Rating India's Top 10 commentators

Harsha Bhogle with Dravid & Ganguly
The holy trinity: Harsha Bhogle leading the build-up to a game with Rahul Dravid & Sourav Ganguly

Indian cricket fans all over the globe have been treated to listening to some of their favourite cricket legends lend their voice to the cricket action over the years. There’s been a perfect harmony with the action on the field and the description from the esteemed panel of commentators.

It’s generally been the preferred route for a number of former cricketers such as Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar. As the game has progressed and expanded, we have seen more and more cricketers take to the commentary box after retirement (or during their playing days) to describe the action.

With their in-depth knowledge of the game, and their personal experience, having played the game, it’s been fascinating to listen to them describe the action.

Here, we rate India’s top commentators:

10) Laxman Sivaramakrishnan

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan
‘LSK’ back in 1984

Laxman Sivarama….. ‘LSK’ is another one who has established himself as a commentator over the years. He has a slightly dry style which makes it tough for him to endear himself to the viewers, coupled with a slightly nasal voice. Through no fault of his own, he has penchant to focus on the leg spinners, which can prove to be slightly annoying. His sense of humour is not his strongest trait.

Rating: 3.5

9) Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar (R) has’t endeared himself to the masses

We have a lot to thank the IPL for, unfortunately, it’s had an adverse effect on the quality of Sanjay Manjrekar’s commentary. Since the inception of the IPL, with the need to cater to the masses, Manjrekar has had the habit of getting carried away, tries to focus on the entertainment and not the cricket. His insistence on trying to be funny all the time can prove to be slightly annoying, while at times he over-complicates the most simple things. Hence, he’s got a spot lower down the list.

Rating: 4/10

8) Arun Lal
Arun Lal
Arun Lal has an instantly recognisable voice

Arun Lal is a warrior. He recently returned to the commentary box after battling back from a rare case of jaw cancer. Has a habit of over-glorifying the language he uses, both while doing English and Hindi commentary and his commentary style is not so free flowing. Has a very neutral style, and not many passages of his commentary can be remember, and less so immortalised. With that being said, he is a solid commentator who has a good analysis of the game. His accent sets him apart.

Rating: 4/10

7) Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu
Surely Navjot Singh Sidhu’s time is up?

The less said, the better, because let’s face it, Sidhu says A LOT. One is left to wonder at times if a cricket match is on or if we have subscribed to a podcast of Sidhu’s as he tends to ramble on. Has deteriorated over time and has developed a habit to talk about everything but the actual game that is on. His style caters to a very tiny part of the audience, and is probably just going out of vogue.

Rating: 5/10

6) VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman
Yet to make his mark is VVS Laxman

Having a tougher time taking to commentary than some of his peers, VVS Laxman has not made a breezy transition into commentary. His accent is a bit hard to comprehend, which makes it slightly less enjoyable for the viewers. Also, he has a habit to fumble a lot while speaking, making it awkward. Being one of the best Test batsmen ever, his reading of the game on the other end, is top-notch and we can only hope he gets better with time.

Rating: 6/10

5) Murali Karthik

Murali Karthik
Murali Karthik has never been short of confidence

The stylish left-arm cricketer has transitioned from cricketer to commentator with ease. Not one to ever be short on confidence, he has brought the same style to the commentary box. Has a terrific command over the language, while also keeping it simple and enjoyable. Having played cricket (especially domestic) all over the world, he uses his experiences to describe what cricket is like all over the world. He could grow to become one of the better commentators we have.

Rating: 7/10

4) Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar is a stalwart in the commentary box

Sunil Gavaskar took to the commentary box like a duck takes to water, making a seamless transition from being one of the best batsmen in the world to becoming an ace commentator. Having achieved so much in the game, his knowledge his unparalleled and his ability to read a player’s technique and comment on where one can improve upon is unmatched. However, he cannot adapt to the IPL style of commentary and tries to crack jokes at unnecessary times. He has tried to mimic the West Indies accent for some reason, to disastrous results and does get a little harsh and over-analytical when criticising somebody.

Rating: 7.5/10

3) Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly

Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly
Legends Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly have taken to commentary with ease

While everyone expected Rahul Dravid to take to commentary with ease, Sourav Ganguly was less of a natural at the beginning. Both these stalwarts use their plethora of experience to analyse the game to perfection. Being contemporaries to a number of commentators currently, the duo brought an enjoyable element of banter to the table. They were very insightful as it was an absolute joy to hear them describe the game. Both are currently taking a break from commentary, but we hope to have them back soon. (If they deem us worthy)

Rating: 8/10

2) Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri
Simply no-one calls a toss as Ravi Shastri does

The undoubted ‘baap’ of the commentary box, Ravi Shastri is an absolute legend. Has established a legacy with his deep voice almost instantly recognisable as he describes the action. His control over his diction is also commendable. Has described some of India’s most iconic moments, most notably Yuvraj Singh’s 6 sixes and Dhoni’s winning 6 in the World Cup 2011. His tendency to retort to cliches to describe the play have set him back. Has also displayed a tendency to show a bias towards the Indian players. That being said, he is surely one of the ‘voices of cricket’

Rating: 8.5/10

1) Harsha Bhogle

Harsha Bhogle
Harsha Bhogle doing what he does best

At the top of the pile is none other than India’s presenter-commentator extraordinaire Harsha Bhogle. He has carved a niche for himself in a field dominated by former cricketers and established himself at the top. For over 2 decades, fans have been treated to his insightful analysis, quick wit and his ability to connect with the everyday cricket fan. His one-liners have become immortalised in history as he has shared the box with the who’s who of the cricket world.

Rating: 9.5/10

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Edited by Staff Editor