Rediff Logo World Cup 99
April 8, 1999

The Sanjay Manjrekar column

Saurabh Mittal: No, not at all. The Sri Lankan team will resemble a very ordinary side on English pitches. They don't have the firepower in bowling to attack any side. To be frank, in England, teams which have a strong bowling attack with good fast bowlers and spinners will be favourites. Batsmen are not going to succeed much. So a team with four or five top batsmen and tailenders who can chip in with a few amount of runs will win. For eg., South Africa, Australia, Pakistan have good explosive batsmen. If the top order fails, the tailenders are talented enough to put up a decent score. As a back up, their bowling is very good and can defend even small totals. In Sri Lanka and India's case, batting holds the key. If the batting fails, they are doomed. In the case of India especially, if Tendulkar fails, consider India have lost the match.

Rahul Marathe: Agree with Sunjay, on the poor selectors, true it's a thankless job. Inall looks like a ok team, solely dependent Sachin definitely for batting (and if bowlers dont click then bowling too!). I will love to see us wining the cup, but lets be fare with the 15, I dont see them wining the cup for the country. Well people may become nostalgic of 1983, but then it was a by luck at that time. I do hope though that they will at least reach the semis and kind cant help writting now win the cup too. So best of luck guys, go get it.

Haresh: I think Azhar, Mongia and Kumble should be sacked from the Indian Team. They have known to be corrupt but lack of good evidence has prevented them from being sacked. They are not indians, they pakis in disguise. They don't feel for India. They should replaced by true and hungry for success indians. I alos think India should start playing football as it is obvious they can't play cricket even with 900 million population. Sachin, Gangs, Srinath, Prasad and Kambli are the best thing for India. May god Bless india and it's people and it's sport players. Jai Hind

Drupad Patel: Stars: Sachin Azhar Saurav Rahul Srinath Prasad Agarkar

Flops: Ajay Jadeja Kumble Ramesh Robin Singh Amay Khurasia

abed: Azhar: Wrong selection, both as a Captain and as a player. But that is the way India goes. Can not motivate the players, so he won't try that too. Not a player to waste much time in the middle. Will be back to the hut quickly.
Sachin: One and only reliable batsman in the team. But the pressure will be too much on him, as other batsmen will badly fail. One good innings, may be.
Sourav: Still not a match winner. Too shaky in the beginning. Will stay at the wicket for some time, and score some runs, if the opponent bowling is not good enough.
Ramesh: Will play some practice match. Can not perform well. So, he will be out from the final eleven.
Jadeja: If he play in his usual place, i.e. middle order, and the previous batsmen make a solid start, he may score some run, and in field catch a few balls.
Mongia: Not a good wicket keeper, nor a good batsman. So, you can guess how he will perform.
Robin Singh: Looks like Mohinder in '83, with better fielding, minus talent.
Kumble: Not that successful in even India (except Delhi test against Pak). He may not get the chance to bowl his full quota, in some matches.
Srinath: Hope he will not try to bowl fast. If he bowls intelligently, it will be good difficult for the opponent batsman.
Prasad: Recently bowling nicely. But usually bothe Srinath and Prasad, can not bowl well at the same time. Should try to break that tradition.
Agarkar: Agression is good, but should not use his aggression foolishly. Seems too over confident about his place in the team.
Nikhil Chopra: Will bowl better than Kumble, but with ultra defensive fielding, can not do much.
Mohanty: Very lucky that the selectors pick his for the WC squad. If his luck continues, may get a chance to play. Will appear in one practice match, though Azhar will not use his much, in that match.
Khurasia: Will be waiting for somebody in the middle to fail. May get a chance against B'desh.
If India can finish before B'desh and some other team in the group, i.e. come as a fourth team, it will be more than enough for this pathetic team, with moral as low as Lalloo's literacy level. Can not imagine India will reach Super Six.
Sorry for not very optimistic. But the players already knows that what I have just said is right. So, they will take it casually, after they will come back early. And will take some deserved rest, before BCCI find some other teams to arrange a tri-angular series. With B'desh, Scotland or Kenya may be.

