You know something is great is on the cards, when Harsha Bhogle winks and gives you a thumbs up while you are staring at your screen not knowing what to expect. Fondly known as the 'Voice Of Cricket', Bhogle terms rivalry as the "heartbeat" of sport, and claims that there is no passion for India wanting to beat Australia or vice versa without it. This sporting war, right from the cricket field, to the cultures and the impact of it on the sport in general is the very basis of the 2 Nations, 1 Obsession documentary, airing on Discovery+.
To put it simply, the 2 Nations 1 Obsession documentary is a riveting two-episode watch that captures the heart and soul of India and Australia and how they share an unrivalled love for the game of cricket. The documentary, directed by Peter Dickinson, is a narration of the constant clash of cultures between the two countries. Harsha Bhogle and Murali Kartik gave Australia the look of a 'cool country', while the likes of Adam Gilchrist and Stuart Clark were reminded of the constant chaos on their tours to India. The first part of the documentary covers how Australia's two tours to India set the tone for the rivalry, which has grown into one of the fiercest and finest in global sport in recent times.
The 2 Nations 1 Obsession Discovery documentary features interviews with the likes of Allan Border, Sunil Gavaskar, Adam Gilchrist, Ravi Shastri, Bishan Singh Bedi, Sachin Tendulkar and the first forays of the rivalry can be seen in the historic 1986 Test series. Before the series, Harsha Bhogle said that India were popular tourists because they were polite and always lost, but that changed as the years progressed.
The documentary paid tribute to the iconic tied Test in Madras, where the late Dean Jones braved the odds to score a double-century, of which Kapil Dev says, “He loved to brag about it. Of course it was one of the finest innings and the conditions were very hard, but let us say that, not him". The later part of the episode moves into the Sourav Ganguly era and the 2001 series. The part ends with the high-point of the Indian series win, after their historic Eden Gardens comeback and the third Test win to claim the series 2-1.
The second part of the documentary focuses on the clash between head coach Greg Chappell and Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, which further stressed the difference of cultures between the two countries. As the episode progressed, it focused on the Lalit Modi era of the BCCI and how the Indian cricket board became the cash cow of the ICC and the inauguration of the IPL in 2008. There was a massive power shift with India now holding the reigns and having a major say, over the likes of traditional powerhouses Australia and England.
The clash of cultures reaches its peak with the Monkeygate scandal of 2008 when the action moves from the cricket field to a courtroom war between Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds. The incident further stressed the growing power of the BCCI and the reduced standing of Cricket Australia in comparison.
All in all, the 2 Nations 1 Obsession Discovery documentary is a perfect representation that is in line to potentially match up to the Ashes. The India-Australia rivalry is not only what plays out on the field between the two teams, but a clash of cultures, principles and so much more. The soundtrack and the fleeting visuals of the scenic depiction of both countries also add to the aesthetic appeal of the documentary, making it an interesting watch. The two-episodes and crisp and precise covering a whole lot of aspects that go behind the scenes, which is engrossing. 2 Nations, 1 Obsession will be available to stream on Discovery+.
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