Rediff Logo World Cup 99
April 7, 1999

The Michael Holding column

Ravi Khot: Mikey ke mooh may ghee aur shakkar ! ( A Hindi phrase meaning may he prove right !)

Ramesh: I wish the people managing the affairs of BCCI read such articles which are thought provoking.But unfortunately we have people who simply refuse to think.Initial dropping and subsequent of Mohonty is a classic example.

Nitin Shetty: I am an Indian myself, but given the poor defeats of India by the Pakistanis, I think Pakistan along with South Africa are the strongest contenders for the Cup. Indian batting looks strong only on paper, with most of the batsmen highly inconsistent. Also, I do not see Australia doing well this year. WestIndies seems to be peaking at the right time like Pakistan. My four teams for the semifinals are: 1) South Africa 2) Pakistan 3) England 4) West Indies

Ashok Singh: I dont think so. If you look at the performance of team in Pepsi Cup, it looks like everyone has lost intrest in the game, they look too exhausted. May be this is because they are playing continuosly, and before the world cup they have to play one more tournament in Sharjah, by the time they will reach England to play world cup most of them will be exhausted and I dont think that they can give 110% on the field, which is required to win World Cup. On paper the team looks good.

Sriram: India will not qualify for the super six .

Navaneethan: Awesome

chetan gottipati: Mickey is an optimistic guy. India has stars in it's team but I fear the team needs vigorous field practice. Indian crickters must go through a therapy to keep their cool when there is pressure. Anyway, GOOD LUCK INDIA

Siva: He is too optimistic. India might quality for the super six league but after that it is only between South Africa , Australia and Pakistan. Because, Indians are dependent only on Sachin which is not healthy for world cup.

Abhijit: junta check this guys optimism..

rajesh: the way india was defeated in the recently held pepsi cup by the pakistanis i dont think india can win the world cup.the way the pakis showed the team work it was very impressing. i think if pakis come to final then i would like to bet on them though being an indian.i was very much disappointed the way indian batted in the finals.does the indian team think that if only sachin is there then only india can win then its a shame on the indian team.i don't say that indian team should always win ,but there should be some fighting spirit. which the pakistanis have. they keep their head cool. which the indians dont.i most of the time dont watch indian team playing because i get tensed when ever india looses. so its better not to watch the game of india. but whenever india wins i make it a point hat i watch the hilights,read the next days newspaper from TOI to indianexpress to asian age to mid day but this times pepsi cup final i saw the whole day just to see by how many runs india is going to loose.whether they would be fighting back ,no indian doesn't have the killer instinct.

kamal: no, i think he is to optimitic

Manish Jauhari: The team has a chance only if it acquires a "can-do" attitude. So many times,we have seen this team make heavy weather of soft targets and lose from seemingly invincible positions;most of our boys lack the "killer instinct" and buckle easily under pressure. They need to be more aggressive on the field;fielders should attack the ball;bowlers should give a stare or two to the batsmen. They need to realise that the match is played as much in the minds as on the field. There is tremendous talent in the side as such;bowling has been strengthened with Agarkar back and batting is solid too (though it's unfortunate Kambli couldn't make it);hope Tendulkar can surpass his form last year. We Indians are diehard optimists and would be hoping for a 1983 repeat.

Mahendra N. Sapa: It's true that Indian tem is very strong. but it's just on paper only. If one plays everybody plays and if one fails everbody fails. Finally, Indians still lack patriotic players like Kapil and Srikant. Vande Mataram

ATIF KAKAJIWALLA: yes, very much.


Raghavendra: My realism says that more often than not, Indian players would crumble. I can surely say that if sachin plays well, India have a fair chance else most of the matches turn up as it happened in Bangalore ( Pepsi cup final). What a shame!!!

Ashwin N: No.Mickey is stupid in his assesment of our chances

Prasant Bai Reddy: There is no doubt regarding the capability of the Indian team, as on several occasions we have seen what our fully loaded cricket army can conqure. So we have to agree with Mikey, sufficient time to be given to our soldiers to study the field and make their way to the destination easy.

Sridhar: India certainly seem to be the favorites for the world cup going in. They have a strong lineup of batsmen, who, if they show some consistency, can lead India to World Cup victory. I agree with Mike Holding about getting enough practice on the English pitches to get accustomed to conditions. All the best to India!!

