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Rating the talking heads

Cricket geek and comedian Cyrus Broacha gives a report card of five popular IPL commentators.

entertainment Updated: Mar 15, 2010 01:05 IST
Hindustan Times

Harsha Bhogle (India)

As a commentator: The only commentator who has got younger over the years. He took to commentating after Rediffusion threw him out, I hear. To his credit, the only non-cricketing commentator.

As a player: Has played cricket at the highest level... on the Banjara Hills. He played a charity match against old women and scored 7 not out in the ’60s.

Stupidest thing he’d say: Well said, Mandira.

Most likely to say: I was speaking to Don Bradman the other day.

Ian Bishop (West Indies)
As a commentator: He’s the real deal. He’s got a good voice, speaks very clearly, picks up the finer points and always adds humour. He’s definitely one of the best commentators. I enjoy watching him speak.

As a player: I’m a big Bishop fan. He was a really good pace bowler, probably one of the best, at his peak. A back injury cut his career short.

Stupidest thing he’d say: Wow, Sunil Gavaskar is such a tall guy!

Most likely to say: West Indies lose again.

L Sivaramakrishnan (India)
As a commentator: He’s very analytical, but may get irritating at a point. He has the ability to pick balls from the hand, unlike me — I pick balls only after they spin.

As a player: He was excellent in the couple of years he played. He had a googly, a top spin, a ripping leg break. But he got out for reasons other than cricket.

Stupidest thing he’d say: Ravi, instead of the girls, can you have dinner with me?

Most likely to say: If you see the trajectory of the bowl… it drops at a certain height.

Sunil Gavaskar (India)
As a commentator: He could speak rubbish, and still make sense because he’s the Great Gavaskar. His long pauses between sentences make you wish he’d sing instead.

As a player: The greatest batsman ever. He batted at a time when West Indies and Pakistani bowlers were at their best, and still did well.

Stupidest thing he’d say: Did Harsha use shampoo today?

Most likely to say: Again, there are a different set of rules for Indian players and different for the Australian and English.

Ravi Shastri (India)
As a commentator: He has this particular style of speaking. He’d thunder when saying, “Sachin Tendulkar has come on the front foot and played a defensive shot.” But someone should tell him — nothing really happened, Ravi!

As a player: I’m a big Shastri fan. He was a highly underrated spinner and was a fantastic bastman, who came from No 10 to No 1 and made 11 test centuries too.

Stupidest thing he’d say: Harsha, can I borrow your comb?

Most likely to say: Like a tracer bullet, even while talking about a rickshaw.

First Published: Mar 14, 2010 16:55 IST