Rediff Logo World Cup 99
April 9, 1999

The Coca Cola Cup, India versus Pakistan

deven: 10 reasons why India lost to Pakistan in sharjah. ( GIVEN BY MOHD. AZHAR )

1. we batted badly, we bowled badly and we fielded badly.
2. they batted well, bowled well and fielded well.
3. Sachin was injured you know. it's good omen for us to see Sachin first when we wake up in the morning of the match.
4. sharjah is too hot. it's difficult to bat in sharjah at night. ( it's also difficult to bat at day in sharjah , just in case if we bat first in the next match ).
5. we lost the toss.
6. I was in great form, but that delivery I got out was too good.
7. it's just a practice match for world cup. so, we didn't take this match too seriously.
8. they didn't serve the sambhar rice for lunch. all of the players were very upset.
9. why am i suppose to take that catch. there are 10 more players in the field. everyone can catch. they are all professionals. they don't need to be told anything.
10. they told us that they are going to rest shoib akhthar. but in the last minute, they included him. how could they do this to us.

Ravi Swaminathan: It does'nt give me even an iota of happiness to call myself an avid fan of the Indian team though i hope that we can only improve from now(looking at the things in a positive frame of mind). I agree with Prem's theory of going down with a fight and that is what we lack. Most of it should come from the captain and unfortunately we have a captain whose famous words are "Every player in the Team should know what they have to do" which makes him an non-entity. Leading by example is one thing azhar does'nt have in his dictionary. In India we live mostly on the past glories and nobody bothers about present and future. I would like to point out that the Aussie's did not mince words to show Shane Warne the door out once they were convinced that there was someone who could serve the team better. I cannot recall the last time azhar played a really captains knock to pull his team out of a rut.
I can understand azhar's animosity towards the media because he does'nt want to face the facts. While captain alone cannot be accountable for the defeats, but it is he who is the "man-manager" responsible for making the team fight till the finish ?

Jai: The article is very well written. Hope Indian team gets to read it. Indian team lacked a fighting spirit even before first over was complete.

Ravi: Let's face it ! We are at rock bottoms. With this approach, we may even lose out to Kenya in the world cup and bow out before the Super Six phase. We need a new captain. Now. Jadeja should be fine. Or even Ganguly.

manoj mathew: Hang the team and its selectors.

We had enough..: I think our cricket team is not worth mentioning anymore.
Most of our cricketers are a disgrace to the country. We should immediately stop funding this crazy bunch. The day is not far when the Indian cricket team will be white washed by the underdog - Kenya team, in the forth coming World Cup.

Tell you what, Let's put our Bets on someone else.
This team neither has shame nor remorse.Hats off to the Captain, who doesn't care for his men, Hats Off to the team who doesn't care about anything.
I wish ICC DISQUALIFIES India from participating in the forth coming World Cup.
That way, 900 million people and more around the world will be saved from an inevitable emotional turmoil.
We Hate this team with our whole hearts..

kumar: Hi Though I did not watch the match in TV, I was always hooked on the internet. What I understood is
1) The openers are afraid of Akthar and his pace.
2) Indian players dont have the guts to face tough opponents, particularly Pakistanis. If things go well, like the openers or bowlers does good, then the whole team performs. Hardly I have seen a Indian team wake up from the jaws of defeat.
My suggestion : Can we not use Azhar as a non-playing captain like what we have in Tennis. So that way, Azhar is also happy and also the stupid selectors who think themselves as gods of cricket. I think if Azhar plays in the world cup, then we can count only ten players are there in the Indian team.
With this performance I think will lead first, from bottom of the points table.

saril: PATHETIC PERFOMANCE.... u remember the last time u got into double about leading from the front...i'm not watching cricket anymore.....

Arvind Singh: Hi Prem,
To follow this Indian team's fortune one has to be totally devoid of 'self respect' and 'national ashamed'. Any self respecting and proud Indian will try to improve the situation or at least give up this idiocy of following them mach after match. The country of 950 million people loses to much smaller coutries on such a regular basis that it is a shame. Still we keep following each ball of each match, hanging poster of our spineless cricketers in our homes, showering praises and awards on our players. We must be greatest idiots in the world. Indian team has always followed a pattern - they 15-20 matches and their support, following starts waning then they win 3-4 matches and they are showered with praise, awards, worshiped, put on a high pedestal and people forget everything about those defeats. They have been repeating this cycle for many years and are very successful at doing so. Our country 'Mera Bharat Mahan' keeps losing matces after matches tournaments after tournaments country loses whatever little pride it has but players and management keep getting richer. Our must be amazingly great country because NO COUNTRY TREATS ITS LOSERS SO ROYALLY.

Sanjay Mishra: What we need is a complete revamp of the side. The first thing to do is to remove the captain and most importantly the coach. We have seen enough of these people and they are useless to say the least.

Bipin C. Trehan: The Indian cricketers seem to have taken their place for granted in the team. They do not have any shame. Indo-Pak matches have become one sided affair. We have lost the last 3 matches to Pakistan by a margin of more than 100 runs each time. I sincerely believe that we do not stand any chance in the coming World Cup. It is time for us (fans and paparazzi) not to give demi-God status to these cricketers. OUr cricket is in real bad state.

Harjinder.Sidhu: Bullshit!!!!! performance Any Ranji trophy team (state team) or even under 19 team will do it better then this.
Shame on this kind of performance, i rather be happy if India all outs under 100 and have scored bravely rather than going down under. I think we need Sachin real bad. there is so much to right about this lousy performance but it won't bring any luck or sense to these player.
JUST DAMN GO OUT AND PLAY YOUR NATURAL GAME. Prem you have said lot about all the situations but it never being followed. You keep your good work, please don't quit on it. bye

kumar: Whatever you are saying is true.One thing baffles me. Shoib akhtar may be the fastest.Why the hell dont these guys go and attack him.He might get out once or twice by doing this.But he is young and inexperienced.Once someone starts hiting him he might try to vary his line.That is how you make a young bowler loose his confidence.The way the Indians are loosing is becoming an eyesore.why don't these guys pack up and come back.It's really irritating to see them play If they come to India playing like they will not only be pelted with bottles and stones they will also have slipper's mala for them.Enough of them playing cricket and spoiling the name of the country.Why don't they learn from Sachin or leander.
Leander plays davis cup even when he knows he is playing a top player.He has the passion and pride of the country in his heart.He won't go down without fighting.The same can be said about Sachin.But Sachin is much more gifted than Leander is.These cricketer's must learn from Leander to battle with passion and nation pride in mind even though you might not be gifted as others are.
I suddenly started hating the Indian cricketer's because of way they loose.100,110,120 run margin defeats and loosing by 7 wickets and 7 overs to spare is not heartening.These cricketer's are becoming a disgrace to the country

