Ladís Day Out in Manís World

From carrying drinks for Sachin Tendulkar in front of a packed Wankhede Stadium during a Test match to being felled by a hit in the nether regions, Siddhesh Lad has had some week. For a major part of Monday, the youngster was confined to the Mumbai A (U-25) dressing-room, indisposed from the excruciating blow he suffered the previous day. The breather gave the baby-faced Lad time to reflect upon the eventful last few days in his cricket career.

The impromptu assignment in the Indian Test team dressing-room and getting to rub shoulders with his idols being the high-points. But the time-off also allowed him a well-deserved opportunity to put his feet up after having scored his third consecutive century for Mumbai A in the CK Nayudu Trophy.

The 20-year-old though still can't quite get over the experience of having been a reserve in the Indian camp during a high-profile Test match on his home-ground.

Last week, his inclusion in the Indian team's squad list for the second Test against England at Wankhede took everyone by surprise. Lad though claims to have been aware of the premature call-up to the national team's dressing-room.

"I was among the few from the Mumbai Ranji squad who didn't travel to Hyderbad for the match there. So they called me up to be a reserve fielder and also to carry the drinks," says Lad.

He almost ended up fielding with the spate of close-in fielders getting hit, but had to contend with

While Lad calls it a privilege, he insists on not having been star-struck during his vigil as Team India's official drinks carrier.

"I carried the drinks on every occasion. And on a couple of times, the coach (Fletcher) passed on a few messages to the batsmen through me. I had though shared a dressing-room with Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan during a Ranji game. And wasn't too over-awed here," says Lad.

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