When I was in school, I had a T-shirt which read, ‘My Dad Knows The Principal....Amount’. Obviously, the designer had disguised the word ‘Amount’ in small font size as the real message was about the bragging rights of knowing the school principal.
For the record, my dad didn’t know the principal. It was just a nice sky blue T-shirt with a funny message. Over the years, I’ve developed the habit of noticing what’s written on T-shirts. I remember former Pakistan captain Imran Khan turning up for the toss during the 1992 World Cup final in one with a tiger’s picture. I like it subtle but then sometimes you have to wear your heart on the sleeve, rather chest.
The latest one that got me going came from one of my KKR colleagues. It is a funny take on Sunny Deol’s famous dialogue from ‘Damini’, where he is seen venting his frustration on the slow judicial process of our country. The T-shirt read ‘Taarikh Pe Taarikh’. I’ve been thinking if I was allowed to wear a T-shirt of my choice at the toss what would it say? I asked my KKR team-mates as well. Should it be, “Ab ki baar KKR’? It is fine but not great.
Another colleague came up with a terrible idea. I am not giving out his name as I know he’ll lose respect. He suggested: ‘Yeh Trophy Mujhe De De Thakur’ twisting the famous Gabbar Singh dialogue from ‘Sholay’. I think, I’ll keep it simple, just one word in bold: ‘BELIEVE’. This summarises a sportsperson for me. Belief can move mountains. This is what KKR need.
I can sense there is plenty of belief in our dressing room. I am fortunate to have Jacques Kallis as coach. He is a man who has based his game on self-belief besides other virtues. As a player, he was known to be a man of few words but with the coaching hat on he is a changed individual. He is always ready with his ideas. ‘JK’ is an encyclopedia on batting. The other day I heard him talk about balance, the weight and stillness required for batting. I was a rapt spectator listening to the great man. At my age, there is a lot to learn but I hope my younger Indian colleagues benefit more from his presence.
We had two days of solid practice at the Eden. Pune are a good side and can be dangerous in the situation they are in. Unfortunately, they don’t have much to lose and can be party-poopers for teams like us.
By the way, I remember seeing a Rajinikanth T-shirt. It read: ‘Rajini Doesn’t Wear A Watch, He Decides What Time Is it’. I hope Rajini sir decides the times are good for KKR.
(The writer is Kolkata Knight Riders captain)