The cricket’s on the radio
The Test series in India...
I WATCHED the Test series between India and Australia through the eyes of ABC Radio commentary team and feel I owe them a vote of thanks. The thing I liked most about the coverage is that the commentators like India. They didn’t whinge about the food (in fact they made it sound magnificent) or the inevitable inconveniences and they even took the technical problems in their stride. During the fourth Test there was an extended period where they sat outside the commentary box and relayed the action via mobile phone.
The team isn’t perfect. The ball-by-ball men are Jim Maxwell who should be told to stop putting on accents and the wordy Glenn Mitchell who tends to write games off a little easily. However they’re accurate and are able to bring us the excitement, tension, boredom and atmosphere as games ebb and flow.
In Peter Roebuck’s last on-air stint he said Australia was heading to certain victory with Matthew Hayden and Mike Hussey batting with purpose. He would barely have had time to take his headphones off before the game had changed. But Roebuck is good and manages to remind us there’s a world outside of cricket and lots of worlds inside it too. Fellow special comments man Mike Coward might see himself as a bit of a Neville Cardus but there’s a wisdom about him and a deep love for the game and the cultures that embrace it (Coward could have said something like that).
The addition of Indian journalist Dileep Premchandran to the team provided some extra depth. He has a nice turn of phrase, strong but not strident opinions and a great knowledge of Indian cricket.
There was much criticism of the negative tactics of both captains in the last Test. However Australia was marching towards victory for a time on the last day and India actually won the game so maybe the skippers did know what they were doing.
While the series proved that India ascending there’s a jitteriness about their play at times that suggests a lack of true belief. However with a young combative captain, a strong opening batting pair (with back-up), the best fast bowler in the world, plenty of young spin and a classy, though ageing, middle order the signs are good. We may be witnessing the birth of the first sub-continental superpower.