Mark Waugh cops it after Virat Kohli swipe during Test against Australia
The cricket great was under fire in the commentary box as India put Australia to the sword in the first Test.
Mark Waugh commentates cricket like he played it – with an air of arrogance and damn the consequences. The former Australian batsman has been playing his shots from behind the microphone in India, verbally jousting with co-commentators Ravi Shastri and Dinesh Karthik as the home side dominated proceedings on day one of the first Test in Nagpur.
Waugh first took aim at Virat Kohli's ability as a slips fielder after the India great grassed two chances during Australia's first innings. "It’s like he doesn't think the ball will come to him, looks away from the game," Waugh told the Fox Sports audience.
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"You have got to read the play. He’s a pretty good fielder but there are a few technical things that he can work on. Maybe change a couple of things - the way he stands - and then he won’t drop any more catches."
Shastri or Karthik were either lost for words or unwilling to join a pile on of an Indian deity. But they did pipe up later in the day as the home side gained the ascendency.
After Karthik predicted India would only bat once in the Test after rolling Australia for just 177, Waugh replied: "We’ll see about that. I'll write that in my diary. He could be right (but) it's not going to be easy, it's not going to be a stroll in the park."
Karthik shot back: "It's not as tough as the Aussie batters made it out to be." Waugh: "All I'm saying is never judge a pitch until two sides have bat. These Indian Test batters are not as good as some of the Australians."
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However, it was Shastri who delivered the day's biggest sledges, reminding the audience of the criticism coming out of Australia over the "patchy" appearance of the first Test pitch before a ball had been bowled. He then directed some chin music Waugh's way, recalling the former top order batter had incorrectly predicted a 4-0 series whitewash to the Australians the last time the teams met Down Under in 2020/21.
Waugh said he couldn't remember making that statement but it wasn't long before Indian fans found the comments online. Asked on Fox Cricket if India could fight back after losing the first Test in Adelaide, Waugh said: "No hope. I thought Adelaide was the Test that they could win on paper and with Virat Kohli here for just the one Test.
"I thought the conditions would suit them. I just can’t see how they can bounce back (after) Australia whitewashed them on the third day. So ‘no’ is the answer – four-nil to Australia." India fought back to win the series 2-1 – their first success on Australian soil.