Ramesh Sinha: Earning money at the cost of pride is a bad bargain. If they want to regain some of the lost pride then Sachin tendulkar must be sent an SOS(Save Our Souls). Let me tell you it was beating Pakistan in the world cup quarter finals that was more satisfying than winning the world cup itself. So lets pause for a moment, and assimilate the reality and start hadling the present by calling in Sachin and stop worrying about what's going to happen in the future for nothing hurts more than such humiliating defeats against Pakistan.

Anand: You mentioned about Srinath's top pace of 144 kmph. For the trivia minded like me, I would like to know what Akhtar manages to generate usually. Do mention that next time. Thanks.

Sachin: This CHALATA HAI attitude of Indian team, without any stategic planning will not lead them anywhere. If this continues, I will be harldy surprised if India can make it to Final SIX in WORLD CUP. Also, Azhar should do a favour --rest himself let Khurasia,play in next match.

Anubhav: It is a shame that Dravid and Robin chose to let things go without putting a fight. Dravid is doing his chances no good by getting the same old mould. I did not expect Robin to shine under good bowling anyway. But Dravid with all his talent, has not learnt basics of one day game. He is back to pushing ball to fielders. Lastly, how I wish we had an inspirational captain. Azhar, with all his talent and captaincy skills, somehow can't seem to motivate these chaps.

sridhar: prem, such an abject surrender can mean only one thing. this Indian team does not want to win. It has become an epitome of masochism inspired by Azharuddin and Anshuman Gaikwad. ANSHUMAN GAIKWAD should go. The west indies are starting to peak. New Zealand has won two ODIs against SA. Pakis are peaking. England will start winning from its next match against India. Australia, SA are already good.
I can bet this current crop will lose the friendly match against kapil's devils also if they play seriously.
In the world cup, instead of the national anthem, they should play, "God Save Indian Cricket"

tony: I sincerely think that the problem with Indian team is lack of aggression. you guys need guys with the big heart. kick ganguly, dravid, azhar,

John Mathew: Dear Prem, Has India just recorded a hat-trick of losing the last three one-dayers to Pakistan by over a hundred runs each time? If this the case, I seriously recommend a triangular with Bangladesh and Holland - we're obviously not fit to play at a higher level.
Sincerely, John

Kedar: The more and more you see Azhar getting out with low scores one start wondering what's he really doing in the side ? Just for records, can you post up Azhar's batting scores in ODI may be in last 10 innings.

Kiran: Yes prem.. i think you made a right point by saying that the Indian team lacks the "awareness of the emotion this country of 950 million has invested in the game. An awareness of the concept of national pride. "
Tell u way.. we play cricket in tennis courts in USA, we dont have big grounds to play, we play with so much passion, the never say die attitude in the players, the Indian team doesn't seem to have a bit of it.
It's really a pity. All the captain and the manager says is "we have left the defeats behind. We are looking forward to the next match"
Its all crap..
I can go on like this.. I hope the team realizes the importance of winning, not for them atleast for us, the people of India.

Suraj Varma: There is nothing special to be written in response to this match report since all we can do is keep on cribbing about the same sentiments time after time. However, I have one thing to mention which I haven't noticed in any other comments.
Nowadays, we have in abundance the speed radar guns which measures the bowler's speed and displays it. If you remember, in the 80's and 90's, West Indies had a set of bowlers named Holding, Croft, Roberts, Garner, Marshall, etc. The average speed of Roberts and Holding were 92.5 mph (this was from an info in an old Sportsworld dated around 1980). This is equal to around 148 kmph. Croft was bit faster and more hostile. I remember him cutting Boycott's forehead with one of his bouncers. The point here is that all the Indian batsmen then: Gavaskar, Vishwanath, Amarnath, Vengsarkar, et al played them easily. How many times Amarnath got injured in the 1983 tour? Vengsarkar was hit on his head by Sarfraz and Willis in 1982 and 1981 respectively. Even Manjrekar was hit by Benjamin in Delhi in 1987. I have not seen these players back off.
As another point, why is everyone praising Shoaib Akhtar for bowling at 153 kmph when many of the bowlers in the old times used to do it regularly. I think this hype about Akhtar being a "hot thing" has gone into our batsmen's mind. There is no other reason they are hopping around when facing him. The main reason anyway is the pitches in India which discourages fast bowlers and encourages batsmen who has no clue against bowling at above, maybe, 140 kmph. See how Ganguly, Ramesh, and even Dravid are finding it difficult to face these bowlers? No way can we compare them with any of our batsmen in the 80's. I think people who cursed Ravi Shastri for playing his own game in one dayers must be eating their words. Compared to our current players, he was a genius! He was atleast a genuine player of fast bowling. So were Kapil (his aggression is what Kirti talked about), Kirmani, Arun Lal, etc. I think if there was a way like in 'Back to the Future' to go BACK in time, we could have reinstated some of these players who were not given proper justice. I won't say Tendulkar is not a genuine player of fast bowling, since he is much much better player than any of his other team mates.
Like Tony Cozier told Lara, some one should drill into Azhar the values of Indian cricket. We don't have as much to show as Windies but they should atleast see the video of Amarnath's innings against West Indies in the Barbados test of 1982.

Nadeem Siddiqui: It is understandable that Pakistani team is on a roll but one should also ask the management of the cricket boards in India and Pakistan about the benefit of playing In Sharjah. Just for the commercial reasons, they are putting their invaluable players to risk in these hot conditions where a loss of single player to injury or any heat-related sickness can disturb their world cup plans. True, England is there too, but they need match practice, both India and Pakistan have played enough competitive cricket during the last few months that rest and a few competitive matches (already scheduled) in England would have proved enough. Secondly, conditions in England for the world cup would be totally different from those in Sharjah; weather, crowd, pitches and above all, the spirit and commitment. On the other hand, I even as a Pakistani don't feel any pride in seeing India beaten again and again with such wide margins - it is just plain and simple that the two sides are of no match and there is hardly anything to rejoice in beating a team which has nothing to offer in any form of purposeful resistance.

