It’s Friday night. The weekend double headers are coming up and you are excited. By the time the weekend ends, you expect yourself to spend all of Monday in the glory of your weekend success, as you would have jumped to the top five of your fantasy cricket league. You have all your subs lined up beautifully and all the in-form players in your team. Your wife or your girlfriend is out of town and you’ve already invited your friends over for an epic IPL Saturday evening. Among these friends, are also the ones who you know for certain you will jump over by the weekend ends.
But then Rohit Sharma gets out for a duck and Bumrah who took three wickets the previous game leaks forty runs without a wicket. Pollard who you had dropped a couple of games ago decides to hit a quick-fire fifty. Rahane goes for a duck and Faf who had given you all those points in the beginning of the season can’t seem to get bat on ball. You are devastated while your friend who subbed in Pollard minutes before the game is dancing around like he has won the World Cup. You want to throw the entire jar of Salsa on him but you resist because there is still one more game to come. You make your changes in advance so you don’t make a decision influenced by stress and stick to your initial plan. Your idiot friend who had Pollard is busy refreshing the website to check his new position in the league while you continue refilling his drinks and cheering him on but before he knows it, he has missed the cutoff time for the game and his face falls. You secretly rejoice because you planned this the moment Pollard had made a fifty.
But the match is rained out and your subs go to waste. Your idiot friend finishes your 18-year-old Glenfiddich and insists that he come over for the game tomorrow as your house is lucky for him but you lie to him that you’re volunteering for the Salvation Army. That night, you get drunk and you make all the wrong decisions as you make more substitutions than you need and then you find out that most of your players are not even in the playing eleven. That night you don’t sleep as your bed is filled with your tears and you skip work on Monday as you “don’t feel up to it.” My friend, you are suffering from MIFF (Mid-season IPL Fantasy Fatigue).
IPL fantasy cricket is relentless and involves discipline. You make informed choices by making your subs everyday and if you’re not willing to do that then you can be one of those weak-willed thrill-seeking fantasy cricket players who play daily fantasy cricket and for some reason are very happy with themselves. But if you want to play IPL fantasy cricket then you have to make it a part of your daily life for six weeks and commit it to it like it’s your job (although I’ve heard that a considerable amount of work hours do go into making subs so it already is a part of your job).
But, at the end of the day, we are human beings and we get tired and fatigued and there comes a time like that aforementioned god-awful weekend when you feel like hanging your Fantasy Boots and think about doing a better job the next year. But think again. There are more than thirty games to go and even if you are lagging by thousand points from the top you still have a great chance of making it to the top or even making it close and defeating your idiot friend who finished that great bottle of Glenfiddich.
However, the only way to do that is to first deal with your fatigue. Here are some tips inspired by all the life-coaching classes that I’ve attended in the last eight years that have made me a better fantasy cricket player (although this season is a disaster).
TAKE LONG WALKS
Did you know that Raju Hirani and Abhijat Joshi have figured out most of their blockbusters by taking long walks? You probably didn’t because you have better things to do and it is also a non-cricket reference. But, seriously, taking long walks clears up the mind. Listen to some inspiring music that will get your Fantasy Mojo back. While walking you can also stop strangers and try to extract fantasy cricket tips from them although avoid any men who are over forty who will ask you to pick Sachin and just confuse you.
GO TO AN IPL GAME
Only if you get hospitality seats because they are awesome. Nothing can work better to boost your excitement than watching an IPL game LIVE. Maybe sneak into the dressing room and bribe the janitor so you can get updates about the playing eleven in advance of the game and you can make better decisions with your daily subs.
SEND AN EMAIL TO S RAJESH
Do you know who S. Rajesh is? Well, if you don’t then you probably should delete your fantasy cricket team right now because you are just an opportunist who has no love for THE GAME and is playing just to prove that you’re better. Winning the fantasy cricket league is not a Life-Altering Achievement although people who have never won at fantasy cricket ever only say that kind of drivel. (I have won though so I can say what I want, samjha?)
S. Rajesh is a genius cricket statistician and a supremely nice guy who responds to everyone’s email with such enthusiasm that you will be mistaken that he wants to be your best friend (except you’re not mistaken because that he really wants.) So, send him an email about your cricket theories and your fantasy cricket struggle and he will respond with data to refute all of your theories but then feel bad for being such a smart-ass and give you some excellent mid-season tips such as trumping Yusuf Pathan for that one game where he makes an insane score for KKR to keep his place and suddenly you’re halfway caught up with your peers. Send him an email now. What is his email? I don’t know, get a phonebook.
GET YOUR GIRLFRIEND/ WIFE/ BEST FRIEND TO MAKE YOUR SUBS
This is a tricky maneuver so be careful. The key over here is that you make someone else make your subs for a couple of games so that if they don’t work (and it won’t because duh) then you instantly have someone else to blame for your own failures and you can start afresh as you have acquitted yourself for your sub-par performance for the first half of the season.
In the odd case where the subs do work, make sure you maintain that relationship for your whole life, as that person is your savior. Let him or her make your subs for you as clearly they have the Golden Click.
MAKE A NEW TEAM
Make a new team and sneak into your fantasy cricket league without telling your friends that it’s you. While they are distracted and focusing on figuring out the identity of the new team owner, you can make all the right decisions and catch up with them and then delete the team and the fake email account you used to make that team.
– Rohan Narula is a writer, ex-derivatives trader, butter chicken expert and KKR enthusiast. He blogs at Why Am I Not Home for Diwali.