You know, as a cricket humorist, my job is to observe cricketers,
imitate them and for the last 12 years,
I have been imitating Dinesh Karthik. And it’s very easy, right?
It’s like imitating Srikkanth as you mentioned
in one of your episodes. You have to be hyperactive and you have to walk like this,
like Shashi Kapoor. Those are not my words,
it’s all yours, by the way. That’s my job. When you met him for the first time was he the same hyperactive kid? Actually when I first met Dinesh Karthik.. It was a long time ago.
I don’t think he remembers. I was representing my school
in one of the school games and he was playing
for a school team called Chettinad. We played a match against each other he got some runs and then obviously… We hadn’t seen him in the Chennai school
cricket scene for a long time so, I mean, I asked who this guy was. They said, “He has obviously come
from Kuwait.” His dad relocated to get him to play
for India and all that. It’s a massive vision. And… Similarly, the following year you know, after three or four months. We went and played another game
against a school called Don Bosco. And he was playing for Don Bosco. Which is when I realized.. And two years later,
he played for another school team. Then I realized wherever cricket took him,
he went. And one thing was common whenever I played against him,
he made sure he walloped us. And his love for education.
He wanted to try different schools. Possibly. Interestingly, you know,
I’ve studied in 14 schools. Lovely, that’s a huge achievement. – Yeah, very good.
– Tremendous achievement. Thanks to my dad. He was in a kind of job which needed him
to shift places quite often. You know, once in every year. So, I studied in a lot of.. At least for about four years,
I have done half year of schooling in one place, and the other half,
in another place. Now that you say
you’re a cricket humorist and made fun of, obviously, impersonated me. When I joined the Indian Team you know, Sachin was the one
who named me “Chhota Cheeka”. – For a long time..
– Wow! My name was “Chhota Cheeka”. So, you know, even though
I genuinely think that I’m nothing like him and I’ve observed
him from close quarters. – I don’t think I’m as bad as him.
– Vikram: Good. You guys are, you know…
You have been a wicketkeeper and wicketkeepers typically
are people who sledge a lot. I mean, whatever little I’ve heard
on the stump microphone Sangakkara was somebody who I believe
that, you know, had his decibels up. Did you have a strategy of sledging? You know, I used to be somebody
who was very short-tempered I used to sledge a lot. I remember the game against Gujarat
in which a batsman was caught behind I just gave it to him left, right…
Choicest of bad words. Over a period of time, I realized
that I was just losing money.. These match referees fined me every time and I would get caught red-handed. And it was the debut
of one of the umpires in India. – It was Vineet Kulkarni’s debut.
– Vikram: Oh… I was the bowler
and the batsman got an inside edge and he was clearly out. And generally what do you do?
I mean, if you’re angy what do you do? What would you do if you were the bowler
and umpire says it’s not out? Anything comes to your mind.. – How would you respond?
– What would you do? I would behave like Pollard. – Like how? Just..
– But, you know.. Perhaps, you will carry the bat
and probably go to the umpire – or maybe you will do this..
– Correct.. – Like MS Dhoni did to Billy Bowden.
– Vikram: Correct… I mean, this is the max one could do or you can probably sulk. But Dinesh actually lied flat on the pitch. And for a while, the keeper went missing. And I was at the top of my mark
and I couldn’t bowl because Dinesh was lying on the field. But now it’s funny that Nigel Llong
also goes inside the dressing room at KSCA, breaks the door
and gets a Rs. 5000 fine. I have heard about it,
but I don’t know much about that. It’s interesting, umpires… I mean, even umpires are getting agitated. That’s where this game is going. Everybody’s on the line, you know. Basically, the pressure’s on everybody. Be it the umpire or anybody
playing the game. And I can understand
what Nigel Llong must’ve gone through. Obviously, he wants to do
the best that he can. But you’re not going
to get everything right but the frustration sometimes comes out
in the heat of the moment. But any story you remember? – Like a sledge?
– Sledge. One of the… You know,
the England series in 2007 I was opening with Wasim Jaffer. You know, the first game, we got lucky it kind of rained out
and the match was a draw. The second game was in Nottinghamshire and they just scored 250 or 260 runs. Zaheer Khan and RP Singh
just came through them. And then suddenly, the weather
was nice and sunny. When we went in.. Second day, we went to bat
just after lunch. Became overcast.
Typical England overcast so, the ball was swinging
and they were expecting wickets to fall. We were 40, 50, 60 for no loss
and 140 for no loss at one stage. You could see they were getting irritated
a little bit towards the end of the day’s play
and we have seen the tide through. And Ryan Sidebottom
came in to bowl a spell. You know, I was young and exuberant so I had this habit
of walking and hitting. – I used to get a certain pleasure..
