More often than not, the stump mike provides greater insight of the tension in an ongoing cricket match, especially when the oratorical genius of Sunil Gavaskar and Sanjay Manjrekar, and heaven forbid, Murali Karthik, is on-air.
When half the Indian cricket team used to be occupied by Karnataka players, it was normal to hear messages and signals being sent around in Kannada, especially when Rahul Dravid was also serving as wicket-keeper.
Anil Kumble at mid-on wants the bowler to push back fine leg, but Venkatesh Prasad wails ‘Avanu beda anthane kano‘, referring to captain Sachin Tendulkar.
In the first Test between South Africa and India in Cape Town, which ended on the fourth day, yesterday, once again confirming reputation as “tigers at home, lambs abroad” and “backyard bullies”, the lingua franca not surprisingly was Hindi.
Sandeep Dwivedi of the Indian Express captures some of the gems which rolled off in the course of play:
Unknown: “Iski phati padi hai, Jassi, nahi jagah be ball daal” (hit the same spot Jassi, these guys are shit scared)
Slips: “Wahi line, Shami bhai“. “Lala, great bowling.”
Hardik Pandya: ‘Bowler ke peeche pad jao‘ (get behind the bowler)
Virat Kohli: ‘Upar nahi aage‘
Kohli: ‘Wahi jo subah bataya tha‘ (what I had told you in the morning)
Pandya: ‘Chaar wicket lena hai lunch ke pehle‘ (we have to take four wickets before lunch)
Decent Mr Dwivedi does not tell us who behind the wickets said: ‘Iski phati padi hai, Jassi, nahi jagah pe ball daal‘ but says it came from behind the stumps.
Now, let us see who was behind the stumps: There was Wriddhiman Saha, the Bengali. Cheteshwar Pujara, the Gujarati. Rohit Sharma, the Maharashtrian. Virat Kohli, the Punjabi.
You make your pick.