Ravi Shastri drops greatest line in cricket TV commentary during India-South Africa Test madness

It’s January 4 and already cricket has peaked for 2024.

A blunt comment from Indian cricket cult hero Ravi Shastri is going viral after one of the bluntest lines ever dropped during a cricket TV broadcast.

The former Indian captain stole the show on a day of madness with 23 wickets falling in the Second Test between India and South Africa at Newlands.

Watch India’s Tour of South Africa LIVE and Exclusive to Fox Sports available on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial Today >

India followed up an extraordinary first innings demolition of South Africa with its own unprecedented debacle, losing six wickets for no runs.

South African batting consultant Ashwell Prince declared “there was something wrong” at the end of play.

South Africa were shot out for 55 before lunch and were struggling at 62 for three at stumps, still 36 behind after India were bowled out for 153.

Mohammed Siraj took a career-best 6/15, bowling unchanged for nine overs as South Africa’s decision to bat first backfired spectacularly.

It was South Africa’s lowest total since they were bowled out for 36 and 45 against Australia in Melbourne in 1931/32.

India were doing reasonably well in response, at 4/153, before an extraordinary collapse unfolded, with the team losing its last six wickets for no runs at all.

KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna were the victims, with Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada the bowlers.

In all, India lost six wickets in 11 balls.

While the cricket world was looking for the words to describe such carnage, Shastri summed it up in his usual brilliant best.

“My goodness,” Shastri said during commentary for Willow.

“Yes, 153 for four, 153 all out.

“If someone went around the corner for a dump and has come back, India have been bowled out for 153.”

One version of the video has gone viral on Twitter, with one million views.

Fox Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle was another who had to check the scorecard twice to make sure it was correct, but felt the 23-wicket tumble might not have been the best advertisement for cricket.

“I’d gone out somewhere, I came back around midnight yesterday,” Bhogle said.

“I looked at the score and I said, ‘154 for four, South Africa 55 all out, this series is level 1-1.’

“I get up this morning and rubbing the mist off my eyes as I check the scorecard and I said, ‘No, someone’s made a mistake there.’ Six for zero in 11 balls!

“It’s never happened before and it just tells you, when you’ve been around for a while like Kerry’s (O’Keeffe) been and I’ve been and you start to think, ‘I might’ve seen everything there is to see,’ cricket reminds you it’s the boss and will show you something you haven’t seen before.

“I’m not sure it’s very good for the game, but 23 wickets, you couldn’t ask for a more dramatic day.”

Prince gave credit to Indian opening bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah but said conditions were greatly in favour of the bowlers.

“I’ve never seen the pitch that quick on day one,” said Prince, who played 11 of his 66 Test matches, as well as most of his domestic career, at Newlands and is currently coach of Western Province, based at the ground.

“As a batsman you don’t mind pace in the wicket if the bounce is consistent but the bounce was a little bit inconsistent.

“You expect a bit of seam movement on day one but seam movement with inconsistent bounce is a different situation.

“Sometimes it happens that a great bowling line-up bowls out a team cheaply but if both batting line-ups can’t bat there’s something wrong.” Prince said the conditions had taken South Africa by surprise, prompting them to bat in bright sunshine.

“There was a bit of grass on the pitch but the tendency at Newlands is for it to take spin later on so it made sense to bat. I don’t think anyone could have foreseen how the pitch would play.”

Earlier the stand-in South African captain, Dean Elgar, playing in his last Test, stressed the need for his team to start well as they defended a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

But it was India who controlled the morning’s play on a pitch which offered bounce and seam movement.

Siraj exploited the conditions superbly, with none of the batsmen looking comfortable against him.

He started South Africa’s collapse when he had Aiden Markram caught at second slip for two in his second over.

He followed up by bowling Elgar for four in his next over.

Jasprit Bumrah had new cap Tristan Stubbs caught at short leg for three before Siraj took the next four wickets.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma’s decision to keep Siraj on was rewarded when the fast bowler took the wickets of David Bedingham (12) and Marco Jansen (0) in his eighth over.

Top-scorer Kyle Verreynne (15) was Siraj’s sixth victim in his ninth over.

The stunning collapse comes days after South Africa unveiled a squad for next month’s Test series against the Kiwis that has been described as a C-grade team.

Days after punishing powerhouse India by an innings in a home Test match, South Africa named a debutant captain in Neil Brand among seven uncapped players for the two-Test series.

The national team was ravaged by a ruling from Cricket South Africa which determined no players contracted to SA20 franchises were eligible for selection. Thus from the side which just beat India, only Keegan Petersen and David Bedingham remain.

It is a remarkable indication of South Africa’s priorities given they currently lead the 2023-25 World Test Championship standings (with one win from one Test) and prompted Waugh to unload on Instagram.

To many the squad has signalled the imminent death of Test cricket, with Steve Waugh and Michael Clarke among those to criticise South Africa’s team selection.

— with AFP

Leave a Comment