– Like a Matthew Hayden type of a walk. – Right.
– Yeah. So I walked and he bowled short and I hit him with as much power as I could but it just went a few yards
outside the 30 yards and we ran two. And he came and abused me. He gave me a proper earful. I was like, okay.
You know, I didn’t know what to do. The next ball, you know…
The whole world knew I think every spectator,
the guy who was selling French fries knew it was going to be a bouncer. So, he bowled a bouncer
and I did this to the ball and looked at him and shook my head.
I don’t know what I did. That pissed him off even more. He just lost it. I mean, he went
pulled the hat from the umpire and he kept abusing me
and I was just smiling at him and it irritated him a little more. He was sledging me and I just found him funny. He had long hair…
I found his name itself to be… You know, the thing is that anybody
with that surname anyway, he would’ve been
sledged all his life. Yeah, sure. But I mean, Dinesh doesn’t have
to do any of these things to piss a bowler off, by the way. Because he has got
some incredible routines. I mean, he can even irritate his own captain.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this. Because you get a lot of ad breaks in the IPL I think you guys missed this.
Because at the end of every over Dinesh has this one corner
of whichever side of the pitch that is he will go there
and do a bit of a drawing. Have you seen this paintbrush app
on the computer. I don’t know what he draws unfortunately, it’s full of grass
and you can’t figure out. If at all you put a stencil
at the end of the bat we can probably understand
what he draws. He actually stands there and draws and this routine kind of changes. There used to be a time when Dinesh
used to pull his bat up like this I mean, this is.. At least in the routine where he draws
outside the pitch the bowler knows
he’s not going to play yet. But in the other routine,
he takes his guard and he used to put his bat up like this and meditate for a while. The bowler would start twice or thrice
only to pull back. I mean, he has his weird routines. I-I haven’t asked him for an explanation because I know how Dinesh is
once he starts playing. All these rituals are like basically
the fulcrum of Dinesh’s batting. But there’s one guy who doesn’t change
and I like him a lot. Mohammed Shami. Because Shami is somebody
who’s just in his own zone. I just love him.
I love this stories about him going to his village. And I wanted him on the show
but he is a little shy to come on the show. Any interesting experience with Shami? I can’t really comment on whether
he’s the same person everywhere. – But, I mean, obviously..
– See, this is from the outside. Correct. But one thing I know about Shami is he loves his sense of humor. He’s quite a funny guy
on the contrary to… Yeah, that’s what I’m saying.
He’s so funny. I’m just saying this in general. The weird… The most hilarious
communication with me and Shami has been on the field. Because I didn’t even realize.
I actually got fed up with him once. I’ll just cut in. Do you know
he speaks in Tamil to Shami? – I speak in Tamil to Shami and…
– Are you serious? I’m serious and it has worked
every single time. Because it first happened… When the auction took place,
I was at the auction table and I told our CEO, you see, Shami
will be bought by King’s Eleven. “What? Really? How come you’re so sure?” I said, “I know Ashwin
and he speaks to this guy in Tamil.” “And I’m sure he’s going
to speak to him in Tamil.” To be frank, even in test matches they have spoken a lot in Tamil. Somehow, I think our communication
has worked. It doesn’t…
I mean language is just. Language is not a barrier for us, I feel on a very lighter note because the first instance was against England
in the home season we had. And we were playing
that test match in Mohali where England had gotten way ahead of us. They were six down and 60 ahead. Chris Woakes and I think it was Haseeb Hameed they put on some 40, 50 runs and it got into quite
uncomfortable territory. We didn’t want to chase 200,
150, 180 or whatever. And Shami was actually in his…
I think we were all tired. It was the second innings,
it was close to lunch and Shami had the ball in his hand. He just ran up and in a typical
Shami fashion bowled a half volley. And it just went for a boundary.
Chris Woakes smacked it. And, I mean… Like he said Ryan Sidebottom
bowled a bouncer. I guess, the batsman should
have expected that but he dished out another
half volley in a typical Shami fashion and it went for a four.
He was just walking back and I was really tired. And I was also, you know,
nursing an injury. So, I got frustrated and I said
“What the heck are you doing” or something like that.
Shami turned around and did something like that. And I actually abused him in Tamil. In Tamil I said… I said there’s no use in talking to him. And then he called me, so I went. He said, “What was that?”