Hemant Jaswal: Guess what?I was so infuriated with the performance of the Indian team and started out with three reasons 1.Captain bad 2.Player need pride 3.Players need to have some aptitude for the game. But then I realized none of these would fulfil this ,I would just say the team takes "money" and loses. Simple isn't it?Give them more money.Do i hear the Indian team shouting in a chorus more money?


Parankush: soul among 950 million has nothing to shoot except with the hope and anxiety they will win next time bcoz thers's always a next time. I think by writing if their morale goes down we may have to go and shout loud and clear at each one ears

Sriram Duvvuri: Fire Bobby Simpson. He isn't worth a penny.

Murali: Prem,
Right on dot! You are I believe one of the finest writers on the game of Cricket we have.
May be we should stop playing cricket for a while? I can't think of any logical answer to the mess Indian cricket has become. :-(
The only good thing about India not winning the World Cup would be that we would get to see Azhar's back. (He is a good player. But in the last years, he has done a lot of harm to Indian cricket by being at the helm. Anybody remembers, when he scored his last fifty in ODIs?
Utterly depressed and dejected.

Rajeev jain: How could they start their batting this way. Prem is corect that they don't have any self respect. And Azhruddin should have sent Monia and Kumble after he was out. No point in sending JAdeja and Robin in 16th over. Indian team lost the game even befor starting the batting. They knew that they can't make 280. but no try,
Question: How many runs Azhar has made in last 50 one days?

Mohan: : We should stop investing our time on this cricket team.

Kiran: Pakisthan seems to have so much determination to defeat India, India doesnt have a bit of it. I am very much disappointed by our performance. The players dont understand our emotions, they are not playing for their country. I feel that for the next match which India plays, no Indian should attend the match. The Indian team should be greeted with empty stadium. Then only i guess they will understand how everybody is vexed with these defeats.
May be then they realize the importance of winnig.

shekar: If Sachins mere presence could bring out the best of his fellow men(as Hansie Cronje has observed) please, please bring him on, atleast as a 12th man (since he needs more rest). Let him bring the drinks, or sit at the boundary line. Or install cutouts of Sachin around the stadium. Anything but this. Maybe there is something else wrong. How come out of 950 billion people we don't seem to produce one cricketer with pride?

Venkat C: I am not going to read this sort of articles anymore. The column writer can make his job much easier if he makes a soft copy of this and changes the name of the opposition team and its players whenever India plays and the print the same at the end of every match. I will read your columns only when Tendulkar becomes captain, (needless to say Azhar dropped) and Kapil Dev is made the bowling coach and Sunil Gavaskar the batting coach. Funnily, Azhar can be made as a fielding coach!

Golam Ashraf: Dear Mr. Panicker,
I absolutely agree with you about the problem in the Indian team .... it is nothing but a lack of pride. Be it due to so many matches played, or be it due to the excuse of lacking key players in the side, it is absolutely certain that there is a distinct lack of belief and responsibility of winning games for the nation. I feel there are a few solutions to this problem:
1) Azhar, whose batting avg has been in single digits for quite sometime, should either retire or be sacked from the side.
2) The national players should take a pay cut for their dismal lack of fire. It sounds nice to say that after all it is a game, but how many games do Indians take national pride in ... on an international standing only 2: cricket and hockey. Any player who does not show zeal or play responsibily, should feel its consequences.
3) I personally feel that the players have played too many games without any time to reflect or improve. Playing games has become so commonplace, that losing a few doesn't matter anymore! The Board should take responsibility for this, and be penalized as well.
4) Our players need a psychologist to constantly motivate them and gauge their mental weaknesses. By right this is the Captain's job, but professional help won't hurt ... after all it is a professional game! Senior players who have been known for their fire should pitch in. I still remember the days when Kapil would bowl red-eyed, to fight out a tough situation. Where is that fire today!
5) Lastly, this may be a bit difficult to accept and not feasible, but I mention it nonetheless: The Indian Team should not participate in the coming World Cup. It should instead watch the matches from home, and let some of its lethargy and lack of self respect wear off.
The dismal trend of throwing oneself to defeat is getting so predictable these days, that I actually bet with my friend that India would lose by more than 100 runs before they even started to bat!! Thank God our borders are not defended by this team.
A disspointed cricket fan.

devender-shankar: We are not a music director team but two very frustrated Indians. Enough is Enough we don't want one ring master (RS Dungarpur) with a Puppet (LeLe) and five jokers (You know what we mean) deciding 10 over rated players (Sachin is ok) and thrashing name of the great country India.
I wish there were a way that we Indians can bar these above mentioned Stupid people from using our country's name with their team.
Otherwise how would you explain a team loosing three matches With a margin 100 and one with 7 wickets and still can be called one With the best batting lineup in the world. How can one explain Dravid and Robin coming together at 47 for 4 and endup wasting another 20 overs for just 50 runs. It seems there is something very fishy going on. These guys just don't have word PRIDE in their dictionary.
We will be fooling ourselves by relying on Tendulkar to come and do a magic to make this team win.
PS. We plan to start Indian cricket control board Team hate club (ICCTHC) very soon. Keep Looking.

Umesh Soni: I guess the Indian side has lost pride. First of all gun for Azhars head. This is a public forum and i have to be sober or else i would have choicest of abuses for that guy. That guy doesnt motivate the side and he doesnt add any runs to out depeleted score. I think they should kick the hell out of azhar from the side. It is so frustrating to see that idiot donning Armani glasses and being shown on the TV when our side is losing so badly. He is pathetic

Gautam Kalyanpur: This poor show of the Indian team is a prelude to their performance in the world cup... Leave it or take it!!

Rajesh Jadala: What Surprise.India will not win a game against Pakistan even if (Pakistan) it sets a target of 200.Without Sachin it is not possible. I think it is better if India does not play Pakistan before such important Touranaments. Everything completely turned upside down. Couple of months ago Pakistan was loosing heavily to teams like Zimbabwe at home and India had a pretty decent Year in 1998 as far as One days are concerned. Now India is low on its morale going into such a Importanat Cup.


