Mark Waugh and Dinesh Karthik’s banter battle in the commentary box during Test 2 of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) series took a turn for the worse. Earlier in test 1, the duo were involved in yet another fiery exchange. This time, however, Karthik slammed at Waugh with back-to-back questions putting Waugh in his place.
India were chasing a target of 115 in the second innings of Test 2 in Delhi. When the hosts were 31/1, Waugh expressed his concerns about Australia’s field placements. “I’m astounded at this field, honestly. I cannot believe you would not have a silly mid-off. You’ve got 100-something runs on the board, and you’ve got Pujara, who is struggling for runs; he does pad the ball away a lot on the off-side. Surely you can have a bat-pad off-side,” Waugh said on air.
Here’s the entire conversation between Dinesh Karthik and Waugh
Karthik, co-commentating alongside Sanjay Manjrekar and Waugh, was quick to weigh in. Here’s the whole conversation:
Karthik: “I know you’re not happy with the field set; let’s go – what are you talking about?”
Waugh: “I want a bat-pad off-side, and I want my point up and sort of a coaching cover that can stay there; that would be a reasonable field.”
As the next shot from Pujara went through point, Waugh was irritated at Pat Cummin’s field placement.
Karthik: “Mark, if you had the point up, that ball probably would have gone to the boundary.”
Waugh: “If you had point up, it would have gone straight to him in the circle.”
Karthik: “You don’t think he would have found the gap on that one? He had time.”
Waugh: “We obviously think different, but if I’m playing against Pujara, I want a bat-pad off-side because I think he’s a big chance of squeezing one out there.”
Karthik: “But there’s not for Rohit Sharma; not talking about that?”
Waugh: “We’re not talking about Rohit Sharma. He’s a completely different player DK.”
Karthik: “So you’re happy with the field? There’s nobody for Rohit Sharma; you’re okay with that? You’d do the same as a captain?”
Waugh: “I didn’t know this was a press conference.”
Karthik: “It’s a bit of banter.”
Waugh: “I’m going to limit your questions per session; you’re going to get one question, right? No more.”
Sanjay Manjrekar sensed the tension and intervened. “Ok, I’m going to step in here and read out the score,” after which the topic was buried.
This is not the first time the commentating duo have indulged in a bit of banter themselves. In the first Test at Nagpur, Karthik correctly predicted that India would only have to bat once in the game. Waugh replied, “We’ll see about that, DK; we’ll see about that. “All I’m saying is never judge a pitch until two sides have bat. Let’s see how things unfold. It’s a big session; Australia won’t let India get away. This Indian Test batters not as good as some of the Australians. I can’t see two guys averaging 60.”