Rediff Logo World Cup 99
April 4, 1999

The Indian World Cup squad

Like, wow! We had the story of the Indian squad up on our site around 11 pm on Sunday. At 10 am on Monday morning when we checked, the box was flooded with your comments. Check it out. Vivek Joshi: God save the indian cricket from these dumb selectors, who seem to have no idea of what they are upto.

Ketan Patel: It does not make any sense to have different team for both tournament and acting unnecessary against rules for list of players is senseless.

Saood Shah: I think the squad really sucks

Ragu: Don't we know what Jimmy Amarnath remarked about the Indian selectors? A BUNCH OF JOKERS -- It's high time we had some sensible heads at the top. With people like Shivlal Yadav and Madan Lal we cannot expect anything more. God save our team and our chances in the World Cup

Prasad Walawalkar: I think kambli should be tried in place of one point of time kambli was considered a competitor to sachin and he definitely is a very good batsman

so why not try him . ramesh doesnt look like an one day player by any means at all

Suraj M Varma: I don't understand why Mohanty is not making the trip to Sharjah if he is in the World Cup team. Also, why is not Kambli going to the world cup? They are really toying with his career. Is there a way that the Indian President or Prime Minister can fire the Indian selectors and our "dear" Mr. Lele? I think he is the worst that can happen to Indian Cricket. I hope Jadeja was the Indian captain for the world cup. But it is bit late for that. I always admire the way Pakistan comes back with full force even after facing all sorts of odds. Our boys should live with these guys to pick up atleast a point or two.

vivek kedia: : world cup team is ok but mohanty must hav played in sarjah

Rajesh Bhatia: Selectors have again proved that they are the "bunch of jokers". World cup squad is an average team, no hope to win the cup. The less said about Sharjah squad, the better. Rajesh

Venkat: Dear Prem,

I think again the selectors have shown that they can muck-up a great squad due to petty polittics. For India to win the world cup or any major tournament for that matter, we should revamp the whole selection structure.

SHEKAR SASTRY: Robin singh is on his way out,it would have made sense to groom someone like Kanitkar.Chopra has not been impressive, instead joshi would have beeen a help with the bat as well for the world cup

Mohit : The selectors are going crazy!! They got their brains in the wrong place by dropping the one and only VINOD KAMBLI!! The selectors should be removed and banned!!

prakash k: the selectors can be equated to laloos, mulayams and jayas. worse they are worse than these creatures

Samir: I think Indian selectors are not doing their proper job. See others tem. they have given their world cup list so many days before. so because of this they have confidence that they are in worldcup. but our side? they again made a big mistake for not taking mohanty in sharjah game. I think they do not want to give more practise to our original world cup player and giving more chance to others. Who made them selectors? this is big responsibilty and they are just making misuse of that.I do not know what to say about Indian team aftr losing final match against Pak, but our selectors are worst the our team. Because of them we are losing our great players. thats all

Suhas Marathe: smarathe@yahoo,com: Political hypocracy and incapability to face the problems is do deep routed in attitudes of Indians that it is difficult maintain any transparancy any place anywhere.

subhas kini: what is the use of making or breaking a team, sir?, Indian cricket is in total bad shape. we like to lose and make the opposition team very happy.

Amit Deshpande: How do the selectors explain not picking up Mohanty for Sharjah? It means he may probably be warming the bench in England

anuj kumar: The Indian selectors have once again proved that they really are bunch of jokers. They are even more inconsistent in their performance than the Indian team itself. I believe the selectors must be made accountable for their performance also and should not be allowed to play with the careers of good indian players like Mohanty etc. & emotions of Indian cricket fans. The best thing would be to sack this selection commitee and have three ex players as selector irrespective of their zones.

Muthukumar Ramasamy: I think the selectors have done a good job. I would have picked up the same squad had I been there in the selection committee. To answer your questions first,

Why is mohanty not there in the squad to Shrajah. Well, the picth a Sharjah is a flat batting track. Moreover the indians might play just two seamers and two spinners in all matches. which would mean that a seamer will already be sitting pout. There, it doesn't make much sense to have another seamer sitting out.

