ESPNcricinfo has introduced a new video series featuring Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar.
Manjrekar, the former Indian Test batsman and now a leading cricket commentator, plays host and brings in his own sharp observations on batsmen he has watched closely. Each of the 14 batsmen is assessed on four attributes - technique, temperament, adaptability, and impact.
The list of batsmen featured includes natural strokeplayers like Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist to master technicians like Jacques Kallis, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. The show integrates ESPNcricinfo's extensive cricket content repository with the viewing experience. As users watch each episode, they will also be presented the featured player's stats, in addition to articles published about him on the site by leading cricket writers from across the globe.
The first episode of Modern Masters was launched on Thursday, 5 June, at 8am, with a new episode out every Monday and Thursday over the next six months. The first episode discussed the technique of quite possibly the most exciting Test batsman in the modern game, Sehwag.
Sambit Bal, editor-in-chief, ESPNcricinfo, says that Modern Masters is "a reaffirmation of ESPNcricinfo's commitment to raise the bar for original digital video programming. Our users expect us to live up to the journalistic standards we have set, and Modern Masters is a showcase of all our traditional strengths in a relatively newer digital medium. These are early days for digital video in India, but consumption is growing fast, and as the world's leading single-sport site, we will continue to challenge ourselves to bring in new ideas."
During January-April 2014, ESPNcricinfo video views were up 57 per cent over the same four-month period last year to 4.6 million. Since November 2013, ESPNcricinfo has averaged more than 4.1 million video views per month. According to comScore, from May 2013 to April 2014, ESPNcricinfo had 3.5 times more average monthly online video views than the next closest cricket site in India.
The portal has been planning huge on video coverage. In November, the website had launched live video analysis of the game called Match Point with Manjrekar. The former batsman, along with ESPN Cricinfo experts, debate and discuss numbers and statistics, player styles and techniques of ongoing Test series.