Sanjay Manjrekar took a dig at the fellow Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle during the 2nd Day/Night Test match at Kolkata between India and Bangladesh. Bhogle talked about the visibility of the Pink ball when the Bangladeshi batsmen struggled to counter pace and bounce from the Indian bowlers which resulted in two concussion substitutes.
Manjrekar immediately countered Bhogle and made condescending comments on him. The exchange about the visibility of the ball was initiated by Bhogle. “When there’s a post-mortem done on this game, visibility of the ball will be a big factor against that white sight-screen,” Bhogle offered.
Manjrekar’s response began with a terse “don’t think so”. “If you’ve seen some of the catches taken in the slips, I don’t think visibility is an issue at all, the texture of the ball is an issue. These batsmen aren’t getting hit on the head because they can’t see the ball – it’s just too quick and bouncy for them,” Manjrekar continued.
Bhogle held his ground, insisting that it was best to get input from the players about their experience rather than relying solely on opinions formed from watching the action. “Like in any good investigation, you check all possibilities before arriving at the final answer. It’s worth an ask,” he maintained.
Here is how the conversation continued:
Bhogle: “Definitely ask batsmen on both sides”.
Manjrekar: “So you think Virat wasn’t seeing the ball properly? Or Ajinkya Rahane or Cheteshwar Pujara?
Bhogle: Just ask all of them ‘what do you think’, because if pink-ball cricket is going to be a regular feature.
Manjrekar: “I think we have a good indication watching from the outside whether a batsman is seeing the ball properly or not.”
Bhogle: “It doesn’t cost anything to ask, it’s always good to know everything”
Manjrekar: “Might as well ask everything (with a patronizing chuckle), right? Ask the players everything and say nothing from here.”
Sanjay then targeted Harsha’s lack of playing experience and said, “Well, you need to ask Harsha. For us who have played the game, we’d get a fair idea about what’s happening. I say this with some authority because 10-15 years of first-class cricket, that’s what we did. A ball very similar in texture to this one.”
“When you play the game, Sanjay, you get a very good idea about what the conditions are, but it cannot be a limitation to learning.”, Harsha backfired. This is not the first time that Sanjay Manjrekar has made controversial comments, he has now developed a reputation of inciting the cricket world by his satirical comments.