Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Like Sir Ian Botham's Commentary Manner

I've been enjoying the commentary from Sky Sports this Ashes series as it has been beamed into our living rooms, or computers with HD TV tuners wherever they might be, on SBS. They've been mainly Englishmen including David "Bumble" Lloyd, Mike Atherton, Nasser Hussain and David Gower, although Michael Holding aka Whispering Death, also has much to say and he is most pleasant on the ears. Much better than listening to droll old Richie Benaud.

But one guy that has surprised me somewhat is Sir Ian Botham. He analyses the game so well. When there is a puff of dust in the first session of the first mornings play he points it out. That indicates, to me at least, that the pitch is dry enough to crack and take plenty of turn and Australia will be bowled out chasing 120-odd in the 4th innings and lose the Ashes and be left to rue not taking a spinner into the match. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Hang about. I've derailed my train of thought here. Botham has introduced something that might have been innocuous and overlooked by other commentators but has introduced a very important happening to the viewing public. He makes you think about what's going on too.

I notice that the English commentators comment more about the things that you don't see, like goings on in the field, that have relevance to cricketers who follow the game, but would be missed by normal commentators. I find that the English commentate more like they are on the radio than on TV. There's a lot in the medium of TV that isn't noticed by the viewers and I think that that is an important aspect of commentating. This is a failing of AFL commentators on the whole as they don't observe off-the-ball incidents enough to really give you insight to the game as there is much more happening than just to the guys on the ball. I reckon that Botham comments succintly about these incidents but doesn't go into too much detail in his description and lets you draw you own conclusion in many places. He introduces topics for discussion and never appears to be a know-it-all.

Makes me think that Botham would have been a great captain with his analytical skills. He did possess that very English trait of saving his best with bat and ball for Ashes tests against the Aussies. Very English and very annoying. Perhaps as captain you don't have that much time to think about everything that is happening out in the middle and can't read the situation quite as well. But he does a marvellous job of it in the commentary box.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pretty good. Enjoy the rest of your week. Annette