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Diary of the 17th Man – Mar 22

Day 1 – Fourth Test –Delhi

The Bob Kater look-alike physios were putting it away at breakfast this morning, and I assumed that meant they’d been up all night working on The Back.  Prof was looking very nervous, and not about whether he was going to be playing today.  Maybe he hasn’t been able to cover an exposure here or there overnight.

In the end, the Captain was out of the team due to a non-homework related back issue.  That meant two things.  Hollywood would be filling in the team sheet (Mr Bean helpfully offered to sharpen his crayon for him) and I would be getting another Test.  Does that make me a two-test veteran, or, as someone in the press corps said, the owner of the Baggy Green least likely to wear out from over use.

Hollywood kept the run of successful calls at the toss going, and really, that was all that was required of him apart from scoring some runs.  Instead, he did a cartwheel in celebration on his way back to the dressing room, ripping the arm of his team blazer. When he stumbled a bit on landing I thought he might have ripped his ACL as well, but he was fine.

As far as the cricket goes, it was not a good day.  There were several low scores, and of those who got a start, only The Freak managed to make it to 50.  Twitter has been alive with the idea of reversing the batting order based on form, and today will give more fuel to that preposterous proposition.  I’m kicking myself for getting out just shy of a 50 after working so hard, something Dad hammered home when he rang while I was still at the ground.

We were back at the hotel when my mobile rang again.  I answered it without thinking – there wasn’t anyone I really wanted to talk to anyway.  It was Brian the New Zealander from the call center at the telco that Warnie recommended.  We’d talked about cricket when he fixed up my phone last week, and at first I thought he was just checking up on how things were going with the phone. But no, he was ringing up to gloat about how well the Black Caps were going against England.  “We were sent in and got 1 for 250 on the first day.  How did you guys go?”

I didn’t want to engage, but I guess our 231 runs was okay if you didn’t count the wickets.  Then I thought he said “It was fun taking no wickets that made the difference.”  I was about to ask him if they were batting or bowling, but it was obvious something was lost in translation.  I’m sure Finn will strike back tomorrow.

As we need to.

Australia 8/231


© 2013 Dave Cornford & Jeremy Pooley

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