England vs India: The reason why Sourav Ganguly and Harsha Bhogle are not commentating in the Test series

Harbhajan Singh is the only Indian commentator for the Test series.

Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid & Harsha Bhogle
Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid & Harsha Bhogle. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Shubham Ghosh

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It’s almost another ‘mic drop’ scenario in the commentary box. The current England-India Test series has seen a number of commentators from England and other countries to do the job for the audience, there is none from India with the sole exception of the off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.

The commentary panel of Sky Sports for the ongoing series includes the likes of former England captains Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton and former West Indian great Michael Holding and only Bhajji– a newcomer in this field– as the Indian representative.

Experts limited to analysis

The Indian experts like Harsha Bhogle, Sanjay Manjrekar and Sourav Ganguly have been limited only to pre and post-session analysis for Sony Ten network, which has bagged broadcasting rights for the Indian subcontinent, according to a report in Scroll.in.

As a result, the Indian fans are feeling deprived to get more analysis and insights on India’s game in the series even though Singh is trying his best to match his fellow panellists. It has also reduced the possibilities of off-ground tiffs in the box as it had happened during India’s 2011 tour of England when Ravi Shastri – India’s current head coach – was involved in a heated conversation with Nasser Hussain.

When India went to South Africa earlier this year, Sony had provided a mix of Indian and international commentary feeds. But why is that none of Sony’s commentators from India doing a live job this time?

What is the main reason?

According to Scroll, when the question was put forth to the broadcaster, its sports content head Prasanna Krishnan said, “We pride ourselves on offering our viewers the best possible experience. Currently, for the Test matches of the tour, we are using the English feed from ECB which has commentary from leading English and Indian cricket experts. We have received positive feedback from our viewers who enjoy different expert opinions over the course of a series.”

The report also said Krishnan choosing not to divulge details as to why Sony picked Sky’s international feed over that comprising its contracted commentators who are currently in England. According to an unnamed source, Sony’s decision could have reasons related to costs of setting up a live commentary broadcast in England.
They had their own Indian commentary feed during the limited-overs leg of the tour but it was discontinued for the Test series.

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