Watching live cricket on TV from Australia is such a pleasure, both to the serious cricket-knowing viewer and the casual cricket follower alike. As expected the TV coverage is excellent, English commentary team is expert and grounds are beautifully laid out – almost flawless. I’m sure even the Hindi-dependent viewers too enjoy the coverage without a murmer! Hindi, because this is what we are fed with and we get fed up with, usually. Not this time! Thanks to our beloved Doordarshan, who could not win the rights. You know what is DD style? Commentators sit and watch the TV [they see what we see] in the DD studio with a mike on and commentate with alternate Hindi and English for us, switching off the original commentary in English. No one knows what is happening when there is no cricket action on the field – for example, between over change, during even a small stoppage for valid reason. The viewer is disconnected – including our commentators! Instead, we are shown commercials. Score cards are not shown. If anything happens in the last ball of an over, viewers are deprived of it. The reflex of the switching person is swifter than that of a slip-catcher! He does not waste a milli-second to show the commercials and thus earn fast bucks. He is instructed to show action, only when the bowler runs in and bowls! As soon as a defensive shot is played, the commercial is on even before the ball has reached the fieldsman’s hands! Many times, he would miss a no-ball or a wide off a 6th ball and switch to commercials immediately. I have always wondered why they do not show live action at least as an ‘inset’ in the screen during those breaks. Instead, they are interrupting even during an over, showing them on two sides. It is switched over irrespective of what commentators are talking about and that too mid-way.
When DD does not win the deal, viewers are happy. Look now, how beautiful it is to watch live action from Australlia. Not much commercials to interrupt the flow of action and coverage. Wickets in Australia also provide good cricket. Lush green carpet-like outfields make the ball smoothly pass as if on a billiard table, which is such a joy to look at. Fortunately, DD is not here to annoy this time. Listening to description and commentary from the team is an education in itself, aside from watching beautifully covered live action.