fielding in one of Pune’s many memorable defeats. For everyone lucky enough to have seen it live, it was a moment that will live long in the memory. With a whole host of first time tourists in the Australian squad, a repeat performance seems a near certainty. The only question is of who.
Since ‘exotic bets’ are the flavour of the month in gambling circles, it would make sense to open a market on who the lucky man may be. In the unlikely event of a dead heat, the size of the offering will decide the winner. Our man, Jackson Bird, is our pick.
It’s fair to say that it’s almost impossible for a non-local to keep up with affairs in Indian cricket. This is especially true when it comes to knowing who is the most hated player in the country at any one moment. Most teams around the world have at least one hate figure included (the so-called ‘Dernbach clause’), but Indian fans take it to extremes, with usually as many as two or the three players capable of provoking mass demonstrations, replete with the usual effigy burning.
This current Indian squad seems to contain a few more hate figures than normal though. Ajinka Rahane, Ishant Sharma, and Ashok Dinda are all first rank targets, but Pragyan Ojha and Virender Sehwag also seem to be doing a decent effort of riling the masses at the moment. All of which creates the wonderful possibility that the locals may finally decide that supporting a team containing the like of Peter Siddle and Warner is actually preferable.
Tendulkar walking to the crease used to be an ominous sight for teams the world over. Now it leads to a traffic jam at the bowler’s end as everyone is desperate to cash in on a cheap wicket. We imagine Glenn Maxwell may be a little more vigorous than most in pushing himself to the front of that particular queue, seeing how he’s so desperate to live up to his nickname of the ‘The Big Show’. Plus he’ll be looking to endear himself to Indian fans ahead of the IPL, and sledging then dismissing India’s greatest ever batsman is sure way of accomplishing that.
On the subject of Maxwell’s ridiculous nickname, a tour like this is the perfect opportunity to come up with a new one. Since it would have been earned in far-off India, the curious origins of options such as ‘mystery ball’, or ‘strangely brown’, could also safely be kept a complete mystery.