The Shastri – Gavaskar Cliche Game

It’s here again. The annual ‘Let’s Screw The Goras’ season is here!

Every year, India takes colonial revenge on countries by inviting them to a Test series in India. For all the years that the country was ruled and looted by the goras, India extracts revenge. Hot, sweaty revenge.

By inviting them to play in temperatures above 40 degrees, in dustbowl pitches like Rajkot and Vadodara. Where they have to toil like slaves on a pitch to extract bounce till the knees. Amidst a crowd that will never clap for the visiting team, even if someone scores a triple century, takes 5 wickets, and slaps Ravi Shastri – all in one day.

Of course, the visiting team then avenges the revenge by inviting us to their country, where we end up looking like clowns. And thus the little world of cricket goes on with its ups and downs.

So as part of that karmic cycle of wins and losses, Australia is here to play another away series.

It’s surprising how the body language changes when we are playing in India. Domestic captains have already made statements about the Australians’nability to play spin. Kiran More has predicted that Bhajji is going to fire this time. Sreesanth has ordered a bullet proof vest.

Amidst this hustle and bustle, sit the two wise men of cricket – Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar.

Those of you who do not like Test cricket, you have no idea how lucky you are. Your chosen version of the game doesn’t require you to listen to the drone of Shastri and Gavaskar. You do not know the pain purists like me have to endure.

Imagine you are stuck in a room for five days. You are tied and gagged, and in the room there is a tap that is left open. A drop of water drips onto a metal bucket every few seconds – the only noise in the room. You cannot scream, or close the tap, or leave the room. You are just sitting there, the tap dripping onto the bucket, and drilling into your brain.

That’s what it is like.

Ravi Shastri has been doing the commentary since before the time most of us were born. Along with Gavaskar, he has been weilding the mike, dishing out cliches like Himesh Reshammiya delivers hits every year.

A few years back, it was revealed that the two of them, along with Harsha Bhogle, are paid more than 3 crores a year to put forth the views of the BCCI on air. Which is a cheap trick to play on the viewers because as a viewer, you expect a neutral view, not a paid piper. Of course, the two of them are also in the Governing Council of the Indian Premier League, the annual ‘Let’s Screw Pakistanis Again’ extravaganza where the Indian audience catches a glimpse of rare stars like Shamita Shetty and Preity Zinta.

I have never understood why should ex-cricketers only get to be commentators? I know all the shots played on a field, I am aware of the fielding positions, and do not need the expertise of Sivaramakrishnan to tell me if it’s a great shot. Why can’t we have funny, interesting sounding people on air? Instead of listening to what sounds like the AGM of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation?

But then, no one tells Shastri and Gavaskar what to do. Lalit Modi tried, and he had to flee from the country.

So what can one do? How do you deal with the torture of the Deadly Duo over five days, without looking longingly at a blade to slit your wrists with?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you with a simple remedy.

THE SHASTRI – GAVASKAR CLICHE GAME

Numer of Players: The Shastri-Gavaskar Cliché Game can be played with two or more players. You can also play it with yourself if need be.

You Will Need: A TV showing the cricket match with English commentary. For best results, it is advised to down a few beers while watching the match, to numb the pain.

How To Play: The players sit in front of the TV and wait for Shastri or Gavaskar to come on air.

GAVASKAR:

Once a stalwart of the game, Gavaskar today seems like the grumpy old man who sits on the park bench and shouts and children for eating groundnuts and throwing the paper on the floor. It’s funny to listen to him talk about integrity and team spirit considering he had quite a few tiffs with other players over captaincy, and once walked off the field with his team because he was unhappy with an umpiring decision.

But then, he is Gavaskar and no one messes with him.

So when Gavaskar comes on air, you have to guess whom he is going to reprimand in this over. For eg, a batsman drops a catch, and Gavaskar will begin – “These young cricketers of today….”. Or if a batsman hits a six and then takes a single, Gavaskar will bless him with ‘That’s a bit of sensible cricket’.

