Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Expert

More than the Indian bowling, more than the lopsided team selection which left the captain hamstrung on the morning of the Test, I was appalled something that I saw on NEO TV.
This something was about 5'2" tall and churlish and totally devoid of cricketing common sense.
RK of NEO TV may not be Harsha Bhogle, the darling of cricketers and ex-cricketers, but when he wishes you a good morning and addresses you by the accepted honorific "Sunny Bhai", the least you can do, Mr Gavaskar, is respond in kind. Mr Gavaskar deigned not to greet the presenter, nor Venkatesh Prasad.
Now Venkatesh Prasad may not be from Mumbai, or scored 10,000 Test runs. I doubt if he has scored even a 100th of that, but on the first morning of a Test, you could have put up the facade of the gentleman that you never were, Mr Gavaskar.
Contrast this with Daryll Cullinan's warm " Good morning Zulu. Great to hear your voice."
End of day's play. During the cursory summing up of the day's events. Prasad throws this to both Mr Gavaskar and Cullinan - "What do you think the Indian bowlers could have done differently?" . Mr Gavaskar looks at Cullinan and says "How many test wickets have you got?" Some humour that!
The point is Mr Gavaskar did not have an answer, when he is paid to be the expert. He came out with "India started the post lunch session with Sehwag but should have done so with Zaheer." While it is a valid point, Prasad's question was more on tactical lines than pointed at a specific instance. Like for example, the spinners could have made Kallis drive on the offside than allowing him to tuck them off his legs all day. Something to that effect, but Mr Gavaskar having played cricket (and politics) for donkeys years is not a bowler, although he was a Test captain. So he would not know.
And on team selection, he came up with this absolute gem.
"India went with a bowler short in this match." Ladies and gentlemen, India is playing without both RD and VVS for the first time in a decade and some and Mr Gavaskar would have cut down the batting even shorter, against the worlds best pace attack. And who would he have included? "Someone like Yuvraj" who is a good enough bowler. Indeed, Yuvraj was unfit and you have Badri in his place. So how could you include Yuvraj? And pray throw some more light Mr Gavaskar, who is this "someone like Yuvraj?"Bring him to Dhoni tomorrow morning.
This answer is wrong on two counts. One, obviously there is no one who fits the bill in the immediate reckoning who would take his place. Two, India have traditionally played the 7+ 4 formula. So how can Mr Gavaskar expect them to go one batsman short in this instance of all occasions.
Anil Kumble and Aakash Chopra talk a lot of sense. Perhaps it is time to replace some who have been living on past reputation.
No Bhajji, I am not talking about you here.


  1. there does seems some stagnancy or might be the case of 'harsha not asking the same question' (if you know what i mean) but those were plain... devoid of any insight answers like strolling to a ton what he would have done on haydays on a flat track...

    one expect more from experts like gavaskar to cut thru the game... and offer some thoughts to ponder upon...

  2. Gavaskar is to commentary what Bhajji is to spin bowling: flat, repetative, boring and clueless.

    welcome back late!

  3. SP, Fark - Great to see you back.

    SMG's time is up methinks, nothing new to offer. BTW I was listening to the all Aussie team - Healy, Slater and one pseudo Aussie Mark Nicholas. They are painful as well. I find the mute button helpful these days