I suspect there is little argument in the Great Rust Debate other than the best way to follow the Ashes is on the radio warm and toasty under the duvet. This said, I have been ever so slightly disappointed by the transmission.
TMS has always had an irreverent side and long may that continue. But analysts like Phil Tuffnell are definitely in the Question of Sport school whose jocularity is at the expense of serious insight. Jonathan Agnew holds it all together and there is always Geoff Boycott whose analysis is based on the certainty of his experience. Dan Norcross is bit of a. joker and Alison Mitchell is reliable and well-informed but she should be judged as a commentator not as a woman. Andrew Samson is a superb statistician. It can be a dry, anorak, job but he has a sure touch in keeping the listener informed with some nugget or another.
Occasionally I watch the BT SPORT coverage. I am disappointed as a new broadcaster that they are not more experimental. Years ago London Weekend‘s Bob Gardam and Jimmy Hill redefined the frontiers of soccer coverage with The Big Match with a camera behind the goal, the studio panel and the co-analyst. The critique was first rate. SKY raised the bar of transmission too and have produced excellent analysts in Andy Gray and Gary Neville.
BT SPORT have gone with the old reliables and you can hear Boycott and Michael Vaughan just after or before TMS. They have enlisted Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist but I miss on TMS and BT the deep knowledge of Aussie cricket provided by Jim Maxwell.
The TMS team do their best to be impartial but you can detect the gloom in Aggers’ voice when an out verdict on Steve Smith at nought was overruled by the video referral. Again he is in tune with the listener as I was irritated by Dan Norcross who had a joke up his sleeve and and started telling it just when the action was becoming serious.
Johnners (Brian Johnston) would feed him a line: “Boil, what did you think a defensible total would be,around 300?”
Bailey would just reply “ 285” and I would laugh.