I realized that it was going to be really confrontational. So, I said in an extended Tamil version. I’m translating it for you literally. If I was you and if I had the ball now I would probably try to get
three or four wickets rather than bowling such half volleys. He said, “Really?” I said, “Yes” and moved to mid-on. He just ran in and he was
completely charged. The next thing I remember was Chris Woakes’s back part
of the helmet flying and he was caught behind.
The wicket broke… It was a break through
and we all celebrated. I just gave him a high-five
and came back. And I said to myself
that this is working. I should continue talking
to him in Tamil and went up to him and said, “You’re doing really well try to bowl a bit faster.” He replied, “Sure…” The very next ball
Adil Rashid was caught behind. Ever since that incident,
if there’s any pressure. Even in King’s Eleven, whenever
there was pressure when I spoke to him in Hindi,
he gave away runs. Oh, wow! What a cricketing insight. I sat back and realized maybe me speaking Tamil
is taking pressure off him. – Vikram: Oh, nice.
– He responded in a great way. I was surprised. When I speak to him in Tamil,
I mix English words in it. He understands and he responds properly. Wow! That’s epic. I think Virat should take a cue from it. Virat should speak to him in Tamil. It just works for us, I’m not sure
it will work with others. That’s a relationship thing. DK, let’s talk about one
of your finest innings which was very important for India
in Nidahas Trophy. Rohit Sharma was here sometime back and he said that you were
extremely angry with him because you wanted to bat
up the order or something like that. And he said that he went inside
the dressing room and he didn’t even confront you
because he knew you were angry and you just went and smacked
the Bangladeshis all over… Sorry, it’s supposed to be his moment,
but before you dive into it Dinesh is always angry with someone
or the other for not sending him earlier for batting. The best time for Dinesh to bat
is immediately after the toss. It’s not worth having him
inside the dressing room. – Seriously.
– Oh, God! That’s fun. Yeah. So, you know, in the Nidahas Trophy all through the tournament,
I batted at five. So, that match I was padded up to bat and I was waiting outside for my turn. Third wicket fell,
it was my turn, I got up but Rohit said, “Wait”.
He sent someone else. – Shankar went I think.
– No, Shankar went at number six. I came down to number six. Then I told myself
that’s all right, no problem. I’m ready now… I’m doing my routine.
Jumping, this and that.. Then Manish got out. I took my gloves and he said,
“No, wait”. And he asked Vijay to go.
I was like what’s going on… I’m number five batsman, you demoted me
to six, now you want me to go at seven? I just looked at him and knew that
I wasn’t too happy. Then I came to terms with it. I was just sitting there,
not sulking and thinking “Okay, I’m not going to get
an opportunity maybe but I just hope this guy goes
and finishes the game.” It was a very critical stage. And then another guy got out. At that stage, I just walked in.
I didn’t even look at him. I just walked in after that
and then the rest happened. And then obviously post… Eight ball 24 runs.
Swashbuckling innings. Rohit made sense. He said
that, you know, he wanted me to play Mustafizur’s over at the end which would help the team rather
than Vijay Shankar playing him. It obviously made sense but when you’re padded up
and ready to go but the captain sends somebody else again. When it happens, it’s pretty
annoying at a point but, you know, at the end of the day,
it’s a team game these kind of things happen
and these are the things… – That’s not a cliché.
– That’s not a cliché. At the end of the day, process is important. Yeah… You just have to go out there
and express yourself. Learn to be positive.
These are all things… These are all cricketing clichés
but they are true. But you’ve done something
to control your impatience, right? I have heard stories about it.
A lovely article about you working with Abhishek Nair and he helped you kind of curtail
your hyper nature. It’s interesting actually. You know, at the beginning,
I went to him for help and he decided that we will
work together. And the first thing, you know,
I’m from Chennai the houses there are slightly bigger
than what you find in Bombay. – So when I went and stayed with him…
– You can be nice to us. Slightly bigger.. When I stayed with him
in a house in Powai I was really shocked. I mean, size of the rooms – and size of the toilets.
– Trust me, Powai is like a cathedral compared to other places in Mumbai. I’m sure… He claimed that he lived in much
smaller houses than that. You know, that itself was a bit
of a shock to me because, you know, obviously
the size and the way people, you know, observed
and how quick things were in Bombay compared to things in Chennai. It was pretty enlightening actually. And it, kind of, came as a bit
of a shock as well. You know, coming… Staying in Bombay. Obviously, coming, playing
and going back is one thing but staying in Bombay
for a month and a half and spending time,
that was completely different. So, you know… I-I actually, playfully coined that place called house of pain. Because it was painful for me
to be in that house, you know. T-There was an AC
but it wouldn’t work. There was a fan
which was slow at best. Every cricketer has to go
through constraints to, you know, show his true
colors and character. He has lived in that house for 10 years. I don’t know how but I keep
telling him this. That’s amazing. But that showed me a lot of… That showed me how sometimes
you take things for granted. T-That was the part I learnt the most by staying in those kind
of places and all that. So it was a very interesting journey that small phase in my life. So, Srikkanth should’ve been
put in a 10 by 10 room in Mumbai, years back. Well, I would refrain from making
a comment. What I have understood
from you is that if you’ve to become
a better cricketer you’ve to live in a small house
which all of us do in Mumbai but we are not becoming good cricketers. What I want to ask you is that did you work on anything specific
with Abhishek, to get better. It’s interesting.