Deepam Mishra: : It gives me no pleasure blaming the Indians for this humiliating defeat. I think it is the team coach who is to be blamed the most. He is the one who should be "incarcerated in a psychiatric facility". In the US a few low moral NBA games is enough to make the coach's bottom twitching, and if that continues some more, the same bottom is the first to get kicked right out of the arena. Restating the obvious, the game is as much played in the mind as in reality. I think the team feels very fragile without Tendu, who by believing in himself helps others do the same. Sadly enough, we have no team without Tendu for he does even what the coaches should. My recommendation is to fine and fire the coach and send players to a meditation class.

Ramit Bhandari: I fully support your view. We the fans here in USA waste nights after nights watching these performances, and ask oureselves for how long this is going to carry on??? Unlike the present under the leadership of great batsman Azhar(Laugh), I haven't yet given up. But it seems that thepresent team and especially the coach have no solutions in mind and neither they are interested. So I guess we will se an early exit of the Indian team... come to think of it... it will save me some sleepless nights and I will be able to utilize my vacations in june and go to New York.

Kamal Bhasin: You are very right in saying that the Indian players are the laziest lot when on the field. None of the players seem to have any fighting spirit. Their is so much of investment and emotions for the game of cricket in India that it is spoiling all other sports at international level. These people are paid the highest among the sports person in the country and yet go on the field without even the fighting spirits. Against any country, and especially against Pakistan, very good batting or very good bowling won't win you more matches. You should be mentally prepared for those fighting qualities before you take the field. This is sheer stupidity. Indians, agreed its a gread sport, but if some jokers select a team with players with such a negative frame of mind, then I think it would be worth investing in other sports.

Sachin: It may not be a bad idea to fly Tendular to Sharjah if only to have him sit in the dressing room. At this rate, Indians will soon be lost to the concept of victory. Tendulkar is needed very very badly. Another couple of losses like this and even Tendulkar's return cannot do anything about India's chances in the world cup. And I wish Azhar had rested for another 3 months and come back after the world cup. It is very useful to have this guy when you are playing New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Give the ball to a Shoaib Akthar or an Akram or anyone who is faster than Military medium pace and you'll know what vengsarkar was talking about when he captained India to west Indies in 1988. One of the immediate things to do is induct Kambli into the team. He can play freely now that the WC selection trials are over. he is atleast a match-winner in his own right and in my opinion, the only batsman apart from Tendulkar, Ganguly and Jadeja who can win a match single-handedly.

Narayanan Subramanian: I have criticized Prem Panicker in the past for excessively florid and "jingoistic" coverage. Let me say that today's report is a wonderfully different - probably one of the best reports of a one-day match I have ever read - measured, forceful and even wise.

Chan: It was one of the worst performance I have ever seen. Indians gave up within the first hour of play and believe me it looked really pathetic. In my opinion Azhar has to be dropped because he hasn't done s... and it is about time he was shown the door.

Mahesh Hariharan: As far as I am concerned, I have given up on the Indian cricket team. Does 'fighting spirit' mean anything to these blokes!! Do they realize the image they portray when they go down without a fight. It's a team sport and you just cannot depend on one player (Read Sachin!!) to guide you to victory all the time...This is disgraceful!!
Mahesh Hariharan

Sunny A: I think Indian cricketers loose even before they actually loose the game. They are scared. No self-respect, no self-confidence, and no-heart. Bunch of loosers.

N L Sai: This team badly needs a better captain. A good captain will make even less talented players, play to the best of their potential resulting in an overall better team performance. A thoughtless captain who himself has poor batting technique is damaging this team's chances like anything. There is no point in dropping players who are performing poorly at the moment because these are the best players that we have. IndiaN TEAM NEEDS ITS CAPTAIN TO BE SACKED FROM THE TEAM !!! This gentleman is over 35 and cannot contribute anything to the team.

Sriram Chakravarti: I agree with you that a team should go down fighting even if defeat is imminent. The way we played seemed to be against the spirit of sport. Apart from that I feel journalists who have the power of influencing so many minds and psyches must make an effort to do what they can to help the players. This altercation of sorts between the Indian skipper and the press seems totally uncalled for... the last thing we want is our players to be worried about the type of report thats going to be published in the papers.

Nitin K: Another humiliating loss. Disappointed?? No way. As usual, let's put this one behind and wait for the next one. When skipper and deputy don't want to spend more time out there with the bat, why blame others? Agreed the bowling was handicapped since Agarkar was sick, but batting was strong(!!) as usual. OD cricket is altogether different proposition for Ramesh who failed in 3rd consecutive innings. Ganguly lookd completely lost and Dravid got back into his shell. Lesser said about Azhar, the better. He should bat #8 or lower so as to avoid loss of an unnecessary wkt. Later fireworks by Joshi and Mongia do not mean much because the match was lost by 20th over. Pak did not even bring back their ace bowlers. Advice: Have no hopes and avoid the disappointment. BTW, does Mr. Coach want to admit now, SRT make hell of a difference in attitude of the team??

atu totre: we need a captain like Akram. You have rightly pointed out that he has been able to convert the talented but uncohesive team into a difficult-to-beat side. we too can if have a right approach. Must have seen Akram calling all playera on the field in the middle of the game and having pep-talk. i have not seen azhar doing it. all the best to India team for the world cup though i do not hope they will win the cup.

Tanmay: Can Menon compile an aggregate list of Azhar for the last say 25 innings he has batted and send it it to the elite (Lele and Co) in Indian Cricket.

Adarsh: Good eye opening article Prem:) I feel the Indian team lacks confidence and agression against the Pakis. I really pity the kids back home who watch these matches, they must be really frustrated. why did u stop your live online coverage of the match?

adi: : How about a few lines on Joshi & Mongia, or the fact that India actually lasted the fifty overs without losing all their wickets. I am sure everyone was expecting India to be all out before 40 overs. I was pleasantly surprised.

Pavan: Good job Prem. I hope our team reads this article.

