Gavaskar makes Ranji debut... as commentator with son Rohan
'For a change I could actually pull someone's legs and get away with it.'
India's batting icon Sunil Gavaskar has a ball in the Ranji Trophy commentary box, at son Rohan's expense. Harish Kotian reports
After doing commentary on international games for nearly two decades, Sunil Gavaskar finally got his first chance in India's premier domestic competition, the Ranji Trophy.
For the country's cricketing fans, though, the icing on the cake was seeing the batting legend share the microphone with his son, Rohan, during the quarter-final between Mumbai and Maharashtra at the Wankhede stadium on Wednesday.
Needless to say, the former India opener had a ball, as always; this time at his son’s expense!
"For a change I could actually pull someone's legs and get away with it. Generally, when I am doing it at the international level my fellow-commentator can comeback at me. Over here that was the big plus that I could pull his legs and get away with it," Gavaskar said.
'For a change I could actually pull someone's legs'
The former India and Mumbai opener engaged in a bit of banter with his Rohan, who, unlike his father, played domestic cricket for Bengal.
"I started by saying that he has not been a part of a Ranji Trophy-winning team, but, thankfully, he didn't come back at me saying he has scored more runs at Eden Gardens than I have," he said.
Gavaskar is actively involved in commentary at international matches for nearly two decades, but this was his first taste in the box for domestic cricket.
He was quick to point out that the usual buzz surrounding a big international game was missing.
Image: Sunil Gavaskar of India bonding with his son Rohan in this file photo
Photographs: Shaun Botterill /Allsport
'I have learnt from Richie Benaud and by observing other commentators'
"In the commentary capacity, yes, this is my first Ranji Trophy match, but I have been to first class matches after my retirement from cricket to watch, mainly in Mumbai, of course.
"I have been to Baroda often, when Baroda or Bengal have been playing, but this is the first time I am doing commentary. The difference really is that the buzz that international cricket, like Test cricket or ODI cricket has, the buzz while coming to the ground, the crowd forming, there is a little sort of atmosphere which is missing in a Ranji Trophy quarter-final; maybe they will be there for the finals," he said.
Gavaskar said he received good feedback on Rohan, who has been doing commentary in domestic matches.
"That would be off the air because you don’t want to disturb someone when he is on air. But off the air sometimes we do talk about little things, like the things I have learnt from Richie Benaud, and by observing other commentators; so, maybe, you give some of the tips back to him.
"I haven't heard much of him because of my travels, but the feedback that I get generally has been pretty good. That is good to hear," he said.