Exclusive with Sandeep Patil: The Turbanator is back!

A new spin on the team: Sandeep Patil shows how Bhajji can celebrate his test comeback. Image sources: 1 & 2

A new spin on the team: Sandeep Patil shows how Bhajji can celebrate his test comeback. Image sources: 1 & 2

A day after the Jhalak Dikhla Ja legend  Harbhajan Singh made a return to the Indian test team to everyone’s surprise (including his), social media wannabe paajivspunter caught up with India’s chairman of selectors, Sandeep Patil, at his candid best. Known for his fearless hitting during his playing days, the chief selector did not hold back in his interview. Here are the excerpts:

PVP: Hello Sandeep, what prompted Harbhajan’s recall into the test team? Is it due to the number of left handers in the Bangladesh team?

SP: Not at all! That is what we’ve told the traditional media. We have tried a lot to prevent Harbhajan Singh from getting selected in the past. We looked into the matter of domestic violence against Sreesanth, we made sure his passport got stolen so that he could not travel abroad but he keeps coming back! We have made some new plans for him this time around. We also wanted to give some rest to our key player, Sir Jadeja, in order to preserve him for bigger battles later on.

PVP: What are the plus points of having Bhajji in the team?

SP: (Scratches his head for a long time) Well… the obvious is that his footwork has improved. Earlier, he did not enjoy the captain’s backing which is not the case now. People expected Bhajji would make the ODI squad on the basis of his IPL form but with Dhoni getting out first ball….

PVP: So Virat Kohli asked for Bhajji in the test squad?

SP: Of course! I thought you’ll be clever enough to get it. Any person who speaks the same words as Virat, that too against Australia, has the captain’s backing. Virat can’t believe that Bhajji made Sachin paaji repeat the event to the match referee!

PVP: So what are your plans for Bhajji?

SP: (Shakes his head) It didn’t go down too well in BCCI circles that he called our Ranji bowlers as Malcolm Marshall. How can he insult our fast bowlers by calling them such names? (Gestures wildly) Woh kahan aur hum kahan? Plus he had an altercation with a fan sometime back. Keeping this in mind and now that the government has launched a land swap deal with Bangladesh, we hope to launch our own player swap deal with Bangladesh in this tour. They can keep Harbhajan and we’ll take Shakib. Amartya Sen keeps saying that Bangladesh is better than us. This will even things a little.

PVP: That is an outrageous idea! Won’t people oppose this move on so many grounds?

SP: (Waves his hands) Not at all… BCCI owns all the grounds (Guffaws and composes himself)! People are anyway saying that Bangladesh will find it easy to infiltrate the boundaries with Bhajji on the team. People will always have their opinions.

A weight lifted off my mind: Bhajji celebrating success with the other Indian team. Image source: 3

A weight lifted off my mind: Bhajji celebrating success with the other Indian team. Image source: 3

PVP: What about the critics?

SP: (Confidently) Bishan Bedi is silent since Harbhajan has not been banned by ICC. I expect the political class to jump up in unison, cutting across party lines. Any day now, Kejriwal will say that Bhajji was selected since he’s a paid, Ambani agent. I expect that Subramanian Swamy will cause some uproar with our swapping Bhajji with Shakib… but now that he plays for Kolkata and since it will be easier to get him an Aadhar card after the swap (not that there was a problem anyway!), we should be able to pull it off.

PVP: Wow, you seem to be taking it seriously! You have plans for Dr. Swamy also?

SP: You can’t plan for these things… but we’ll deflect his criticism by pointing to how BCCI has helped out other sports previously. But I feel the moment we announce the swap deal, he will point to the fact that no Bangladeshi has ever qualified for the Olympics and launch into a snide remark saying “They are bad in the Olympics because any Bangladeshi who could run, jump and swim has already crossed to India!” (Sighs).

Disclaimer: Almost all punchlines were taken from @paajivspunter. The images used are not property of this blog. The copyright, if any, rests with the respective owners. All lines written are fictional with the intention of humour only and should be taken with a large dose of salt.

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