Why is Joshi in? If you remember last time when we were at the sharjah we played 2 seamers and 3 spinners and was a great success. anyway, it's better to have a left arm spinner, just to rest chopra or even that could be a good option 'cos pakistan had lot of right hand batsmen.

so, out of the 15 going to the world cup, Mohanty and Sachin are not going to sharjah. Joshi comes in for Mohanty and then for sachin we had to send a batsman. that was why Kambli was choosen.

My only regrets are that if one player hasn't been done justice, then it was Hrishikesh Kanitkar. he should have been a regular member in the pepsi cup and also in Sharjah and World cup. His position to bat ideally was at 4, before Jadeja. to me, he is a solid player who could have taken up Akram, Akhtar and Saqlain confidentally and he is also techically adept to play in england. he should have be tested and tried well. If there is a choice between khursia and kanitkar i would pick kanitkar. khurasia is just not consistent as kanitkar though he looked a good agressive bat against lanka.

Also, I have begin to question the utility of Azhar in the team. he hasn't had a good knock with the bat for a long time and I wonder how good he can be in england. he needs to become a match winning batsman again if India should have a chance in this world cup.

Subhash Kari: I think the selectors have made a blunder by dropping Vino Kambli. I do not see Ramesh making it to the final eleven, simply because Sachin will open. He has performed best at that spot and the argument that he'll be needed there at the end is pointless. Sachin started opening not to take advantage of the first 15 overs but to make sure that he gets to bat as many overs as possible.

Another surprise is the inclusion of Amay Khurasia over Kambli. What has Amay proved in the last three innings that he played? He has proved that he is a Ranji Hero! He scored against a poor Lankan attack at better than run a ball, but failed twice against the Pakistan. Kambli on the other hand has played countless innings at better than run a ball and he is certainly a better fielder than Khurasia.

If he was not picked up because he is unfit then I can only endorse Mohinder Amarnaths view! Because he was picked up in the 19 after a rigorous fitness test which he had apparently passed.

But given what our selectors are capable of dishing out, if Kambli performs in Sharjah I bet he would be on the flight to England. Gynanendra Pandey, Virendra Shewag and Kanitkar were picked up in the 19 only to make the job of pruning to 15 easier. Inclusion of Mohanty is the right move. And I guess the Indian selectors are ready to cite the example of the Aussies if they get any questions from the organisers. If they can do why not us?!

K.Venu Menon: I absolutely agree with you Prem. Kambli and Joshi should not have been included in the team to Sharjah.Then who is to argue with Bomaby club. They seem to decide the fate of Indian cricket team.

Niren: There has to be an ulterior motive behind this entire excercise. There have to be invisible hands handling this show behind the scene. Is it now too difficult to imagine that matches could "actually" be fixed? If the selectors can act with such audacity and time and again get away with it, is it not possible that for a few favors, the players could shed their responsiblity. It is now as if a given that the team will have a few "surprises". And it perhaps is time to stop wasting time questioning them!

Hansal Mehta: I think Amay Khurasia is being over-rated on the basis of one good knock against a mediocre Sri Lanka attack. His technique is suspect against genuine pace (even genuine spin !). The moving ball will add to his woes. The selectors should have looked at his game before making the choice. Hope he irons out his excessive shuffling. With Srinath, Prasad and Agarkar in fine knick, there was place for a specialist batsman...our batting simply lacks the depth and the staying power under pressure. Besides Sachin and Jadeja none of the batsmen look very sure against the fast, moving ball. With Tendulkar returning to the squad, Ramesh is a waste. Maybe a top-class all-rounder should have been included. In any case, lets not get into conjecture at this stage. The team's morale must be low after the stinging defeats. The guys need to be positive and focussed. It's not a problem of talent - we have that aplenty. Its just an attitude problem - we lack the right one in plenty !!!

