It’s a crying shame that umpires Paul Reiffel and Bruce Oxenford didn’t have the authority to raise a little pinkie during the dying stages of yesterday’s play between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval and dismiss the entire Channel 7 commentary team.
“Failure to perform at an appropriate professional level” could be written into the scorebook as the means of dismissal.
And here’s why.
When Virat Kholi clipped that ball to Cameron Green and India slumped to 6 for 19, surely the question on every cricket fan’s lips – every cricket fan’s chapped lips – was simply this: could they be watching the lowest score ever in Test cricket?
Not an unreasonable question given the Indians in their first dig had lost their last four wickets for 11, albeit with one extra tailender among that lot.
Like many fans all over Australia, this deadset cricket tragic waited for what seemed like an eternity for that question to be asked and answered by the 7 commentary team that included Test greats such as Rickie Ponting but also Michael Slater and Damien Flemming.
Now I’m not exactly sure of the time of Kholi’s dismissal. Unlike these Channel 7 clowns, I don’t have statisticians at my shoulder blade able to pull up each and every important statistic from Test history at their fingertips. But I’m guessing it was before 2.30pm local time.
The Indian skipper fell at the 13.4 over mark and I do know that the next wicket fell a full five overs later of pace from Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummings – so that’s got to be a good quarter-hour, right?
And in all that time, what did we hear from the commentators about the possibility of a record low score? You know, fruit for the sightboard that a professional and well-trained cricket caller would naturally use to build excitement and tension.
Crickets. That’s what we heard on 7 on that front. Crickets!
And then a breakthrough. Sometime well before 3pm, the female commentator with the plummy pommie voice – do you know how long and hard I tried to find her name on various sites that seemed only interested in naming the boofhead blokes? – finally offered the news that it was the first time in Test history that a side had lost six for less than 20 in an innings.
Which, to be fair, is quite fascinating stuff! But as I shouted at the screen, I said, love, I said pet, all that’s fine but what about the bigger picture?
Finally, at 2.47pm local time, the crack commentary team from 7 finally put up on screen the lowest Test innings ever. And the winner was New Zealand against England at Auckland in 1955. Well done you lads across the dutch!
We finally got to see and hear these things this with poor old India sitting on, you guessed it, 26!
Moments later, Hanuma Vihari – I think it was – hit a four to avoid the ignominy of equalling that Kiwi record.
So, all in all, a dismal performance deserving of a first-ball duck from the team at 7. The finger should go up on all of their commentary careers – Ponting, Slats, Flemo, Trent Copeland whoever the fuck he is, the posh sheila, et al if he was there as well.
And I reckon the faint whirring noise coming through my loungeroom window was that of Richie Benaud and Tony Greig spinning in their graves. Would you blame them?
And finally, let’s send a bouncer the way of the boofhead anchor guy – they only used his initials and I’m still looking him up – JB, VB, VD, I don’t think it was the aforementioned TC – but whoever he was came up with a doozey, expressing bewilderment over how India could possibly have lost so many wickets on a beautiful, sunny, batter-friendly Adelaide morning!
Morning? Hello! What fucking game was he watching?