The joy of hearing about cricket from a former player is very different from hearing about it from a fan! And no one illustrates this better than Harsha Bhogle, our man for all seasons. Much has been written about his IIM background and all that but the thing I love most is that he enjoys his cricket. There is none of that hindsight wisdom that is always offered by the former greats sitting there. When he talks he talks about how well a shot is played and how sweet the sound of bat hitting ball was, there is not too much harping on how that is a copybook shot and how children wanting to become cricketers should see this shot and learn. In the last test at Melbourne, he said something about an Andrew Symonds pull shot that he repeated today for a VVS Laxman pull shot. Savor this....
"Just look at how he plays that pull shot, standing tall and swiveling away to glory, it is almost like he is dismissing the ball from his presence."
Just after lunch today, he opens the commentary for the third session saying "India are showing some fight today mainly due to the efforts of Vangivarapu Venkata Sai Laxman."
Just that small effort made to say the entire name, efforts of Laxman would never have sounded that effective!
Some more talking he did today about great players knowing when they have to do what...
"It is almost amazing how all the great players just seem to know what to do. Wasim Akram knew when the batsman was striding out confidently and when he was afraid. Sachin Tendulkar knows when the ball leaves the bowler's hand whether it is a four or a single. No effort required, they almost seem to know!"
That humility of accepting that he will probably never understand how they actually know. Other commentators would do their best to go on and explain how they know and all that, here it is his simple awe for the game!
Here is wishing that he continues this way and gives us many more quotable quotes...Let the passion for the game continue unabated Harsha bhai!