Dr Iqbal Ansari: There is one thing certain about cricket - it's uncertainty There is one thing predictable about indian selectors - their unpredictability

one thing all we Indians need to keep in mind now is that we have no match winners in our team,even now if we win the world cup it would be thanks to the glorious uncertainities of cricket

mahadev: hmm..not bad

Ruchir Ghosh: As once a talented Indian middle order batsman said "You are dealing with a bunch of jokers" and so it was proved again here. We will never learn from our mistakes. Going to the World Cup with a dis-jointed team makes no sense. Sharjah 'Coca Cola' cup could have given an ideal place to bring all players together as a team and only the world cup probables should have been tested in the desert, but no we are all very weak when it runs into sentiments. One thing I would like to end up with, if the 5 wise men doesn't know what they want then we are taking one of our favourite game away from us day by day.

vijayaraghavan: as rightly pointed out by the author, i seriously feel that sending the same set of players seleceted for the WC to sharjah too, wud have made more sense. it wud have given them all the oportunity to get together as a team, work out strategies and game-plans, as per the strenghts and weakness of each player. but then, we are discussing the act of the most mercurial set of creatures on earth, aren't we???

Anand Somasekharan: Do you think these two teams are going to win anything? NO WAY!Why?:I am a hardened CRICKET FAN, and that's why!

rohit oberoi: i agree with you that it is a ridiculous decision to name two different squads for sharjah and the world cup.

Rajesh Jadala: It must be a joke not picking mohanty in the firstplace and after picking him for the world cup squad and dropping him from the sharjah cup. What will the selectors think of next. They are embarassing themselves over and over again. I think we should do away with the system of representatives from each Zone. On the whole the team picked is a balanced one Provided Mohanty gets the nod from the organisers. I think india should go in with four pace bowlers in each game. I sincerely hope that Azhar will look at the 1983 results to understand the importance of seamers in English conditions. Lets hope that sachin gets well and India can win the cup. Which looks very unlikely from recent performances.

Krishnakant Singh: As usual, the selectors have acted as idiots. Your last few points makes complete sense and it is high time something be done about the selectors.

Swaminathan Krishnan: Your analysis is incorrect. Ramesh was originally picked as a replacement for Tendy. But now that the world cup squad is selected, and Tendy still needs the rest, you need a replacement for him......since Ramesh is there to open and since he is part of the world cup squad it makes sense to make him bat at the opening slot...which means that now you need an extra middle order bat and you would surely agree that inspite of kambli's bad performance in the Pepsi cup he deserves one more chance.

Surendranath R Bada: sbada@hotmail: I consider BCCI's decision still to try with Kambli & sunil Joshi. This way they can have back up or still open their chances to pick some one. I like they should also consider Lakshmi Rathan Sukla and Mohanty(as you said) to play in sharjah. I still want to rest Azhar, Ganguly,Tendulkar, Prasad and Srinath and try with other members. So that they are getting real sufficient exposer to prove themselves and the BCCI's faith. They can try in this order RAMESH DRAVID KABLI JADEJA AMAY KHURASIAH ROBIN AGARKAR SHUKLA MONGIA SUNIL JOSHI MOHANTY The BCCI may not consider Shukla now. In that place they can use Chopra. That is all in the selection process. Now only thing left is to build & induce the attitude, confidance and professionalism into the players under all circumstances.