The players playing the game need to watch out for such important life lessons and predict them before the man says it. Every correct answer gives you one point.

SHASTRI:

Ravi Shastri is the God of Cliches. When he is happy, he smiles and dishes out cliches. When he is angry, he spews hateful cliches. When he is neutral, he chews cliches in his mouth carefully and then spits them out.

If Ravi Shastri took a Lie Detector test, the scientists would go crazy trying to find out what he really means – so dispassionate and composed is his delivery of cliches.

For Eg. A batsman hits a clean cover drive. Shastri will immediately say, “That travelled like a bullet.” If you could successfully say ‘Bullet’ before he says it, you get one point.

Similarly, anything that happens on the field is ‘great’ according to Shastri. Batsman hits a boundary? It’s a great shot. Bowler stops the ball, it’s a Great Stop. There is a wall in China, it is the Great Wall. So on and so forth.

You need to sit in front of the screen and guess what he is going to say before he does it. Every correct answer gives you one point.

*****************************************

So there you go!

With this simple fun-filled game, you can tolerate the torture dished out by the Deadly Duo.

What is that I hear you say? What about Wasim Akram’s commentary?

Please remember this number. 022 – 27546669. Aasra is a reputed organisation that deals with suicide counselling.

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10 Responses to The Shastri – Gavaskar Cliche Game

  1. Mohan Gorai says:

    Well, what about Rameez Raja :D

    • heartranjan says:

      Rameez Raja is the Sanjay Manjrekar of Pakistan. And unlike the deadly duo, there are a few times when I like his commentary. Like an India-Pakistan World Cup match where India beats the shit out of Pakistan and Rameez Raja has to grudgingly praise Indians!

  2. It’s not called a ‘Bullet’. It’s called a ‘Tracer Bullet’.

    When India fields, and does not take a wicket for long, it’s always “what India needs right now is a couple of wickets”. As if this isn’t an universally true statement while India fields.

    ‘It’s always a good talk to lose’ whenever India loses the toss. A ‘two-paced wicket’ if India loses wickets.

    ‘They batted better, they bowled better, they fielded better’.

    ‘The first session of play will be very important’.

    ‘Such a sweet timer of the ball’.

    ‘Fishing outside the off-stump’.

    ‘… but the ball will win the race’

    There are more. Lots more..

    • heartranjan says:

      Wow!! That’s quite a list. You’re either a fan, or equally disgruntled with the guy.

      Thanks for the comment. :)

      • I’ve been petrified by the lot for years now. Harsha is good, and Sourav seems to be very refreshing; Dravid is insightful as well. Kumble turned out to be good, but he decided to switch to administration.

        I guess these two, and Siva, will finally be replaced by the worthier. I still cannot understand why the some of the cricket historians or journalists cannot act as commentators.

        Bringing back Alan Wilkins to the ESPNStar team may also be a good move. And I just hope they get Taylor from Australia this time. They will get Warne or Slater, though.

  3. shreenath says:

    I think i would choose to go to the stadium, when it is played in your home town…jus’ enjoy cricket at its best! but surprising you mentioned Lakshmansivaramakrishnan only once…that guy is a brain saw!! its like scratching on a black board…

  4. Harshabennur says:

    You missed some key clichés –
    1. Flashes and flashes hard
    2. He has given it the kitchen sink
    3. He has tipped it over the bar
    4. One just gets the feeling that something is gonna give in here
    5. Yuvraj – you beauty
    6. get the feeling this could go down to the wire
    7. at this moment, all three results are possible
    8. in the end, cricket has been the winner

  5. Harshabennur says:

    someone needs to stuff an old sock down his throat

  6. daakusaxena says:

    dude, something on the IPL anthem please? it’s been tormenting me for days. bloody losers.

  7. Pingback: The Shastri – Gavaskar Cliche Game | The Subliminal Love

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