Has there been a more superstitious side than these Indians? Sachin Tendulkar puts his left pad on first. Zaheer Khan has a yellow handkerchief in his pocket. Virat Kohli sports a black wristband. Yuvraj Singh wears a black thread on his mother's advice, to ward off evil spirits.
He also wears the No 12 shirt to match his birthday, 12 December, while the captain, Mahendra Dhoni, wears No 7 to match his – 7 July. Now Virender Sehwag reveals he's wearing a blank shirt, numerologists having advised him No 44 was ill-fated. His 327 runs at 65.40 so far suggests they're on to something.
Collingwood takes care of the pennies
"The reason I retired from Test cricket was to prolong my one-day career," Paul Collingwood said a week ago. "And I still feel I have major contributions to make." But he may be revisiting this view after a difficult conversation with his daughters.
"We hope to see you tomorrow, daddy," they told him via Skype on the night before the crunch match against West Indies. "Then you can come home." Collingwood was nearly stumped. "That was quite tough and I had to think quickly," he said yesterday. "I told them, 'Yes, but if we win daddy will get a few more pennies to buy you more Barbie dolls'," to which Shannon responded: "OK, I hope you win now."
Much has been said about the strain felt by England's players, many of whom have been on tour since late October. Unfortunately for Shannon and sister Keira, their father's desire for "a few more pennies" means he's playing in the Indian Premier League too – which starts six days after the World Cup.