Sanjay Singh: I feel selectors did the right thing by not selecting Monhanty for Sharjah. Everyone knows Sharjah is batsman's paradise and we have enough pace/seam bowlers (better than Monhanty and experienced, I am talking about Srinath, Prasad, Agarkar and Ganguly to bowl in Sharjah conditions). In Sharjah, there was a need to send a strong / experienced batsman and in my opinion Kambli qualifies that criteria. After all, he was given only one chance (not three chances like Ramesh and Amay). I would have picked an experienced squad for English conditions against very young players like Amay who is yet to prove himself against world class bowlers like Donald, Pollock, Wasim, Shoaib etc. Mohanty is a good pick for London. At this moment the stress should be on moulding a winning team for Sharjah and that requires selection of players from whom the team management can pick and choose. Mohanty wouldn't have gotten a chance to play in any of the matches there. Sunil Joshi is a better replacement for him in Sharjah (useful allrounder(?) I mean better bat than Monhanty). As far as tournament rules are concerned, the other countries have already submitted such requests. Also the committee did not honour NZ cricket board's request of keeping the list of 19 confidential as well. Based on that the rules committe should be able to accommodate India's request for change. To answer ur question why Mohanty was not selected in the first place, I feel that selectors were looking for all rounders and that is why they picked LR Shukla (there was a big hype around him as he is only 17 and was not tested). After his performance in two outings, they felt that he is a bit inexperienced and felt Mohanty would be a better bet.

The present group of selectors is the best India has had in the recent past (because they have unearthed lot of talented youngsters) and one should not blame them for every single selection they make. By your yardstick, the selectors of each country are not good (Australian for selecting Shane Warne, Pakistan for omitting Salim Malick and all of us know about SA where the selectors cannot pick their best eleven because of race considerations. Also english selectors picked Mike Artherton (though he backed out because of injury) despite his poor form and so on....).

I would have picked Kambli for Amay in my WC squad. That would have been an ideal team for the big tournament.

devang patel: stupidity on the part of the selection committe to make a joke of the final 15 mohanty should be selected for the sharjah tour too,

DHARMESH GADA: all is fine but kambli not being in the squad is a shock.

BISWAMOHAN PANI: Nothing worthwhile to say except the fact about Jadeja's fighting attitude. It always feels good when the captain puts a price on his wicket. Does anybody remember Azhar putting a gutsy performance in recent times???

Ganesh: As you rightly point out in the article sending different squads to Sharjah and the World Cup doesnt make sense at all. Given the past records it is improbable that Mohanty will play a game that matters. As to the selectors not announcing the shortlists on time it really shows how commited they are to meeting deadlines. I would'nt have these men in my factory managing the production line!!

BISWAMOHAN PANI: The sharjah squad not including some of the key players from the world cup squad doesn't make sense. Its absolute stupidity.

vageesh: : It sucks... are these selectors dumb??.. whatz kambli & Joshi doing in the squad?!!

Ravi venugopalan: sharajah is said to be for warm up and what are players like vinod and sunil doing in it. It is really amazing. I think the bcci have to be voted out and a new sensible bcci committe must be selected. The members of the bcci are so bad that they are not worth to be there. Ramesh what did he play and a person who lacks footwork is there in the team. I fell hiriskesh kaninitakar was a better pick than ramesh. With his experience and all rounder performance we need people like him than somebody like the footwork less ramesh.

Shaw: It is very clear that niether the captain or the selectors are very much bothered about winning. I will be surprised if we make it to finals (as many other Indians) after their recent dismal performances.

VenketaNarayanan: the cup squad is a good one, but the sharjah squad reflects the incompetence of the selectors again. i feel that in not selecting joshi and kambli for the world cup, they have destroyed their morale for the sharjah. they should have played the same team, with a youngster in place of sachin, who would be delighted to play in any circumstance.

Aishwarya Kumar: The world cup squad is sensibly picked in that it has reliable one day players like Jadeja, world class fielders like Azharuddin and an alert wicket keeper like Mongia, not to mention the other reliable players like Srinath , Tendulkar and Agarkar. But the Sharjah squad makes no sense. Definitely, the squad that's going to England shoul have been sent to Sharjah so that the whole team could have played together.

Sudip: where the hell is Kambli?? Bring him back!!!! It's a geat injustice to him. Azhar is a waste. Chuck him out and Place Kambli in.

srikanth: This is more or less the team that i would have chosen although Mohanty should have been informed about his rightful place long before.

