Archive for the ‘Arun Lal’ Tag

Commentating about Commentators

Just like a few of you, I have grown up watching cricket matches in the early 90s on DoorDarshan. There was a 30 minutes news break at the scheduled time regardless of the state of the match. Once the commercialization crept in, I kind of gave up trying to watch first and last ball of an over because just as the bowler delivered the ball and before the batsman went forward with the shot, There was an ad about a detergent power with saree clad models and you were only returned to live broadcast after the shot has been played on the first ball of the next over. (Though, Neo Sports is around to remind me those days).

And then, you had Sushil Doshi and Maninder Singh’s  Hindi commentary to keep you the company.

In the years, I have come to grow fond of some cricket commentators and associate some memorable cricketing moments with those voices. The one that comes to mind immediately is SRT dancing down the track and lofting Steve Waugh straight over the top and Tony Greig’s high decibel voice screaming “Owww What A Shot!” in Sharjah 1997/98 series.

All commentators have their own flair, style or habit. At times, exaggerating or downright annoying. Like when you hear Arun Lal in the box with some other commentator, you would feel like this is the most amiable person around. Anything the fellow commentators say, at times even before the sentence is complete, “Indeed” Lal would say. The “Indeed” word is beaten to death in an hour Lal is in commentary box. Then there is Dean Jones – as soon as batsman hits the ball and takes off for a run – Deano would shoot “Looking for two” even when the batsman is struggling for one.  Ravi Shashtri’s love with superlative adjectives is well known. To generalize, anything hit in the middle and flying to boundary is a “Terrific” shot. Anything flying over the ropes is nothing less then a “Tremendous” shot.  A good catch is not just a good catch but is a “magnificent” one. Nothing is short of Immense, Monstrous, Huge, Sensational, Fabulous!  When you hear Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, you may notice his random emphasizing of random words in a sentence at random times.  Ramiz Raja’s extreme usage of word “away” comes to mind immediately. It is never an “Out swinger” in his book – it is an “Away swinger which beats the batsman because he was playing away from the body” Tony Greig’s high decibel voice and Sir Geoff’s “Tough Wikkit to bat on” spring to mind as well.  

This is not to say however, that I do not love to hear them. Most of these guys are wealth of knowledge on cricket and know what they are doing. But I do think that we need more people like Harsha Bhogale along with these wizards.