So what he used to do is first thing… One of the things
he planned out, but he didn’t tell me was to put me
in an uncomfortable situation. When I’ll be sitting and watching TV,
he’ll tell me to do 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups. I’ll reply to him saying
that I’m watching TV. “No problem. Come.” I’ll be sweating after a few minutes. It will be just 4 or 5 minutes
and I’ll watch TV again. I would’ve just had my lunch and would be quite sleepy, you know. He will call me and ask me
to do 20 sit-ups and do 20 pull-ups.
Very annoying, right? So, basically, you know,
putting me in a… Out of my comfort zone,
a little bit. You know, everybody has
a certain pattern. Basically, you chill after
having food, whatever. He was just breaking those patterns.
It was quite annoying actually. Mentally, it’s very draining. You know, you don’t expect
such things. Then after a point, you’re like
expecting when he will be doing… He won’t do anything at all.
It’s like, very disturbing too but it was, as I said, those are things
that made me slightly stronger. Mentally, you know, kind of putting me
through some uncomfortable situations and that helped me
a little bit definitely. What was your impression when you
met him for the first time? None of what he said, I remember. My memory is that… Basically, you can go to 42 schools but memory’s a different ball game. I mean, I wouldn’t blame him
for that because in all honesty, somebody like me
who grew up in Chennai for me, Dinesh Karthik
was a superstar. And it’s just…
He might laugh it off or brush it off Dinesh Karthik was indeed a superstar
for many of us because we had state games
for under-19 and under-17 and I remember Dinesh once
scored like in five games south zone games, he made about
7400 runs or something. Everyday you opened the paper
it was like “Dinesh slams a double”. “Dinesh slams a century.” It was not just about his runs
or tons or anything the kind of buzz he used to create
around the cricketing community with the way he batted. Like, if you missed from lunch to tea he would’ve scored a hundred. It was the kind of…
If I’m not wrong it was a semi-final or final
of the Ranji Trophy that was the last ball of the day. He was batting with the tail
and he stepped out and hit Kulamani Parida
for a six at Chepauk. So, these are all my memories
of Dinesh Karthik even before I played for Tamil Nadu. It’s interesting to hear
those kind of runs I was speaking to Pujara
the other day and I found out that he scored
900 runs in like 21 days. You guys just enjoy… Firstly, I just feel that you
should just cut short that. Don’t even compare me to Pujara he’s in a different league
altogether… He made 7000 and Pujara made 9000 at a slower rate. That’s it.
Nothing else. And you’re talking about
one of the best batsmen India has seen in a very long
time in test cricket, you know. – And…
– You called Pujara for a local game,
if I’m not mistaken. Since he said, house of cards,
sorry, house of pain I have to go into game of thrones because the way Pujara
was batting in Australia and how he slumbered to the ground
and all that. I gave him a name, the white walker. In fact, I wanted to call him
the Knight King but he hadn’t seen Game of Thrones. Actually, I showed him
some pictures on Google. He didn’t trust me, so, I had
to show him how white walkers walked. And then he gave me a sheepish smile
and all that. And then he had signed up
for my company in Chennai so the whole deal between us was that him to play the important games
or come and play the finals which we aspire to play.
Because we didn’t play last year. We were in trouble in one of our games so, I said, “Puj, you’re a bit
short of cricket why don’t you come
and fill your boots?” He said, “Give me a day’s time,
I’ll think about it and get back to you.” He agreed and told me upfront
that he will leave on the third day. I said, “Sure, all we need
is your presence.” Basically, my idea was that he will come and it will give a boost to the team
and we can manage the rest of days ourselves.
So, he came for the game. He didn’t say anything. He just came. I said “You’re batting at three.”