Sainath: : An irony from a one day batsman who batted like he was in a Test! Pretty innappropriate comment on Rames. Remember, Ramesh batted in a Test like a one-day batsman!! And Kumble, remember 100 + in county games, and Sanjay says "most unsuitable". How uncharitable .. And Mongia. He just said they are most under appreciated. And Sanjay is at it too, And on Robin Singh, any coincidence that he too is a Southie like Anil and Ramesh, Come on pal, buckle up, pad up, and play for India, if u feel so strongly about everything, PLAY FOR US AGAIN PAL!t

Siva From Atlanta: This is just another column by Sanjay. Expected the real strength and the weakness of the team but it wasn't so.

kalyan kumar gogoi: Sachin Tendulkar He is the number ONE batsman in the world. Saurav Ganguly Should work wonder with the ball. Rest should play as a team.

kalyan kumar gogoi: Sachin Tendulkar He is the number ONE batsman in the world. Saurav Ganguly Should work wonder with the ball. Rest should play as a team.

Ramsundar Lakshminarayanan: Not picking Kambli is going to prove disastrous.

Chandransu: In my Opininon The Best Players to watch in this pick for th world cup will be : Saurav, Srinath and Ajit. Sachins Performance will be OK as the expectations from him will be very high (at least 60s from every match). Englands tracks should be most favourable to Azhar .So he should take full advantage of it and lead the team from the front.. Ajay/Robin/Nayan are not going to be consistent performers though any of these can win a match or two for India (Worry-> Slow pace of Ajay for the first 25 balls he faces, outside the off-stump for robin and attitude towards the match for Nayan). It will be difficult for Rahul to repeat his debut Test Performance in the world cup. More worries for Prasad though having favourable climate (Mostly because he thinks too much..). With a bowler like Srinath at the opposite end; you should not try to do too much on your own. Mostly Debashis and Khurasia won't get a chance though both are worth a try for at least few matches.. Nikhil is a good prospect. Ramesh may have problems for not having enough overseas expouser. If India Has to win the Cup,everybody should give their 100%. Only depending on Sachin won't help India. Mental strength is going to be a key.India shouldn't bow their heads if the first two/three wickets fall quickly. Cricket is a tough game and every team has 50% chance of wining a match. Everybody in the team should have confidence to do something for the team. Even saving the odd One's or Stealing a extra run matters most. All the big teams have their chances and so is India.

Vineet Venugopal: Hello , I consider Sanjay Manjrekar a good player but i feel that his comments are either borrowed or they are not forceful enough . I feel that he is not half as good a commentator as he is a player . His insights into the players are no doubt valuable as he was a player for a long time in the Indian Squad but apart form that i feel that he is just another bad commentator . I feel that such articles should either be written by Shastri or by Prem himself. But these are my views . and I may be wrong . Sorry if i have hurt anyones feelings It was not my intention. Bye Regards Vineet

Mohan Kompella: Hi Rediff and Cricket enthusiasts The team looks well poised with experienced players like Sachin,Ajay,Saurav,Rahul,Srinath,Prasad and Kumble. I like Azhar, so I am happy for him being the catain.But seeing his recent form his inclusion in the team is a bothering factor, especially with Jadeja doing a good job and he definitely has it in him,the qualities to lead. Ramesh,Amay,Ajit and Nikhil are definitely good selections. I JUST WISH THE TEAM PLAYS FOR THE COUNTRY AND GETS THE CUP BACK. All the best to Azhar and his platoon. Mohan

Harsh Gulgulia: Hey, India is no doubt not going to win the world cup,it is just a dream for us. i don't know what the selectors would gain buy keeping slow spinner like Nikhil Chopra in the squard where the conditions will not favour him. Azar should quit Cricket Before the Wcup,and indian selectors should first pick up the team and then the captain. Otherwise it wont be a bad idea to make ATAL BIHARI Vajpayee the captain of the the team.he would be a batter captain but he wont perform. and if the selectors take action on my ideas , we may win the W orld Cup.Thats it.

