Barely a few days after watching top-flight tennis at the Australian Open due to an excellent television coverage that has now become par for the course, the Davis Cup tie between India and New Zealand beamed live from Pune on Doordarshan came as a huge letdown.
Even as India’s Yuki Bhambri was sweating it out in the middle against New Zealand’s Kiwi No. 1 Finn Tearney, viewers were confused about the situation of the match at any point in time.
There was no running score graphic. One did not know who was serving or going to serve looking at the end of a game points which flashed once in a while.
At one point in time it even showed that the fifth game of the second set was tied at 30-30 when the two players were taking time out after Yuki had broken serve and leading 3-2.
Given the level of coverage provided by Doordarshan, expecting set-end stats including duration, aces, first-serve percentage or number of winners hit would be asking for too much.
But in this day and age where viewers are used to sports coverage by pros like Sony, Star, TEN and Neo, watching Davis Cup on DD was a throwback to the days of yore. Surely, Anand Amritraj, India’s non-playing captain, and India legend Leander Paes, who plays ball on Saturday in the doubles, would know a thing or two about television coverage of ‘those days’.