VJ and actor Yudhistir Urs, aka Yudi, is the newest face in the presenters line-up for IPL Extraaa Innings. t2 caught up with the self-confessed IPL fan, but not cricket buff…
Why Extraaa Innings?
I think the IPL is where you need to be seen this season. Its a franchise, a property that is the mother of all television shows. Yes, I call it a TV show because the IPL is not just about cricket. Its a healthy mix of cricket and entertainment, in which the entertainment sometimes scores over cricket. Even when I was watching it on TV and not presenting it in the first three seasons, I loved the whole energy, the unmistakable vibe…. I know that it is not cricket in its purest form, but the IPL has actually brought in such sellout audiences — even women and children. I am an IPL fan, though I am really not sure whether I am a cricket buff! So, when I was asked to try my hand at hosting the matches, I didnt even think twice.
How will you do it differently from Gaurav Kapoor and Samir Kochhar who have been hosts for three seasons now?
The effort is not to do it better or differently but to do it the best I can. Both Gaurav and Samir are great guys who have done the routine for years. They have huge knowledge of the game. Where I lack in terms of hardcore cricket knowledge, I am making up with my passion for cricket. I know… I have been told that I am a good presenter (laughs) and I am sure it will be smooth sailing for me here. The best thing about being the newest on the hosting panel is that the onus and the responsibility is not on me. Thats a huge relief.
Any tips from your seniors on the presenter panel?
We have all been buddies, so there is a lot of help and co-operation. Apart from me, Shibani (Dandekar) and Archana (Vijaya) are also new to Extraaa Innings. Samir and Gaurav have definitely given the three of us some dos and donts that we need to keep in mind, but nothing too heavy. Like the game, the presentation too needs to be light and fun. And having Navjot Singh Sidhu on the panel is anyway half the battle won.
Any favourites among the teams?
As presenters, we really cant have favourites, unfortunately. But I am a Bangalore boy and have supported Royal Challengers Bangalore through the first three seasons. If Bangalore is my janamsthan, then Mumbai is my karamsthan and I also tend to lean towards the Mumbai Indians a little bit.
Who do you think are the players of this season?
(Paul) Valthaty for sure! That guy is amazing and I would sure like to see him in the national side soon. (Ambati) Rayudu has been sensational this year. And then, of course, are the veterans — (Lasith) Malinga, AB de Villiers and (Sachin) Tendulkar. These are players who have proved their mettle in all forms of the game.
What will your dream final look like?
I would genuinely like to see a Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders final. RCB have done well in all seasons, but havent won. I think that, with the KKR team now, Shah Rukh (Khan) at last has the team he deserves. He is such a genuinely nice man that I want his team to do well, I want him to smile.