Ameenuddin: Yes Sanjay you are right in your comments about the Indian Team and big applaues for the selection comitte for being consistent in their approach. Right now our batting order is very strong at the moment on paper and the bowling order is so and so but if you look at the past results then you will realize that our bowlers has never let us down, its only the batsman who has failed to deliver the goods. With the return of Prasad's form in my opinion he carries and should deliver a lot more then expected.As far as Sachin's position is concerned I think its better to experiment after the World Cup when he will also be carrying out extra burden of captaincy. Lastly I request all my Indian Fans to be positive in approach and support Indian Team. It's pity that even before the WorldCup is under way most of the people have lost hope.I think its totally unfair on our part, let's be positive and remember together we can make India win this WolrdCup. Hip Hip Hurray!!!

Harinath Sivakumar: S. Ramesh -- Performed very well in the test matches. Was not given much exposure in the one-days to select him. He will only be as a back up player if one of the top 3 -- Gaguly,Sachin or Dravid is injurred. Might be helpful in playing a role similar to Mohinder Amarnath in previous world cup.
Azhar -- He has not been performing well lately but the experience he has, he probably is the best captain in the current team.
Sachin -- Everyone knows him. Indian Team without him for World cup can never happen. He should the be main player whom the whole India will be depending upon
Rahul Dravid -- He did pretty good at Newzealand. Hope he regains his form for the world cup which has similar conditions.
Srinath and Prasad -- Key front line bowlers whom the indian team needs to perform well for initial break through.
Jadeja and Robin -- Coming in the middle order, both should start looking for quick 30-60 runs. Both are very hard hitters having the capability. They should be cautious on the balls they choose for increasing the runrate.
Mongia -- As Manjrekar said -- best wicket keeper currently.
Kumble -- Hope he bowls to curtain the runrate of the opponents.
Khurasiya -- With the quick 50 on his debut he has impressed everyone. He seems to be very confident. Hope he has the same attitude and does well in middle order to step up runrates.
Good luck to the Indian Team for the world cup. They should perform well in the Sharjah tournament to regain their confidence and boost their morale for world cup.

asif saleh: Amay Kurasia, if gets rhythm, will be potential match winner in crunch situation for India. Also Dravid and Gangs will excel. However, Azza and Sachin may not shine

alok jagdhari: Azhar will be the single biggest reason for India's ouster in World Cup. He lacks the charisma and energy to keep the team going, mentally and emotionally, during such a tough and long tournament. His own form prevents him from leading from the front. I you look at all the world cup winners, the single common point is the character of the leadership. Whether it was Kapil for India, or Imran for Pakis or Arjuna Ranatunga for Lankans; they worsted better teams (for instance WI in 1983, or South Africa in 1996) purely on their ability to enthuse their teams. Kapil set the pace in 1983 with an unparalleled 175 against WI in the qualifying round, Imram's bowling and strategy and Arjuna Ranatunga's solidity and vision were the events that set the path to victory. What does Azhat have to offer; even your commentrator is looking at Sachin, Saurabh, Ramesh, Ajay, etc. as the mainstay of batting - Azhar is not a great visionary either and seems to give up very easily. Saurabh Ganguly or Ajay or Anil kumble would have been better choice for Captain.

amit rana: amitrana_3: 1.sachin will be our main force as usual. 2.azhar no doubt is the most experienced player and can contribute a lot to the indian cricket.acording to me he is the best player in the world alongwith sachin.

K.T. KUTTAPPA: Indian won the World Cup in 1993 because of a player like KAPIL DEV. As long as there are no Kapils in Indian team, it is very hard to win any match. The need for Indian team is All rounders and not mere batsmen and bowlers. I don't think this is a good team.

K.T. KUTTAPPA: Indian won the World Cup in 1983 because of a player like KAPIL DEV. As long as there are no Kapils in Indian team, it is very hard to win any match. The need for Indian team is All rounders and not mere batsmen and bowlers. I don't think this is a good team.