An Australia tour is an excruciatingly frustrating experience.
Once you get over the initial excitement of bouncy green pitches, an overseas tour, and the experience of waking up early to watch cricket, history hits you like a gigantic Amrish Puri slap.
Your mind trudges back to all those tournaments when you pinned your hope on your favourite hero, only to watch him walk back to the pavilion, his stumps in disarray thanks to an Aussie fast bowler you hadn’t heard of.
And then there’s Glenn McGrath. Not content with wrecking India’s happiness consistently over the last two decades, the guy will appear on television with his standard prediction – 4-0. There will be people talking about why this time there are better chances of winning a test, but deep within, your mind is saying LOL ROFLMAO.
The entire experience of watching India totter its way through four test matches, each loss more brutal than the other, is utterly painful. And yet, we as cricket enthusiasts fall for it every single time.
For all you heartbroken fans out there, here are some ways that could help you soothe the pain.
1. Watch the matches online: If you’re watching the matches on TV, good luck to you. Not only are the matches generally depressing, the ads on TV these days could force you to look for a long rope. The agony of watching Hema Malini handing over a glass of water to you, and speak in that refreshing alien voice of hers, could drive a sane man into a Sreesanth.
To give you something to cheer, watch the matches online. The commentary is far more interesting, the ads are even better. Then, when you’re done with one live streaming channel for a while, switch to the transmission of another country. Do this on and on, every few hours, till you land up at a Pakistani live streaming website. Your day, dear friend, is made.
2. Watch Zee Cinema: In case you’re still wondering, Zee Cinema is the greatest TV channel there is. At any given point of time, you turn on Zee Cinema, and it turns you on back. In fact, the films showed on Zee Cinema are handpicked by God himself (once he has allotted the requisite 72 virgins to members of the ISIS). And since matches in Australia are telecast early in the morning in India, Zee Cinema is at its peak. If the cricket doesn’t interest you, switch to Zee Cinema and watch as sounds and visuals keep you enthralled. If you’re in luck (meaning if your maid doesn’t turn up early in the morning), you could even, you know, spend some quality time with yourself.
3. Place bets on how many overs Shikhar Dhawan will survive: When Shikhar Dhawan arrived on the test scene, he hammered Austalian bowlers to all parts of the park. Since then, every time he has toured another country, he has given new meaning to the term ‘Shaktimaan at home, Shakti Kapoor abroad’. And since it looks like he’s going to be opening batsman this time, make sure you earn money while he’s earning brickbats. Choose a fellow sufferer among your friends, and place bets on how many over he’ll survive. Raise the stakes if Mitchell Johnson is bowling.
EDIT: But be careful guys. Don’t take it to an industrial level – Meriyappan.
4. Make use of the early mornings: If you’re waking up in the mornings anyway, you might as well make good use of them. Once you’ve switched on the TV and seen the score (75/6), grab your shoes and step out for a run. I generally imagine I’m a warrior charging at the Australian team with a sword in my hand. It’s amazing the difference that the right motivation can bring you.
5. Follow Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar: Finally, if all fails, make use of BCCI’s annual Sarva Nidra Abhiyaan – Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar. Shastri, who is renowed the world over for introducting the Clichean language, is a force to reckon with. Watch him as he mouths out your favourite cliches – That went like a tracer bullet, That’s just what the doctor ordered, or One just gets the feeling… Place bets on how many cliches he can deliver in a minute, and smile as he reads out the score even though you can see it in large bold letters on your screen, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
And then, there’s always Mr. Sunil Gavaskar, the one reason the world of cricket hasn’t degenerated into Ice Hockey yet. The BIS standard hallmark on cricketing ethics, basics, and values. Watch him launch into a tirade against hapless, uncultured Australians as they make the grave mistake of picking their nose on camera. Watch as Gavaskar decides for the world how unethical the Aussies are.
And then, just as Australia wrap up the series 4-0, watch Shastri remark that in the end, cricket is the winner.