Mohanty is not going to get a chance to play unless one of the other seamers fail to perform.

This team is technically capable of winning the world cup - but them it clearly lacks the brain power from the leadership angle.

My guess is Sachin, Saurav and Prasad will be the performers. Srinath has to cut down his pace and concentrate on the movement. Azhar, for heaven sake, be in the attacking mould and back his good bowlers. Kumble will have a tour that he would like to forget.

Manish Sharma: I think Prem is being a little harsh on the selectors regarding the Sharjah squad. Agreed that they are'nt the most consistent lot. But they are changing their ways somewhat - for instance the timely inclusion of Mohanty in the squad. Moreover Mohanty will prbably be thrashed at Sharjah's batsmen's paradise which in turn may result in breaking his confidence. I think it makes perfect sense to have Mohanty play directly in England where the ball movement will encourage him. As for Kambli, he is a class batsman and always does well in the Sub-Continent. So it makes perfect sense in playing him at Sharjah. Ditto Sunil Joshi given that he is a batsman and an economical bowler on these tracks. Lets have more such horses for courses, I say.

Akshay...: WC99 squad makes sensebut not the sharjah squad! I don't know when this will stop!I mean the stupid decisions! The aricle has exactly pointed out the flaw in the squad! nice one!

Anuradha Prabhala: The World Cup squad was reasonably well-chosen. The only question mark is whether Shukla should have gone rather than Mohanty. Selectors opted for experience over potential and that choice is reasonable.

If you believe in the "horses" for courses philosophy, the choice of Sunil Joshi rather than Mohanty for Sharjah may make sense. You might argue that Harbhajan Singh would be an even better choice for Sharjah. He bowls quite well in tandem with Kumble and is likely to pose more variety to the bowling attack. However, with Nikhil Chopra, an extra off-spinner seems a luxury. Hence, the decisions to play (i) an extra spinner rather than a pace bowler; and (ii) giving this slot to Joshi are both defensible.

I don't understand the Kambli decision very much. I have nothing against Kambli -- I am a Kambli fan -- but why not an extra bowler - Mohanty -- instead? The Indian middle-order is overpopulated with Dravid, Azhar, Khurasia and Jadeja, not to speak of Mongia and Robin Singh. So why Kambli? Why not opt for an extra pace bowler who is going to play in the World Cup?

If a batsman was deemed necessary for Sharjah, why not Laxman? He is a useful off-spinner, has had an excellent run in the domestic season recently, and would get a chance to play in the middle-order where he is comfortable. And if something went wrong with one of Ganguly and Ramesh, Laxman could open. Which of these options is available with Kambli?

Yes, I believe Kambli does need to get a long run in the middle -- he was chopped far too early in the recent series. But is a month before the WC the right time for getting him match play? In any event, given that he is part of the Sharjah team, I hope he gets to do more than watch. Unfortunately, I don't see how that will happen under normal circumstances without sacrificing one of the World Cup probables.

All said and done though, the selectors have not goofed up big-time. Just for that alone, I would not excoriate them. Perhaps a few compliments may even be in order.

Amit Sadana: What are our esteemed selectors smoking these days?

Their actions make no sense.

Krishna Kaliappan: The world cup squad announced by India looks to be reasonably good. It's good to see Mohanty back in the squad as his seam bowling will be more than useful in case one of our pace (medium pace) trio gets injured.

The squad has reasonable number of so called alrounders although they cannot match the 1983 squad.

Openers are very good. Even the standby opener is good. Coming to the bowling side, we have Srinath, Prasad, Agarkar and Kumble with Tendulkar, Ganguly and Robin to support. Our tail can go upto Prasad (after seeing the recent outing). But, our major problem lies with the middle order. Our middle order is one of the most fragile middle orders in the world. Except Dravid, I don't think anyone in the middle order is good enough to play seam bowling.

There lies the supremacy of Australian, SriLanka and England. Maybe that is the deciding factor for this world cup.