Ajinkya, say na!

Rahul da CunhaDear 'Jinks' Rahane. Hope all's good in Ceylon. I truly enjoy your batsmanship in test cricket, as much as I used to 'Jammy' Dravid's. The hard work and hunger for runs you 'shy guys' exhibit, is awesome. And yet, it's the 'show ponies' like the Sharmas — Rohit, Ishant and Mr Anushka Sharma — who always grab the headlines. I feel it's time you too become a diva. Seriously. All this gentle unassumingness, this 'he's a team man' nonsense, this 'loyal servant of India', will not get you far in this new order of cricket. Why be a loyal servant when you deserve to be a lord?

Ajinkya Rahane
Illustrations/Uday Mohite

I think, my friend, you're gonna have to accept the fact that in this country, 'great' also requires being 'gregarious'. You've got to Tarzan-like thump your chest, trumpet blow, tantrum throw, all with the specific objective to get media attention and Mr Shastri's nod. Also a rippling six pack, a few serpentine tattoos down your arm and a couple of swear words in your vocabulary won't hurt in this new Virat Kohli alpha-male era. I feel there's nothing really to be gained by being a passive doer in a sea of prima donnas.

Humility in this time is about as extinct as kindness in the Taliban. I mean why should you have to shield Rohit Sharma? Your captain with metrosexual definitiveness announced before the Sri Lanka series that Sharma was his coveted No. 3 in the batting line up. Two flops later, obviously they need to shroud his inadequacy and look for a scapegoat. They look around the dressing room, and who do they see, but you, dear Mumbai lad, brought up on missal pav and 'aai's' blessings.

So, in your short career, you've already sacrificed, randomly been shuffled up and down the batting order and been silent when your leaders like Dhoni criticise you publicly. They drop you, and then in a month, you are captaining the side to Zimbabwe, because everyone else wants a break. Would they dare do that to anyone else?

Arrogance in our culture is now eulogized. You've done the slog, now get the swag.

I don't want them to play around with your career, because they feel they can.

I'm an unabashed fan of Virat Kohli, he's a fine bat, and it amuses me that his GF and he have equally pouty lips. But he needs to know his most versatile player cannot be taken for granted. We need you to become top dog, total top of mind.

I want you to get some ad endorsements, complete with wigs, wooden expressions and WWF poses.

You are our most valuable test player. Just get a little more vocal. Plus a touch of vanity won't hurt, bro.

Sachin Tendulkar hid his arrogance under a veneer of humility. I'd like you to hide your humility with a splash of arrogance. '

Perception is everything, Ajinkya Rahane. Kai mantos?

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62@gmail.com

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