Wednesday 27 January 2016


Australia in pursuit of 188 posted by India found themselves in a comfortable position at the end of 8 overs - 82/1. Captain Aaron Finch and Steve Smith were at the crease and then came a crucial moment of the game. In agreement with Channel Nine, Steve Smith was all miked up and was commentating the on-field happenings with the Wide World of Sports commentators - Mark Nicholas, Mike Hussey and Ian Healy. 

"We're going alright. Hopefully we can kick in some boundaries here and there. We've got plenty of power in the shed. It is a nice wicket over here, it is coming on pretty well. We're all good at the minute." 

Ravindra Jadeja comes in to bowl, Finch cuts it straight to the point fielder. No run. 

Mike Hussey - "Steve, what's the plan against Jadeja. Where you gonna try and hit him?" 

" Wherever he bowls at. Watch the ball and see what happens."

Jadeja bowls an in-dipper, Finch makes room on the off-side and lifts it wide of long-off for a boundary. 

Mark Nicholas prompts Smith to be the on-field commentator. In the noise, the message gets lost, once, twice. Nicholas suggests again to Smith about narrating from the best viewing position. Smith talks about the long boundaries and the emphasis on running hard. 

Finch takes a single. As Smith is about to take the crease to face Jadeja, he jokingly answers "When do I pre-meditate?" 

Smith flicks it away on to the leg side for a single. Runs hard but in the end settles for one. 

Hussey wanted to probe further on pre-meditation. 

"You will never know what's going through your mind. Just gotta watch the ball and see what happens." 

Smith back on strike to face the last ball of the ninth over. Jadeja darts it in, Smith tries to flick it to the on-side, gets a leading edge which went straight to Virat Kohli at extra cover. OUT! 

There was silence! 

Mark Nicholas breaks the reticence - "Steve Smith is out. And he is unable to talk us through that. Understandably. What a disappointment, 21 for Steve Smith." 

Mike Hussey takes over and explains why Smith got out. All that talking got over under two minutes. 

Which begs the question? 

Should batsmen be allowed to talk to the commentators, shouldn't they be focusing on the game even while at the non-striker's end? 
While Virat Kohli made gestures pointing to Smith's talking, while David Warner offered an opposite view and played down any hints of distraction. 

"We've been doing that for the last couple of years and obviously it's not in the interests of Channel 9 to disturb us when we're out there and for us to be dismissed. It's upon us to be responsible and professional to actually understand what's happening when we're out there. It's about entertainment, we've seen it during the BBL and we've done it plenty of times on Channel 9. It's a great insight for people at home to understand how we deal with situations when we're out there."
On another note, when Indian women faced the Australian counterpart earlier in the day, the Aussie duo of Alyssa Healy and Alex Blackwell were mic'ed up during the 18th over. They scored 19 runs in that over which included Healy's two sixes. I saw the match and they did a pretty good job of batting and talking. 

There are cricketers who can multi-task while many feel microphone is a distraction. 

All in the name of audience interest and entertainment! 

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