Sandeep: Hi! I really enjoy your style of writing and the details that you provide. Since I'm studying in the U.S I don't get to watch the matches but I really get to know so much more (than just reading a scorecard) from your articles..I do hope that you will continue writing reports of matches in details..I really liked the point that you have mentioned about Lara been given a talk by Tony Cozier..I do hope some experienced cricketer puts some sense into these Indian players and make them realize the amount of self respect the country is losing by repeatedly getting humiliated by Pakistan.. The 950 million Indians will continue investing their emotions but I don't ever think that these Indian cricketers will ever make them happy!

kuldeep sharma: Superbly written, please send a copy of this article to Azhar & Party.

Vivekananda: Players show some emotion and determination to win a game and try to bring some pride to our nation, not to player himself. Shame on each and every player over there. I am a life long fan and loosing interest in it.

pathiban: India needs to have more team spirit. All the players should take tendulkar as a role model. They should look at the determination of the young man. India has a good team but the morale is at sea. I hope the next match against england is better.

Nitin Acharya: I feel and can visualise the way Azhar would have had a grim face and shattered the morale of the batsmen even before they went out to bat. This way half the battle is lost even before going out. I always believe that a captain should make his team believe that they can win. Also instructing the batsmen to play out the overs without making an attempt to win the match is foolishness and also shows the cowardliness of the captain and the coaches. I would have liked the Indian to have been all for a smaller score in trying to win than scoring whatever they did. By doing this they have insulted us ( the fans who have made them superstars).

Sanjay Patel: What is going on with this Indian team? I mean, they just do not care about the performance. They just treat every game as just an ordinary game. They are thinking that all these games are just for fun. They have become very lazy. They are not even fighting hard enough for India's pride. The team is completely different from last year.
Last year, they were almost undefeatable. They were very tough to beat last year, just as what Pakistan is right now. It seems like Pakistan is going to trash India every time they have a match. I have a feeling that Pakistan treats the Indian team as Bangladesh. Very poor, and India deserves it. They must be thinking, oh well, Are we playing India again? Then no problems, we can take them and we will finish the game by the tenth over. I mean all the good work done by the fielders and the bowlers gets undone by bad batting and then Azhar always blames the fielders. I think he must search deep down inside himself and find out what is going on with his team. It is just terrible. Two years ago, I disagreed with the fact that India always looses matches without Sachin Tendulkar, but I am afraid it is becoming true. I mean this man is like god for this team. His presence alone makes a lot of difference in this team. This Indian team is nothing without him. I think they should name this team as just Tendulkar Vs.Rest of the World.
I don't understand what Azhar is doing in the team for 15 years. No doubt, he has the experience and talent, but he is not like Kapil or Akram. He really runs out of ideas when the time comes to face the Pakistanis. Someone needs to fire him and the whole team up. Somebody must do something about this nonsense. I also think that this team is tired of playing so many games and they need a break big time. Everyone is getting sick nowadays and the board must do something to stop this insanity. I don't know how this team is going to perform under cold conditions in England where the ball is going to do a lot of damage. Other than relying on man, Tendulkar. These comments will not mean anything unless someone inspires them. That's what the team really needs badly. Someone like Akram of Kapil to fire them up and Azhar is definitely not the one for it. He is just out there watching his teammates suffer from humiliation.

Anand Nandkumar: Fantastic article... I feel exactly the way you have written. There is no pride in the Indians. Sitting in the US I know how difficult it is to follow the game and our players just do not bother to perform at all. It is very painful indeed that we have reached anew low. I am defineletl saying because we lost to Pak. It is just the manner we surrendered that shatters my heart.

prasanna: I am an Indian and I love tendulkar and Pakistan.

Naresh Baliga: SEXY!!

ZM: HI, I think India should not fly these goofballs for Worldcup, instead either buy "Panni Poori" for the money or send our Kabadi Team instead. These guys are not worth for anything. The guys who are calling BCCI Officials should be be send to Circus as clowns. BCCI guys and our Cricket team are a bunch of boneheads.

Paari Santhanakrishnan: On seeing the Indian cricket a story comes to my mind. A couple went to the court for a divorce and there was an arguement with whom the child should stay with. The Child was asked with whom are you going to stay with? With Mummy? The child said no Mummy will beat me, with Daddy? The child said no Daddy will rip be apart. Whom are you going to stay with then the child was asked. The child replied I'm going to stay with the Indian cricket team who beats none. Holy Cow they went from bad to worst. Other than India no where this will occur. Are the 11 men in the middle not Indians? Why are they selected and sent there? To duck underneath the ball? To run behind the ball when Ijaz or Inzmam strikes the ball? They can as well come back home and Worldcup is only for the people who can play and put up fight and Indians will only be a spoil sport there. Are the captain and the team manager worried atleast a bit about this. I'm sure to say by this time they'll have a genuine reason to complain if not the usual "We've left it behind and looking ahead for the next match" well we saw one thousand matches like that. India needs some spirited men not a bunch of guys who can play the best cricket around. Never India will win left with men like Anshu. It'll be better for India the sooner he quits. We need men like Kapil and Pataudi, who are not afraid to loose the match but loose fighting which India never did in the recent past. Surely India has to depend on some third country to defeat Pakistan if it has to reach the super league or if it has to come top, and India can never win Pakistan, left with the situation like this. Ok we cn agree that some are sick what happened to the others? See the performance of the Pakistan not evertime everyone clicks, if it is Inzi this time it is Ijaz next time. Why can't the same be with India too. Does it means that if Ganguly this time why not it be Dravid or Jadeja or Azhar the next time. Disappointed not me I left supporting India last match itself.

pradeep sharma: When India scored 280 runs in the first match of Pepsi Triangular, one of the selectors Shivlal Yadav commented that No one is above the game, this was his response when someone asked him about the absence of Tendulkar, YES SIR its a fact that no one is above the game but I think in the present scenario Tendulkar is Indian Cricket and Indian cricket is Tendulkar, no doubts about it, SO LETS PRAY FOR THE WELL-BEING OF CRICKETING GOD TENDULKAR so that we dont have to face such humiliating defeats and that too at the hands of arch rivals Paki.

Atul Khanna: If Indian team cannot face quality seam attack and are scared to give a fight, they should not be sent to the world cup. What is the use if you can not atleast give a fight. You are just making a mockery of yourself and tarnishing the name of India.

