I missed the team meeting and most of the everything else over the weekend, felled by an unimaginably horrible gut ache. The torrid fetid wind that came with it would put a bubbling sulphur pool to shame. I understood Puff’s anguish from Hyderabad in a flash with absolute clarity. I would have gladly jumped into a pit of writhing cobras just to secure a moment’s peace.
The needle the Doc hammered into my backside mid-morning Saturday felt like a blunt pile driver. I now believe the rumour that he only uses the sharp ones on the elite derrieres of the Eleven. The Doc kept an eye on me all afternoon until the sweats and hallucinating subsided. “You’re on the mend. Spoke a lot of drivel about snakes, talking birds and financial ruin. If I could give all your lads a steel rocket in the glutes for mental toughness instead of flatulence I would. But spinning wickets are like wicked curries: highly destructive for the unprepared.” Thanks for that, Doc. Bedside manner is not his forte, but I guess that’s why he’s on tour with us and not making a fortune at some cushy “clinic” in the Eastern suburbs.
Hollywood invited me to the bar tonight – soda water only. He’d been in the nets most of the afternoon. He asked me if I believed in luck. “I prefer straight drives these days,” I replied, not strong enough to bear full witness to Hollywood’s multi-colored socks.
I saw the Prof. later in the foyer. Wicky’s under an injury cloud. Again. Coach needn’t worry. Wicky will be buried with his gloves on. Not to mention an eye patch, leg splint and an ice pack. Prof. didn’t allude to what happened Friday night. He had spent the weekend covering his bets and currency exposures.
Back to business tomorrow. The last stand. Mohali or bust.