Popular Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle was left “bewildered” by criticism on social media after being “hugely trolled” for a tweet on Rahul Tewatia, the all-rounder who became an overnight hero in IPL 2020.
Bhogle, like many others, expressed his frustration at Tewatia’s innings, which had been slow-movingto start with, it appeared to have derailed Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) chase of 224 against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Sharjah. A seemingly out-of-depth Tewatia, promoted to No.4, struggled to 17 off 23, leaving Rajasthan needing an improbable 51 in the final three overs.
“Feel for Tewatia,” tweeted Bhogle. “But he’s losing his team the game.”
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Feel for Tewatia. But he is losing his team the game
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 27, 2020
However, in what is already regarded one of the most remarkable T20 turnarounds, Tewatia clubbed six of his next eight deliveries for sixes, helping RR reach the target with three balls to spare.
Among those who had to eat their own words was Bhogle, who, after the game, went back on his earlier criticism by tweeting: “He had almost lost it! Delighted for him that he could turn it around.” In the euphoria of Tewatia’s astonishing heroics, however, Bhogle’s original tweet was tossed around on Twitter, with several pointing out how his take had aged badly.
I think somebody informed Tewatia about your tweet
— Poet of the ruins (@subhama06) September 27, 2020
That tweet didn't age well, Harsha
— Apurv Nagpal (@apurvnagpal) September 27, 2020
— Niraj Singhvi (@RealSinghvi) September 27, 2020
On Monday, Bhogle tweeted a statement where he reflected on a “strange couple of days at work” – on 26th, he was “unhappy” after getting a couple of things wrong on-air, but “no one picked up my mistakes.”
“On the 27th, I was hugely trolled,” Bhogle, who has over 8 million followers on Twitter, wrote. “I had said ‘Feel for Tewatia but he is losing his team the match’. He was. Everyone felt so and the player himself said it was probably the worst 20 balls he has played. The twist that followed was remarkable, joyous but rare. I was happy for him but I didn’t think I was wrong. I slept well.”
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 28, 2020
Bhogle went on to observe how the permanence of opinion on social media makes it “more potent, more lasting” than live TV, admitting that he was bewildered by the “intensity of outburst” after tweeting his original opinion on Tewatia’s batting.
“It tells me you cannot forecast how things will be received. I would have found it perfectly understandable if I was criticised for those couple of mistakes on the 26th but I wasn’t. And I am bewildered by the intensity of the outburst for what was a valid observation. I think there is one other truth to this.
“On live television, the moment goes away and with it the mistake too,” Bhogle continued. “On social media it stays, it gets shared, it is delivered to you. So, is digital already a more potent, more lasting opinion maker than live TV? Yes, it has been an interesting couple of days.”