An unexpectedly exciting Test match currently unfolding in Madras, but not equally matched by the commentators, alas.
First, all of them insist that once the batsmen “get their eye in,” it becomes easier to score. Apart from the banality of such advice — what, would it get harder as batsmen spend more time at the crease? — it also does not match what happened in India’s first innings, when almost all the batsmen got out after getting starts.
Secondly, why do commentators offer the most stupid, expected diagnoses? Part of me suspects that they have too much air time to fill in, before and during a match, and they simply cannot match any suspense. What did Ravi Shastri and David Lloyd say before Day 4? India “need wickets”, England need to “build partnerships.” Get early wickets, they promised, and the game would be yours. Right, except the more pressing question is how to do this. It’s almost as if they could say, “In order for England to win, they need to win. They need to take wickets, and they need to do that by bowling.”
Thirdly, NEO Cricket insists on placing ads immediately after an over is finished, or a wicket has fallen. It will not wait even for a replay or for any discussion; the sponsors must be satisfied first. It’s utterly craven, and I always think it makes no sense, since they play the same ad at least 300 times. That raises two questions: first, do these channels decide, before the game begins, that they need to air, say, x number of ads? And second, why can’t channels find more sponsors?
OK. I’m done. Let’s just hope the cricket makes for better viewing.