Ashwin N: No.Mickey is stupid in his assesment of India's chances of going all the way through

Sandeep: It is really hard for me to be optimistic about India's chances in this world cup, as much as I would want them to win. Our batting lineup which appears to be so "strong" on paper has an alarming tendency to lose its spirit at the loss of a few quick wickets, more pointedly, sachin's wicket. Our middle order is definitely not that strong. Jadeja, Azhar and Robin dont inspire confidence in me that they will be able to handle World-Class bowling in unfriendly seaming conditions. As usual we'll depend on a couple of stars (sachin and dravid) to pull the rest of the team through. Our bowling is another weakness going into this world cup ( not to mention our barely adequate fielding) Runs are not going to be easy to score in this World cup and we need to tighten it up considerably. Besides all these factors, when you throw in the fact that our 15 hardly have any time to play together as a team, not enough time to get used to in the conditions in England, as Holding astutely pointed out; it does not look very good. I haven't even mentioned THE injury. Tendulkar is resting right now, this might even be a blessing in disguise, i hope desperately that it is, but in a worst case scenario, Tendulkar might not be as effective as we have gotten used to him being. Reportedly he is switching to a lighter bat, and what that does to his game, given he doesnt have much match practise before the cup, God only knows.. Azhar, and our strike bowler Srinath are also susceptible to injury... I hate to sound like a worry wart but as of right now, things do not look good. But then again, our players are world class Pros, and they might just pull out a rabbit or two out of their hats.....who knows????? All the best to my favorite team Hope I'm embarrassingly wrong......

Rajendra Shah: I agree with Mikey says but doubt if it will come to fruition, what with the horrible performance of our board and the selection committee. It is typical Indian politics once again, and that is not good for the morale of the players.

Mohit Jain: Optimism doesn't have a stand in Cricket. What the present team requires is to play together as one team and learn to respond to the situation at hand. A one man team cannot win the World cup, all 15 players have to work as one winning combination.

Manish Maheshwari: Holding doesn't seem to know the extent to which indians - fans and players alike - are resigned to face defeat (even to accept defeat, one may add) before every test/ODI. Before we even think of making it to the second round, we as a nation need to get rid of our defeatist mentality.Holding's optimism is far out-weighed by our lack of self-confidence.

Kurt: : Hi all: I believe that India has the talent to win but does not have the killer instict or the extreme passion that makes a team win. Every player is playing to just assure his spot in the team and when that is assured mediocricity sets in. I love India and want it to win the world cup but I am not putting my money on a weakly motivated spineless team which crumbles as a team when an individual spark of brilliance from one particular player is missing.

pratik vaishnav: he is right. india has the talent to win the world cup. more importantly, so beause pakistan is not in our group. we r a good side against any time but when it comes to playing against pakistan, we r a bunch of eunuchs. but i still feel, kambli should have been included in the world cup squad. he failed in just 2 matches, and he has been kicked. and azharudin is not performing since the last 15-20 matches, but he is still the captain,. if we do not win the world cup, the credit will go to our selectors9who r a bunch of jockers)

Ravishankar C.V.: Couldn't have been said any better that this. India is THE team to make it.

Abhishek Gulati: I feel that such comments coming from a campaigner as experienced as Michael Holding should surely get a few smiles on the indian faces especially when one considers the defeats against Pakistan in recent times. I hope he does not have to eat his words after the world cup.

Pavan Sabu: I agree India has a good team but they can't play in pressure and lack killer instinct.

Ramana Bhamidipati: Yeh! What he says is correct regarding Indian team but we haven't seen our team performing totally as a complete team. We have always won either only with batting or only with bowling but not with both! And thats the matter which stands in between the wins and losses. If India performs as our good friend "Mikey" has said no doubt that CUP is ours! Truely.I wish best of luck to our team and other teams as well...Ramana

vijay saradhi: as earlier indications suggest that india might go well in advance to england, holding has to put more pounds on india. having highest score getter and highest century maker in one day matches on their side india has enough chance to clich the title.

rahul sharma: yeah! no doubt about it India the best team with best bowlers and batsmen , even they don't have good all rounders but , if they all clicked , thay their is no stopping to it. i personally feel , that bowlers like prasad and mohanty should get chance to play in england ,as they have simmers pitches and good for these bowlers and their is less advantage for spiners and no need to block one place for a simmers. WE WILL WIN thanx's

Kalvay Hasan: Yes he justfied his optimism because Indian team has that much calibre that they can reach final but I am not sure whether they can win the world cup . We have very strong batting lineup but We can not confidently say that they can bat well. We are mainly dependend on Sachin just like in past We were dependend on Srikanth.

Vikash Palisetti: Me thinks, Michael Holding, is correct and fully justified to say and think that INDIA has what it takes to be the WORLD CUP' 99 WINNERS. But the biggest problem seems to be reliability. Our team as a whole is too emotional and banks on the likes of tendulkar to do the trick for them. This needs to go and we need to take responsibility and that is when INDIA can be a winner. And me personally thinks we need a more INSPIRING captain.

dhiraj: No . India is a team of champions but not a champion team.

vinay mony: here is one optimist wishing well for india when we are in gloom.