10 Ways for Non-followers to look cool during Cricket conversations

1. If you are forced to watch a match with your more enthusiastic friends, keep repeating the following often – “Ahhh”, “Ohhh”, “Indiaaaa Indiaa!!” + 3 bangs on the table or any place you see fit… also randomly scream “No ball!!”,”Wide”, “Four”, “Six”. Do not worry about sounding silly, as these expressions are essential for any serious Cricket (read Indian) fan, nobody will wonder why you just said it.

2. When someone talks about an innings, just say “but it wasn’t like that innings earlier…” and stare enthusiastically at someone who may be more knowledgable than you. If nobody remembers, babble out a random period like “2 months ago”, “3 years ago” or “in World Cup”. But be careful not to mention any opponent.

3. If you really want to feel safe, simply say “But not like Sachin…”. This phrase not only grants you immunity from being found out, but is also an instant ticket to ‘True Knowledgeable Indian Fan’ status. Of course, take this step only after making sure that they are not talking about Sachin.

4. The line mentioned above, and any other random praise for Sachin like “Sachin for Bharat Ratna”  “Sachin for Nobel!!” “Sachin for Prime Minister!!” etc… is so powerful that it may be used to sound cool any time. You can praise him when comparing any Batsman, Bowler, Fielder, Entire Cricket Teams, achievers in any field, powerful world leaders and even God!!

5. There are 3 formats of the game – Test Cricket, ODIs, and T20s. Once you identify the format the discussion is in, immediately use this phrase “<another format> is so much better!!”.

6. For any discussion on cricketers’ salary, lifestyle, etc, blame the IPL!

7. For any discussion on injuries and tight schedules, blame the IPL!

8. For any discussion on corruption, blame the IPL… additionally blaming N Srinivasan here will score you extra points among non-Chennaiites! To impress friends from another country, blame Sharad Pawar!

9. Throwing around random accusations of fixing on random players will make you look like a person with much practical insight into the functioning of the game

10. If all else fails… just buy an India T-Shirt and sit there saying nothing. Symbolism is the ultimate route to coolness as an Indian fan! And it will also make the rest of the non-T-shirt-wearing group feel guilty for not being as good a fan as you!! How cool is that??