Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar was recently involved in an Instagram Live session with Indian off-spinner R Ashwin. In the session, Manjrekar spoke about his playing days with Sachin Tendulkar. While the former cricketer is known for speaking his mind at the expense of other players, he also mentioned that the concerned players should not pay any attention to the views of a commentator as their performance is all that matters on a cricket field.
Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle seems to have closely followed the Instagram session between Sanjay Manjrekar and R Ashwin. On Monday, i.e. one day after the session, Harsha Bhogle took to Twitter and praised the honesty displayed by Sanjay Manjrekar during his chat with the off-spinner. Bhogle also praised the curiosity of R Ashwin while asking questions and predicted that the 71-Test veteran could become a good commentator in the future.
In his tweet, Harsha Bhogle also claimed that he had made similar predictions about Sanjay Manjrekar and Ravi Shastri in 1991, who then went on to become glorified voices of Indian cricket.
Really enjoyed this interaction between @ashwinravi99 and @sanjaymanjrekar. Ashwin is curious and Sanjay approaches such issues with honesty and candour. In 1991, I had predicted that Sanjay and Ravi would make very good commentators. I am now saying that about Ashwin— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 18, 2020
Interestingly, both Harsha Bhogle and Sanjay Manjrekar were involved in an on-air spat during the 2019 Pink-Ball Test between India and Bangladesh. During Day 3 of the match in November, both commentators had a difference of opinion regarding the visibility of the pink ball after three Bangladeshi batsmen were struck on their helmets. At the time, Harsha Bhogle stated on-air that there should be a post mortem on the game. He added that the visibility of the ball would be a major factor against a big sightscreen.
Sanjay Manjrekar apparently disagreed by stating that when he saw slip catchers and the way they were taking catches, he did not believe that visibility was an issue at all and instead, blamed the texture of the ball. Bhogle then said that he would later be asking slip fielders Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara as well as the batsmen from both sides about the visibility of the pink ball as he opined that the Day-Night format will soon become a regular feature in Tests.
Sanjay Manjrekar then replied that Bhogle needs to ask that question to players because he has never played a game at the international level. Manjrekar, who played 37 Tests and 74 ODIs for India between 1987 and 1996, thus indirectly asserted himself to be a better judge of the subject. The former India batsman received lot of flak for the argument, making it one of the lowest points of his broadcasting career.