Mark Waugh's commentary continues to divide opinion during Australia's Test series against India, with the Aussie great in a fiery on-air clash with Dinesh Karthik on Sunday. Karthik has been needling Waugh during their stints in the commentary box throughout the series, and it appeared to finally get to the Aussie on day three of the second Test.
With Australia on the verge of a humiliating defeat after a collapse of 9-48 saw them bowled out for 113, Waugh took aim at the field placements that Pat Cummins had set for some of the India batters. With India sitting at 1-31 while chasing 114 for victory, Waugh couldn't believe the Aussies weren't trying to attack more.
'PATHETIC AND STUPID': Pat Cummins savaged over 'horrible' moment
“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, 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.
“I want a bat pad off-side and I want my point up and sort of a catching cover. That can stay there, that would be a reasonable field.”
After the next shot from Pujara went through the infield, Karthik said: “Mark, if you had the point up that ball probably would have gone to the boundary.” Waugh responded: “If you had point up, it would have gone straight to him in the circle.”
Karthik said: “Really? You don’t think it would have found the gap on that one? He had time." Waugh responded: “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."
As tensions continued to rise, Karthik then questioned why Waugh wasn't saying the same thing while Rohit Sharma was on strike. “But there’s not for Rohit Sharma, not talking about that?” he said.
Waugh replied: “We’re not talking about Rohit Sharma. He’s a completely different player DK.”
Karthik said: “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 then shot back: “I didn’t know this was a press conference.” After Karthik said "it’s a bit of banter", Waugh snapped and said: “I'm going to limit your questions per session, you’re going to get one question right? No more.”
Fans were left divided over the testy exchange. Some commended Waugh for his straight-talking approach, however one viewer described his actions as "disgustingly rude and defensive".
The only highlight is Mark Waugh carving up the cocky Indian commentators....
— Darren Gilmore 🇦🇺 (@darrengilmore6) February 19, 2023
The best commentary is a mix of feeling like you're part of the conversation and a hint of simmering tension.
Dinesh Karthik & Mark Waugh have certainly got the simmering tension today.
— Mark Puttick (@GryllidaeC) February 19, 2023
— Harshal 🏏 (@Harshal_de) February 19, 2023
— William Polak 🌐 (@willpolak) February 19, 2023
Mark Waugh is so cranky in the commentary box. If only the current 11 were showing the same combative nature. #INDvAUS
— Paul Zauch (@PaulZauch) February 19, 2023
The only Aussie who’s going to go down fighting will be Mark Waugh, the man’s under the cosh and he’s letting it out. Don’t think DK will have another question for him again.
— Sherry Joshua (@Joshsherry85) February 19, 2023
Mark Waugh is struggling to keep his cool on commentary..
— Vishal Vazandar (@vishybiz) February 19, 2023
The sycophantic TV commentary in this #INDvAUS series is really hard to cope with.
Thank goodness for Mark Waugh.
— Stephen Quartermain (@Quartermain10) February 19, 2023
Mark Waugh continues to cause tensions in India
It's not the first time Waugh has gone head-to-head with his Indian counterparts while in commentary. The Aussie great sparked some tensions during the first Test when he criticised Virat Kohli's catching in the slips.
"It’s like he doesn't think the ball will come to him, looks away from the game," Waugh said during the first match in Nagpur. "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."
After Karthik predicted India would only bat once in the Test after bowling Australia out for 177 in the first innings, 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 responded: "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."
Unfortunately for Waugh, those comments have come back to haunt him. India romped to a six-wicket victory on Sunday to retain the Border Gavaskar trophy after a second horror collapse from Australia in two Tests.
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