If losing isn’t bad enough, a losing captain is expected to walk up and reflect on the defeat. Virat Kohli did just that, he was composed enough to make you believe he was still batting. When asked about his batting colleagues, he expected them to reflect on the defeat; to take a good long look at themselves in the mirror.
As it has often turned out, the team does take what Kohli says to heart. And in this case to mirror. It does beg the question though, how literal are their minds; but it was largely because of this mentality that a breakthrough of sorts was achieved. At last for some of the players.
In batting order, here is how it panned out for the men in white, who are way happier being the men in blue (at least overseas).
Murali Vijay stared blankly at the mirror. Ran his fingers through his long locks. Continued to stare blankly. It was as if he was waiting for an over to be bowled. For out-swinger after out-swinger to be bowled. There he was on auto-pilot, doing something he’d done so many times before. But then, much like the one that didn’t go away, and had him trapped in front, Shikhar Dhawan walked in.
Dhawan appeared to be in a hurry. He merrily asked Vijay for the mirror. Vijay still stumped by the incoming Dhawan, flung him the mirror.
Only to see Dhawan drop it. A beaming Dhawan picked the mirror or what remained of it – the glass had cracked, the frame remained.
Dhawan cheery as ever stared at it. A blank Vijay was still worried about his form with the mirror. How in spite of looking long at himself in the mirror, he saw little of consequence.
Murali Vijay (MV): I didn’t see anything…what will I tell Vi…
Shikhar Dhawan (SD) interjecting: Oh yeah, me neither, me neither…haha but it was broken so…let’s get another mirror, this time I will catch it
Vijay and Dhawan sourced another mirror through room service. They decided that this time Dhawan will introspect first.
Dhawan somehow couldn’t bring himself to focus on the mirror though.
SD: I want to get off strike…you see…then I’ll see…then we’ll both see that way…like rotating strike
MV: OK, don’t throw it, just hand it to me…gently
Just as Vijay is taking the mirror off Dhawan’s hands, out of nowhere, a bubbly KL Rahul walks in rattling off some lines he had done for an RBI advertisement
KL Rahul (KLR): RBI kaheta hai (RBI says)….
Yet again, Vijay is taken totally unawares by an incoming delivery, in this case Rahul’s delivery of the RBI ad. Vijay fails to offer a stroke, or his hand to Dhawan, who ends up handing the mirror to thin air and dropping it.
SD: (to MV) You made me drop it, like DK made me drop it…if you didn’t want to catch it, why did you go for it?
MV: Please…please don’t compare me to DK
KL Rahul is by now trying to spread some chill amongst the openers.
KLR: Jaankar Rahiye! Satark baniye (Be aware and Be vigilant) We’re all three openers, let’s do the mirror challenge together
This time they decide to use the mirror in the bathroom, all three staring at it. Which is when Rahul blurts out
KLR: Y’kno at three I don’t know my role, I’m an opener
Someone says Defi-nate-lee from outside. It’s Rahane.
MV: Have you introspected…er done the mirror thing?
Ajinkya Rahane (AR): Defi-nate-lee…I thought since it is introspection, we don’t need a mirror. We can use the mirror app on the phone.
The three players download the mirror app on their phones. They are now idling in corners staring at their phones.
Dinesh Karthik walks in rambling a lot of eloquent thoughts. Dhawan drops his phone. Karthik goes for the dropped phone and ends up dropping Vijay’s phone in the process. Meanwhile, Rahul is oblivious, plugged into his headphones.
Rahane gets up to calm the others when he drops his phone too.
Elsewhere, R Ashwin is filming himself as he speaks to the mirror in his bathroom. He has started addressing himself, his expectations, where he delivered and where he fell short.
R Ashwin (R A): Even though I was the lone spinner on a seaming track, I took 7 wickets in the match, I believe I could have done more with the…
Furious knocking on the door. Ashwin stops the filming, and gets up to answer the door, it’s Bhajji
Harbhajan Singh (HS): Oye Ashwin, yaar, this commentary is too much tension yaar…Thodi help karva de…thodi si lift karva de…
Ashwin opens the door and sits Bhajji down. He excuses himself, promising to return in a few minutes. When Bhajji hears Ashwin talking cricket to himself inside, he calls up Yuvraj Singh to report the whole episode…
HS: Oye yaar, KXIP da kaptan bathroom de undar cricket pe *%^#$@ raha hai heheheh
Ashwin walks out, unamused.
Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya is finding the mirror thingy hard going. Whenever he looks himself in the mirror, he’s distracted and goes for the clipper, trying something new with his hair.
Finally, he locks the clipper in the safe not bothering to remember the combination lock he has entered. He then calls room service to explain his problem.
Hardik Pandya (HP): You see, this is the problem, so even if I call asking you how the hotel can open my safe, please do not help me…Hello, please can you please help me open the safe…I don’t remember the combination I entered and my clipper is in it?? Pleeease…
As requested, Pandya does not get the combination. He settles with the mirror. It is an indulgent time. Almost like a fashion shoot. Pandya is giving himself the looks
HP (pointing to himself): You talking to me??
After some of the distractions, there’s serious introspection to be had
HP: ok, I may not be the world’s greatest all-rounder but are there any all-rounders in the world today? Hmmm…Ishant should not have taken two there…but if we had tried for the third run, one of us would’ve been run out…I know everyone will say, why not just run one? But always Mr Gava-sk-aaar is saying to convert ones into twos and he’s also Ravi’s good mate so I thought the two will make Ravi happy…and I have a lotta faith in the tail..more than in our top order hehehe.
India’s pace attack has decided to do away with the mirrors, instead they’re sitting by the poolside, staring at their reflections in the water.
They look at each other, smile, and almost simultaneously splash into the water. After a few laps, they hookup again.
Ishant Sharma (IS): Room service or dining room?
Umesh and Shami smile, leaving the decision to Ishant.
IS: Let’s do room service, I don’t want to see our batsm..
Someone dives into the pool and makes a big splash, it’s Virat Kohli.
Kohli: Mind if I join you guys?
(However true this may sound, this is largely a work of fiction)
(Gaurav Sethi branded Bored Cricket Crazy Indians (BCC!) to bring bloggers together. He also branded Che Pujara, Jatman and Thank You Sachin! – as a cartoon, before it became a farewell cry. He used to work on brands. Now he works on himself. He tweets at @BoredCricket)