The team had collapsed in every single Test. All the team members sat dejected. One member groaned: "To think that we will have more Tests coming up soon!"
"Never mind that, what about the thrashing we've already received?" another retorted.
"When are we meeting the press?"
"The press is outside waiting to pounce on us," the youngest member said bitterly.
The most senior member looked up from the pad he was writing on. "Okay, fellows," he said cheerfully. "I have the answer. I've finished a statement for the press. If we honestly own up our responsibility for our defeats, the press will be silenced and might even admire us for doing the right thing!"
Everyone looked relieved. "We don't want you to take all the flak from the media," a key player said. "Are you sure you'll be okay?"
"Just watch me," the senior member said confidently. They trooped out of the room to face the media.
The murmur stopped as soon as the team entered the pressroom. "Was the team selection wrong?" a reporter yelled.
"Was the team too stale?" another shouted.
The senior held up his hand to silence the clamour. "I have an important announcement to make. I have prepared a written statement that I would like to read out. I'll take your questions later."
A hush descended on the room. The reporters sensed something big. The senior member cleared his throat and read from the paper in his hand.
"I wish to admit quite frankly that the team fared very badly in the recent Tests," he said in a low voice. "The whole country must be disappointed. For the failure I make no excuses. We accept the full moral responsibility for our defeat. I am sure that I speak for the whole team. Because of this failure, the whole team has decided to resign. We feel we have all let down our captain, Sonia Gandhi. We want her to have a free hand to reconstitute the team. We have done very badly. But for her, we would have done even worse."
The team members looked relieved. The coach, Vincent George, spoke up. "There have been false stories about me. That's why I've kept away from meetings. But I am always available for my country. I'm ready to coach Soniaji whenever she wants."
Oh captain, my captain,
Our fearful trip is done!
Blame the team, my captain,
And have your load of fun!