For the love of God, Shut up Siva

Chris Gayle is in the process of distilling the art of batting in Twenty20 to a science and he is very close to perfecting it. Take it easy upfront, see off the gun bowlers, get the eye in, and then, GO CRAZY.

He was putting in to practice the above-mentioned procedure during the 63rd match of this IPL season. At the end of the 14th over, Gayle was on 34, off 36 deliveries faced and Royal Challengers Bangalore placed at 89/1. And then, all hell broke loose.

At the 17.3 overs stage, Gayle had blistered his way from a more-sedate-than-usual start to 71 off 50 deliveries and RCB at 144/1. Gayle had just scored 37* runs off 14 deliveries, with Manpreet Gony bearing the brunt, mostly. The India U-19 star Sandeep Sharma, who had a wonderful IPL debut just a few days ago, was getting a first hand lesson that life is quite tough for a bowler in T20.

Sharma had very respectable 0-17 from his three overs, when he started the 18th over, his last over. A front foot no ball, 2 runs off the free hit, full toss deposited for four, and length ball disappearing over the sightscreen.

For the fourth ball of the over, he delivered a rank full toss on the leg stump, that batsmen with far less ability than Chris Gayle would nonchalantly put away for four, if not more. Surprisingly, in his haste to whack the ball in to oblivion, Gayle played across the line, swung hard but missed the ball, which thudded in to his pad, and rolled away for the batsmen to amble for a leg bye.

Siva-NOIt is at this moment precisely that Laxman “Siva” Sivaramakrishnan dropped a nugget of incisive cricket observation that should go down in the history of awful commentating: “Very well bowled”. Is he that blind that he cannot see a rank bad full toss on the leg stump from the basic conventional definition of “very well bowled”? Or has he entered some sort of agreement where he cannot see shit for shit, and call it just that – Shit?

He must be doing a really terrible job as an objective observer as he is supposed to be as a commentator, when even Craig “Macca” McMillan who was on air along with him at that time, called him out. “Really Siva? That was a poor full toss on the leg stump!” Macca himself deals quite a bit in hyperbole and talks things up in the IPL as if this is the best sporting exhibition, let alone cricket, there is. Even he had to take a pause to see how blatantly poor Siva was.

It must have been really surprising for Sivaramakrishnan to be corrected by another on-air commentator because it is not something that we have seen, at least, in the IPL, where uninformed opinion passes for fact quite regularly. (I’m looking at you Mr. Gavaskar).

When Macca corrected him, Siva jokingly responded, “Well, he got away with it!”

That’s what it has come down to, isn’t it? How much can you get away with? By the looks of it, Siva is getting away with murder, and we aren’t even talking about the quality of play in the IPL.

It is that either Siva just doesn’t possess the acumen to see things for what they are, or he is lying through his teeth to peddle a product of questionable quality. I sincerely hope it is not the latter but I think I know the truth here.

*- Corrected to 37 (instead of 47 as originally said). Thanks to the reader who pointed out the math error.

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6 Responses to For the love of God, Shut up Siva

  1. Mahesh says:

    I agree with the article 1000%. For God’s sake, pls stop commentating Mr. “Siva”. But i afraid, that’s not going to happen 🙁

  2. P. Bharathram says:

    When Australia toured India for ODI games in 2010, I think, Siva was paired with Michael Bevan in the commentary box. Sivaramakrishnan appreciated the bowler for reverse swing, while the bowler, quite obviously, had been swinging the ball conventionally. He was explaining it over the replay of that delivery too – “The shiny part is on the outside and the ball is swinging to the inside. Good reverse swing by .”, and Michael Bevan, who hadn’t spoken on it till then, said “That is not reverse swing, Siva. That is conventional swing.” in a matter-of-fact way.

  3. Name says:

    Correction: 37 off 14. Not 47.

  4. Kandarp says:

    I completely agree with this. Standards of cricket commentary have gone down considerably in recent years. We should have been alarmed when Shastri was becoming a ‘maestro’. Siva and Morrison have achieved new heights in mediocrity. Not only these two don’t add any value in terms of analysis but they can’t even establish any connection with the listener either. I guess there are only two criteria to be able to become a commentator. (i) You should have played some cricket at some level and (ii) You should speak English.

  5. Anand says:

    The only hope now is that Siva will be busy in that ICC panel and we won’t have to see (hear) him again 🙂

  6. Sai Ram says:

    lol, just had the chance to read this piece. Sidhu and Siva have been absolute jokes in cricket, the former probably deliberately but the latter is just rubbish.

    Some just need to realize what they are fit for and what they aren’t fit for. Yes Shastri, that includes you.

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