SUMEET DURANI: it''s really sad to to see an Indian side perform without giving the semblance of a fight.... it's really pathetic.......drastic measures are not going to work.....nor is sacking.....the team is right....they are lacking in confidence for god only knows what....
it's sad, really sad to see a performance like this time and again......don't the team members feel that they are international level players and tendulkar is not the only player they have........i would rate this Indian side even below the zimbaweans or for that matter the kenyans......
what appals is not the defeat but the lack of fighting spirit........ they are losing without even bothering to come near the total....a score of 160 odd for the loss of 6 wickets on a batting track is certainly not clled for.....seems like Indian cricket is going back in time............... and to say that we have the best bowling attack and the best batting line-up....seem more of boasts rather than anyting else.........
perform and stop blabbering..... i sincerely feel that this team is playing for money(only) and their seems to be no national pride i guess these days... i mean u are eleven best in the have some mental strength at least..... scared of fast bowling......i.e what it was said for MR. GANGULY......if that is so he should hang up his boots and retire....'bano spin ke badshah'....coz that is where ur future lies......
hope u win some matches in england......COZ FOOLES LIKE ME ARE STILL GOING TO INDLUGE IN WIHFUL THINKING.,.....still hoping that the Indians would win...........
good luck......u need it badly.....

Sachin lodha: Hi, The Indian team sucks What I don't like about your writing is that you run out of adjectives when they play (normally when everything is helpful for them) and put them down when they don't perform. Remember, even when they perform, they are as shitty as they actually are - so next time when you praise Ramesh or Azhar, make sure you take all other factor into consideration The whole team sucks BIG time. - Sachin

Amar Parikh: Pakistan won because it is a much, much better team. But, the manner in which India has been losing makes me embarassed to be an Indian cricket fan. Sure, the Gangulys and the Dravids will pile up scores against a mediocore NZ or Sri Lanka. But against a premium attack like Pakistan the weak heart shows plain as day. And therein lies the problem in the near future for India. Dravid's sound technique and Ganguly's flowing cover drive cannot hide their body language while they are at the crease - meek, timid, uninspiring. Maybe we cannot expect them to have the swagger of a Richards, the boldness of a Kapil or the fiesty defiance of a Miandad, but to see them cowering against genuine pace is truly disheartening.
In the bowling department, we have fine pacers, but mention Srinath and Prasad to batsmen and you'd hardly elicit a reaction. They simply don't have the aggression and attitude to make batsmen quake in their socks. Mention 'Shoaib and Akram' and the spine chills. Instead of going down fighting, we cowed down and whimpered to a slow and painful death. As a lifelong follower of Indian cricket, I must say that lack of talent in a team is something that can be frustrating. But, lack of heart and fighting spirit, bruises and then guts the pride and ego of every Indian fan.

Praveen: India is good only in paper. Lets give a chance to some country who have not played in world cup so far and prepare us for the next world cup.

Atul Raj: Indian team lacks the pride and passion typically associated with representing your country. Pakistan scored 279 runs after being down to 75 for 4. In the similar situation, India would not have scored more than 175 in 9 out of 10 times. Problem is lack of confidence and aggressiveness in both the leader and players. Each player in the team needs to look at his own performance and determine his contribution to the team at the end of each day. Although, it is a team sport, individual performances do matter. A captain can motivate his team members (sadly Azhar has been an utter failure at this) but can not bat/bowl/field for them. This team needs a more aggressive leadership and attitude. Unless you believe that you can win, chances are that you will end up looser.

Manish Mangal: I think that Rahul Dravid and Robin Singh should not only be kicked out of the Indian Cricket Team but also be charged as a criminal on account of bringing India's prestige down in the International cricket community. I would be happier to see India all out for 100 runs in 20 overs. I cold have said we fought like brave soulders and didn't give up like cowards

sanju: India has accepted defeated to Pakistan. Three defeats in equal number of weeks. What a way to get ready for the world cup. I guess the team should get back together try to get adjusted to the team members. get some motivational speakers and imbibe the confidence in the team. Get all the 19 members together along with their families to Bombay and have them undergo a team building exercises. I guess India try to get in the best 6 in the world cup.

Imran Munir: Prem,
As a Pakistani, it is easy to simply rejoice at Pakistan's return to form, and the cohesion with which the team is playing. I am a close follower of your cricket writing because you offer some of the most complete, detailed, and fair commentary on cricket. Your article posted today in which you evaluate Pakistan's win against India in the Sharjah tournament has moved me to write to you. My response: total empathy. Even as a supporter of arch-rival Pakistan, I am disappointed at the way India is playing. Your team shows absolutely no spirit, and is sinking deeper and deeper into self-pity and excuses. I find it amusing to see headlines like "Indians positive despite recent drubbing."
It is incredible how many pre-match Azharuddin interviews we have seen in which he expresses confidence that the Indian's are going to put their disappointing performance behind them, and are confident that they will start to win matches. Too much chit-chat and not enough action. One sometimes questions whether Pakistan throws matches. After seeing India's lethargic performance today, I am shocked at the team's capitulation. Were it not for the fact that I think that this team (minus Tendulkar) is suspect in its level of talent, I would question whether they too are throwing matches. I wholeheartedly support your criticism of the current Indian cricket infrastructure. The people of India deserve much more.

Pramod Ashanna: The solution is simple. Let the Indian cricket team be withdrawn from World Cup 99 - meaning they should be relegated to playing with second string teams like Holland, etc. and made to qualify. They should prove they have enough guts and spine to play at the highest level. Their attitude stinks. Our Captain is really leading in this department. One should question their moral right to keep accepting the match fees after performing like they had no backbone. What would happen if an Employee does a lousy job in a company ? It's high time they re-vamped the team and gave chances at the least to people who put up earnest efforts.

