Suhail Chandhok analyses IPL 2018 with a new-age Game Plan
From being the first Indian to win the Oxford Cambridge Half-Blue award to giving up playing cricket due to knee injuries, life may have been an obstacle race for Suhail Chandhok. However, the 30-year-old sports presenter-commentator feels that maybe not playing was a good call after all. Soon after his final relapse in cricket in the year 2012, this Chennaiite happened to audition to become a sports anchor, after which there was no looking back.
Having been associated with cricket, football, hockey and pro kabaddi, he has hosted and presented events like ICC World Cup 2015, ISL Football, Rio Olympics 2016 and the French Open among others. However, according to him, Game Plan, his latest show is different, as it provides a chance for the viewers to understand each day’s match at the VIVO IPL better, as the show breaks down the intricacies of the game such as the strategy and performances.
“The format of the show was created for IPL, given the fact that we get to do constant reviews and previews to do on a daily basis. Unlike other shows of mine, this one is shot in a virtual studio and uses a lot of augmented reality. Adding to the advanced technology, we also bring a new guest for each episode,” says Suhail, who adds that he expects to take the show forward as a series, and not just for cricket, but other tournaments, as well. Game Plan launched on April 6 with an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each team. Having coached as well as played the game before, he says he is able to read each match in both perspectives and bring it to the show. “Not many people realise how much homework goes behind shows like these. I love to break down the game in a way that it adds a lot more information to what people actually watched,” says Suhail while insisting that the job of a commentator or a presenter is to give the viewer more than what meets the eye.
“People think it is the host who has to do most of the talking whereas, in reality, our job is to make the guests comfortable so they can bring as much value to the show as they can,” he adds, sharing that his most memorable experience was when he got superstars Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachchan together on stage in his hometown, Chennai.
Ask him for his favourite IPL team and he says he is a fan of the sport more. “Being a Chennai boy and having played for RCB before, it is hard to stay neutral. However, I try to be neutral in my own way,” he adds. Besides Game Plan, Suhail will be hosting the Pro Kabaddi Auction on the May 30, as well as a three-month-long season of Pro Kabaddi in October.
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