An Open Sledge to the Australian Cricket Team

From an Indian Supporter, On the Eve of the Semi-Final

Dear Australia,

Congratulations on making it to the semi-final.

Your players talk a lot. Abuse a lot. Make a big show of everything. For a nation of 20 million (or is it less?), which basically is average at pretty much everything except sport, that’s quite impressive. I mean, other countries your size are hardly ever heard on the world stage.

Tomorrow, you can count on the following:

  • Your fans at the SCG will be outnumbered by a ratio of 2:1, at a minimum; Isn’t it amazing that the match is being played in YOUR country, and YOUR fans are going to be the ones feeling out of place?
  • While your fans chug beer, our fans will be screaming their hearts out, making so much noise that it’s going to feel like a game at the Wankhede;
  • In terms of TV viewership, your fans will be outnumbered by…hold on…I have to calculate this one…approximately 60:1. Good luck
  • Your players have passed a few comments about the use of ‘sledging’ — you might need a lot of it tomorrow — the use of sledging is a sign of frustration, and an attempt to mask inadequacies on a cricket field with verbose bull$hit.
  • With regard to above, judging from press conferences, not many of your players seem to have an IQ above 75, so what they say on the field is not exactly going to be from the ‘Mind the windows Tino’ School of Sledge {which by the way, was brilliant}
  • In your last game, against our beloved brothers from across the border, we saw that you can be put under a LOT of pressure even chasing a small total. And are far more susceptible to the short stuff than we thought. Get ready to dance to some chin music. More on that in a bit…

So time to get to the point of this sledge, in batting order:

Warner —You make a gorilla look handsome, and very often, more athletic. Inconsequential Tests are not the stage to be scoring runs. Tomorrow, my friend, is when it counts. Madan Lal played more tests than you have, but he is remembered for one delivery. What will you be remembered for?

Finch — Not much to say. Averaging under 40 in all formats. Will probably do so for the rest of a fairly staid career. A passenger as far as contribution to the scoreboard goes. Next

Smith — For someone who looks so horribly unbalanced at point of contact, you’re a bloody good player. Ask Virat or Sheeekhaa for some tips on hair style. And beard styling.

Clarke — Great leader. And all that. Injured most of the time. Back. Hamstring. Back again. Not even sure you should be in the playing eleven. Who’s to say you’ll do much damage when your country’s counting on you? Wahab had you jumping and fending off deliveries aimed at your head. Where, and for who’s pleasure are you hiding that pull shot? You were worked out like a kid playing his first league game. Yada(a)v and co will remember that well. We’ll be aiming at your head tomorrow, in more ways than one

Watson — Watto! What o what happened to you the other night?! Riaz was on fire. And you were so glad none of those deliveries hit you. Your face displayed a very noticeable combination of fear, shock and stubbornness, in that order. We all know you average about 20 in the last year. You have on more than one occasion in the recent past publicly expressed thoughts that you’ll never play again. We all concur on that one. Could tomorrow be the last game you’ve been wishing for?

Maxwell — Almost everything you’ve done so far at this WC has come off. It looks weird. It is weird. But effective. You’re basically an Afridi. With a better average and a poorer strike rate. You’ve got some interesting shots in your arsenal. If only you had the cunning and temperament of ABD, we’d be worried.

Haddin — You never smile. And you never take off your shades or your cap. No one on the planet even knows what you look like. You’ve got more in common with the Stig than anyone else I know (of). You lived in Gilchrist’s shadow. But you can come out now!

Faulkner — Blah. They claim you’re a finisher. Show us tomorrow then!

Johnson — You’re (again) beginning to look like the guy who was as capable of bowling deadly spells, as he was of spraying it all over the place. And spray it you have. I’m sure you’re glad your namesake is in the team

Starc — We know it’s white. And round. You’ll see tomorrow that we don’t always need to see it to hit it.

Hazlewood/ Cummins — Can’t be bothered to write about you two. Do something of significance and I’ll mention you in another post.

So — that’s it. We’re ready. About 150 million of us have taken off from work. Another 300 million aren’t going to turn up to work. And the rest will probably ‘work’ from home.

You must know that your team is a team everyone loves to hate. We all cried with ABD and Co. It was spectacular, as it was tragic. We will either laugh at you, or not laugh at all. For the sake of your economy, I hope the Indians hang around in your country for a few days irrespective of the result. I’ve heard its beautiful. You’re going to be coming to India soon to earn your wages anyway. We’ll be waiting ☺

Good luck!

P.S: If you liked this, please share with every Indian you know — we need to be pumped for tomorrow — EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US — LET’S DO IT!!!

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