He said, “Sure” and put his pads on. You won’t believe there’s no change in the way he batted. The way he tortured Pat Cummins,
Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon in exactly the same way he tortured
Alexander, Wilkins Victor and the rest. He walked in the second over of the game just defended his way to lunch. I said to myself “It’s amazing
that guys are learning so much.” And then there was an other
extraordinary incident I was just enjoying my time,
not padding up because he was batting and it gave me
the much needed break. I was sitting in a corner
with my friends and having a chat. Good gossip session
and he was still batting at tea. And one of those guys
came running and said “Pujara wants to talk to you.” Okay. This guy doesn’t want
to bat in the heat anymore. Maybe he’s going to say “I want to retire”
or he wants to leave. I went to him and said,
“What’s it, Puja?” He said.. He was batting on 110
or something and he said “I’m thinking of playing
a little more aggresively do we have enough in the sheds
so that we can bat along?” “By all means, please go ahead.” And the way he accelerated
was all along the ground and I think he hit one six
or something like that. He made 160 and got out. And again, he got out defending. – So..
– It’s very unfair for the bowlers, right? Ashwin is calling Pujara saying “Come and play
against these bowlers.” Bowlers might have thought
“What the hell…” I said, “When you travel away from India,
you should be called the Night King and in places like Chennai,
you should be the Heat King.” Because he properly hammers the bowlers. I can visualize the conversation. Ashwin calling Pujara.
“Pujara, can you come for this match?” “Is 300 fine?” He didn’t commit to that.
Maybe another day. Imagine, Hazelwood and Starc
couldn’t get him out and coming to Chennai.
Wickets there are so flat that he can bat for 23 days
and not get beaten much. You have these routines
before going to bat, right? You do some push-ups
and anything that you can tell us. Yes, look, people find that very funny KL Rahul and Hardik always make fun of me and a lot of people may find it very funny. Though, for me it’s about, you know especially, in the T20 format,
that’s where I do it a lot. Because I feel from ball one
I need to be switched on where I have to go hit the ball
and run hard. Those kinds of things, I’m not
like a Chris Gayle or Pollard or Russell for that matter
to hit six from ball one. I’m more like, using the gaps,
running hard. Be ready to play a big shot
and give my hundred percent everytime I run a single. Those kinds of things, for that I felt it’s important to have,
at least, when we have planned that it’s important
to have the heart rate up and running every time I go into bat. And I’m more switched on as well when I’m sitting outside
and watching the match. Otherwise, I’m totally relaxed
and laid back. These kind of small things,
obviously, you know keep you egged on. Even in baseball, you will see they have separate hitting corners where people practice while
the match is on. And then they go and play the game. It’s just that it has
not caught up in cricket. But I’m sure, it will.
It’s only a matter of time. Nice. Ashwin, do you have
any routines? Like playing carom…
“Okay, now I’m going in.” Not really, I mean my routines are pretty much done
before the game. Like the previous day of the game depends on how much I have done,
what sort of work I have done. Have I bowled enough? Do I feel like bowling and stuff? Generally, when I feel like I’m bowling well I try and make it as minimal as possible so that bad habits don’t creep in. But, genuinely, no particular routine to say this is how it needs to go. I’m not very superstitious
to be honest because if there’s a superstition. I mean, I don’t know if Pujara
has told you this. He also likes to break it. If I find if there’s something
like a routine I try and break it so that
it doesn’t bother you because it can mess with your head
a lot of times. So, we have checked your mental strength
on the show now we are going to check
your physical strength. So we are going to play
the hammer game. And I think it’s very important I think the record is currently
held by Shreyas Iyer which is 941, if I’m not mistaken. Let’s see if one of you can break it. Let’s go. – DK, you want to start first?
– Yes. – Can I go?
– Yeah, go for it. All set. – Yes!
– Vikram: Focus, leg stump, please. – Go…
– Nice. Good shot. I think it will be
around 905 or 906. Oh! 918. Well done… – Ravi Ashwin’s ego is at stake.
– Not at all. – Good to go?
– Sure. Go. That’s it… Come on… Oh, but both broke the 900 barrier. Congratulations, DK.
You’re currently the stronger guy. This show is called “What the Duck”.
So, we celebrate the duck here. And therefore we’re going to check
your ability to draw a duck. So, basically, it’s an art competition this is your time to prove to the world that your drawing classes
that you took in school were productive. Especially,
42 schools should get you more value. So, you can take any of these markers. Take a reference of any of the ducks here and start. Nice. – You can use colors also if you want.
– Really? Oh, it’s nice. – Ashwin: That’s the maximum I can do.
– Vikram: Your beak has a little bit… You have to sign as well. DK’s beak’s more pronounced. Ashwin: He learnt
from the mistake I made. Well done, Gentlemen. Well done. Two fabulous artists from India. Dinesh Karthik and Ravi Ashwin.