Mike : Firstly, this was a very well-written article. I am a little amused to see that the Indians continue to conjure up thoughts of winning the World Cup without paying attention to the current state of their cricket. Having a strong batting line-up (on paper only, it seems) and a bowling attack that is supposed to work wonders on English soil is all very well, but there remains absent any will to win and that alone will prevent India from going the distance next month.
It became apparent after 15 overs in this match that India were going to lose. However, in giving up and not going for a win the Indian team cheated not only themselves but more importantly, the millions of fans that were watching. As a professional team that is paid to represent their country, these sort of performances leave a bad taste in one's mouth. These sort of performances coupled with constant excuses (Sachin's absence, viral infections) are not the elements of a winning unit.
After all, professionals often play with injuries and illnesses - that is merely a part of life. Considering all these things, it is probably best that we stop seeing articles that go on about how the Indians will get it all right in England and bring home the Cup. These dreams will only lead to heartache later.

prasad walawalkar: Lets do a simple string compare over the 2 teams (India without tendulkar )
Shahid and Saeed are 100 times better than ganguly and haa haa "ramesh "
with the current form i think i can do better than azhar ,let alone ejaz.
inzamam has a class of his own and cant even be remotely compared with jadeja.
dravid vs YOuhana ( well ....) now they have 2 all rounder wasim and mahmood and we just have singh.
mongia is a good keeper but when it comes to batting i think moin is brilliant.
and then we have kumble who can match saqlain ??? but then they have shoaib and we have :) :) :) prasad.
so we are bound to loose but as PREM SAID we can go down fighting.

Sriram Krishnan: Hi, I read your article about our Indians continuing losing form against the Paks.I feel u shud only mention in your article if Indians ever against Pakistan, bcos everyone know that result of the tie between ind and pak. India lose again!!!!!
The attitude of the players shud change, try try try till u die shud be their aim when u play cricket... I donno how far we people can change the attitude of the Indian players but they shud realise and do their best....Days have gone when India lost by 20 or 30 odd runs, now its 100 or 150 runs in the margin of the defeat!!!....Is it not a shame????
I donno what to write now...but i feel like thrashing those who doesn't give their 100%.... I think the best solution wud be u people ( the media) shud thrash the left and right..atleast after they will realise...
thanks for giving me a oppurtunity to write..

Priyank: All they care about is if they are in team ir not.

amitabh: Rule # 1 - India cannot play cricket without Tendulkar - they look stupid as they did yesterday losing without a fight. Also Sachin is needed to take wickets as India's strike bowler.

Raash: The article is an attempt to cover up India's defeat, not only to a superior team but also a team from Pakistan. And the result would not differ with or without Tendulkar as player, let alone as captain.
If the Indian players were too ill to play, then the Indian side should have forfeited the match. The author of the article would have been less embarrased and we all could have been spared his attempt to cover up his humbled national pride.

Veera Akkoor: India deserves to loose.What has happened to India? India minus Tendulkar is really in a bad shape. Should we depend on Tendulkar so much. I would love to listen how the commentators react to this match. Drop Dravid and Robin for a match. Only then they will realize the value of their place in an Indian side. I still wish good luck to India since I am still patriotic.
Thanks Mr Prem for this excellent service. Thanks. Veera Akkoor.

rajesh: We need 7 Tendulkars and 2 Srinaths and 2 Kumbles. The Lines about bringing the Spirits up and awareness of the emotions of the 950 million Indians seem to never get into their blood.
People like Kirti Azad should not stop with saying such things during commentating as we are not the ones that should get such feelings.Its them... those great 11. They should be telling all this to the players in the dressing rooms.
When will Tendulkar get ready to Play ????

Overlooker: : Firstly, I've always said that Joshi should be there in England. Restrictive bowler and can bat agressively, with self respect at stake (as you mentioned Prem). Second, SRT has got to come back now! The team is built around him (like the Bulls around Jordan) not meaning that the team is helpless but that they constitute the upper thicker side of the blade and SRt is the Sharp edge. Thats the way this team has been groomed over the past year and half with success, and changing the stage and script last second on the eve of the Big Show is suicidal. Every team has its emotional leader who mind you is loaded with talent too. SRT is India's as Akram is Pakistan's. No Akram= Club Level Pak team with tonnes of talent but no "team". We need our leader back, or else change the stage and lets try something different, but dont expect the same winning India team platter with a different recipe.

Clinton Sequeira: Great Article... sums up the State of Indian Cricket....
When will they ever have a sense of National Pride...???

Amar Parikh: Is there any justification for Rahul Dravid scoring 28 runs in 79 balls (13 overs). Let me come again - 13 overs for 28 runs in a match where we needed an average of over 5.5 runs to win. Dravid is supposedly an international batsman. If he can't force the pace a bit and keep the scoreboard ticking he should be embarassed to playing at one drop. He shouldn't be fired, he should just be ashamed and quit.
You think I'm being harsh, but there is just no excuse for taking a quarter of your team's alloted overs to score 28 runs. In two words - despicable performance.

shaw: Dear Prem, It is understandable that India went with sick people onboard but what about the other great batsmen in our team. It is increasingly becoming very predictable of Indian teams performance. We are becoming a bunch of laughing stocks.
I can't imagine imagine in my faintest of dreams of India winning the world cup, unless the one man army performs well (Sachin).
Sincerely Shaw

Milind Naphade: BRING BACK KAPIL !!!! AND THROW OUT AZHAR........
As I said last time, the only people who win matches for India are Sachin, Saurav and the bolwers like Srinath, Prasad and Agarkar.
If I were Azhar, I would resign from the captaincy and the team. What a shameless captain we have. For the last 4 years I cant remember one single match that Azhar has single handedly won for India. I am a die hard fan of Indian cricket and I feel sorry for Sachin and Saurav and Srinath and prasad, who will go to England do their best and still be disappointed with loss. We wont win the cup simple because Azhar and Jadeja wont let us win. They dont deserve to be in the Indian team.
Can all the fans reading these reports remember any other country where the captain has not come at the fall of a couple of wickets, built the innings and won the match...... I really believe, that even at this age we should have KAPIL as the captain of the Indian team for the world cup. He at least has the fighting instinct and who can forget his match winning innings against Zimbabwe ? And so what if he doesnt make too many runs if he goes to England in May .. Azhar doesnt make any runs either...
So we have nothing to lose...

shaw: Dear Prem, It is understandable that India went with sick people onboard but what about the other great batsmen in our team. It is increasingly becoming very predictable of Indian teams performance. We are becoming a bunch of laughing stocks.
I can't imagine in my faintest of dreams of India winning the world cup, unless the one man army performs well (Sachin).

