There was less than an hour of action on Sunday at the Eden Gardens between India and Bangladesh but it was enough to witness a controversial period of English commentary on the broadcasters’ world feed, involving Sanjay Manjrekar and Harsha Bhogle. It was regarding the visibility of the pink ball.
Till now an unknown entity for both sides, the pink ball ultimately was not able to reduce the gulf in quality between the two teams as India outplayed Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in the teams’ first-ever day-night Test to record their 12th home series win in a row.
With Bangladesh resuming their second innings at 152/6 on day three and trailing India by 89 runs, it was simply a matter of time for the home team to complete formalities.
The Virat Kohli-led side eventually completed the job in less than 50 minutes for their fourth straight innings victory, becoming the first team to achieve the feat.
But one of the prominent talking points after seven sessions of play in the match was the fact that Bangladesh batsmen repeatedly took blows on their helmets from India’s fierce bowling attack. While another discussion regarding this and the nature of the pink ball came up on the final day, Bhogle called for introspection where the players’ views are taken into account.
“When there is a post-mortem done of this match, the visibility of the ball will be one of the things to look at,” said Bhogle.
Manjrekar, who played 37 Tests and 74 One-Day Internationals for India, disagreed with Bhogle’s statement.
“Don’t think so. Don’t think visibility is an issue,” commented Manjrekar before adding that those who watch the game can also draw conclusions from outside.
Bhogle continued to insist on the need for listening to what the players have to say. This is where the former Mumbai batsman seemed to take offence.
“You need to ask perhaps, for us, those who have played the game, we have a fair idea of what’s happening out there,” said Manjrekar.
At this point, the two commentators were almost talking over each other, even as Al-Amin Hossain played a shot through mid-wicket for four. Manjrekar broke the mini-argument but in a sarcastic tone, saying the lower-order batsman saw the ball well enough there.
When action resumed in the next over Bhogle responded by saying, “having played cricket should never be a limitation or a ceiling to learning,” adding that T20 cricket is an example of that.
“Point taken, but don’t agree,” said the former Indian batsman with Bhogle saying they will agree to disagree.
You can listen to the entire exchange here:
While the duo immediately seemed to move past that awkward phase of commentary, fans on Twitter were not pleased with Manjrekar’s attitude.