Harsha Bhogle tried to be the neutral referee in the banter between Rahul Dravid (centre) and Sourav Ganguly © Getty Images
Jul 12, 2014
The Trent Bridge wicket for England vs India first Test match ensured that the match was headed towards a dull draw but the commentary box was happening with former Indian captains Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid indulging in some friendly banter on-air during the commentary for Star Sports. Dravid began the discussion by reminding co-commentator Harsha Bhogle that Sachin Tendulkar had got more Test wickets than Ganguly. What followed was a staunch defence from the Prince of Kolkata until Dravid conceded.
Dravid said, “I was just trying to figure out how many overs I gave to Tendulkar and Ganguly and I figured out that I underbowled Ganguly. But Sachin has more Test wickets than Ganguly.”
“He always did. Because he bowled half his overs on turning pitches on Day Four, Day Five in India. I wish I knew how to bowl a bit of spin. That’s on flat batting pitches. On good pitches where you needed skill look at the economy rate; perfect fifth bowler’s job,” quickly highlighted Ganguly. The left-hander who bowls medium pace had a miserly economy rate of 2.3 in the the 2007 series against England compared to Tendulkar’s four.
In response, Dravid dragged Ganguly’s fitness in to the discussion as a reason for not utilising him as a bowler more often. “Sanjay Manjrekar made a really good point, ‘If Ganguly had been a yard quicker and a little bit fitter, he would’ve been a match-winner.’ ”
“I wish I was the Prime Minister of India. I could’ve done a whole lot of things,” replied a defiant Ganguly. “Ask Rahul Dravid one thing. When we won that famous Test in Trent Bridge [in 2007], a historic win after 26 years, they were going at almost six an over, who did he fall back to ?”
Pushed on the backfoot, Dravid accepted Ganguly’s argument: “I’m absolutely not denying that. I just made the point, If Ganguly did not get tired after 5-6 overs, I would’ve given him much longer spells.”
By now Ganguly was in no mood to get bullied. He fired one last salvo by reminding Dravid about the spell: “I would request the production team to get the spell out. I bowled 10 overs in a trot, [picked] one for 15. I’ve seen biased people but not one as much.” In the end Dravid did concede that Ganguly knew his numbers very well.
The commentary overall this series has been refreshing with anecdotes and friendly banters flowing from the legends in the game.