Ravi Aron: Good report Prem. I agree with pretty much most of what you said. A couple of points need be made. Fist, this is a side that has been at the receiving end of Messers Dalmiya and Dungapur's unbridled appetite for cheap funds. They have been treated like a circus troupe or cabaret artists to be commissioned at will or worse still, to be bought when some jamboree needs be organized to please some two bit cricketing association that voted for Dalmiya.
It is difficult to be proud of wearing Indian colors when the men who give you your wings are bunch of rodents. To expect the team to rise to the occasion, when there is neither an occasion to rise to nor people who occupy lofty positions to rise to, is clearly, asking for too much. If India-Pakistan encounters were so sacred, would Dalmiya have split the side and sent SRT to Malaysia to play an utterly meaningless tournament when India let slip the valuable psychological ascendancy gained in Canada? Viswanath once recollected an incident. When he was asked what it felt like to be bowled for naught in his very first outing, he replied that "I was all the more determined to live up to Vijay Merchant's faith in me when I came out to bat in the second innings" (he scored a hundred against Australia on that outing). And Eknath Solkar (another man brought into tests by Merchant) said that when India was losing or playing badly he used to think of "Vijaybhai" and what his performance on the field would mean to him.
Today there are no Vijay Merchants in the BCCI pantheon. We have a very different kind of merchant and it is not surprising therefore, Indian self respect, like all else Indian is on sale.

Ram Prasad: Everything will be all right. We will win the World Cup. India has the strongest batting line-up and the best pace attack. Great spinner in Kumble and all rounders in Ganguly, Tendulkar, Jadeja, Robin Singh and Dravid. The magic of 1984 World Cup will repeat.
Pakistan will not even make it to the third round.
On what basis am I saying this : look at the stars in the night. They tell you everything.

Sanjay Pathak: Hi Prem, One of the best ever... I agree with your accessment one-hundred percent. The way senior batsmen ( read Azhar ) bat, it makes you MAD! And, at the end of the day, it is the usual... "we didn't bat well... our fielding needs to improve... I'm not worried about my form, it will come back... one bad day, we should put it behind us... ". There must be a sizeable mountain behind him by now!
He has audacity enough to suggest that fielding is the thing we really need to improve; how about something called footwork, for a change? Flicks-off-the-pad (across the line, mind you ) on a dead wicket against spinners don't a batsman make. Hope everyone wakes up to face the reality. An international side shouldn't depend on one batsman to boost their confidence; they are not school-kids, are they?

Nandakumar Menon: I think that India should reconsider the descision of participating in this coming World Cup.

Sathyan.S: Surprise!No!!! Please send your article to each of Indian Players. Tell them to go and practice the basic of cricket.

chinnam reddy: In dian team is not fit for international cricket. Even Tendulakar comes back, Every time he cannot produce a win to India. they better start practicing for next world cup ( not for world cup 99).

Samer: Indian team simply sucks. i am fed up of all these defeats. Why the heck i should invest my work time on the net following the match. good bless India

dhirendra: No surprise at all on Pakistans win!! I will be surprise when India beat ( or at least fight to win) against Pakistan. Hope I will be alive to see that. I am only 27 year old.

Ganesh: Disgrace.

Ketan: Wow, this Indian team looks like a team of minnows, alarmingly with each passing day. Kirti Azad's statement reminds me of the Rahul-Dravid Vs Allan Donald in South Africa & the of the same Dravid against the rest of the Pak team in the Independance Cup final in Chennai.
Now this is the same Rahul Dravid playing like a REAL WIMP with the no less a player than Robin Singh, the same Singh who played a marathin role in India's win against the same opposition in Dhaka while scroing 316 batting second!!
Also reminds me of the Tendulkar Vs Henry Olonga stuff, I mean out goes Tendulkar & the rest of team starts behaving like wives without a husband.
I don't think Azhar & the rest of the think tank actually think they r playing with the wishes of 950 million Indians, his point of thinking (ASSUMMING HE DOES THINK, WHICH I STRONGLY DETEST!!!) is that we r PAID PROFESSIONALS, so u WIN SOME & LOSE MOST!!!
About time the Board implemented the foll policy, U WIN U GET PAID, U LOSE U GET NOTHING!!! I bet my life's fortune, we can NEVER LOSE AGAIN!!!
About time we also told Simpson, u stay with the team for 365 1/4 days OR GET THE HELL OUT of this team's life, the guy is just making a fast buck milching the Indian team showing DEGRADING RESULTS!!!
I must think, I'm very LUCKY not to be seeing ANY OF THIS shit unfold LIVE, God help those who do. Say BTW can we get the wrist measurements for Azhar, Gaikwad & Simpson, also Ganguly & Dravid, maybe we could send them BANGLES!!!

malay k lahiri: Superb piece of writing. What India lack is motivation, especially against Pakistan.

Shekhar Kakade: A very telling article. True in every sense of the word. Keep it up.

Arvind : Bascially, the Indian diaplay today was pathetic. But that is not why I am writing this. Inzamam did not field for the complete Indian innings today. If India had fielded first, he would not have been able to bat till the 5th wicket was down.
What happens now? Why are the rules strangely silent about this? Arvind

Ravi Desiraju: The most utterly disgusting performance one can imagine coming from the Indians.The lack of fighting spirit in the batting against Pakistan shows that it is time to disinvest energies and emotions in following the Indian cricket team.

Rakesh Gupta: there is no way in the world Indian team can win the world cup. as a matter of fact India can not only not win the world cup but i will be surprised if they reach the second round!!! rg

Brahma: Sack all the players who dont believe in themselves or dont take the fight into the opposition..l What does Dravid indicate by his 28 runs of 79 balls..that he is no more than a Test player and he cant be a decent(forget good or great..there r no good players in the players sans Tendulkar)..and is Dravid justifying the once selectors point of view that he can only play TESTS and not ODIs..
And Robin Singh everybody says he is fighter..when does he fighting spirit he too scared about Akhtar that he is fearing that if he shows any fight it'll ignite him?
Dont let this stupid India team go and bring shame to India in the WORLD CUP....

Bhaktawar Singh: The Indian team does not have any pride; that is what they are potraying at the moment. Players should be selected who have the 'guts' which enables them go out in the field with a never say die attitude. We also need a captain and a coach who is a good strategist and motivator. The former players critisize the present team, but were they any better? The former teams could not maintain a winning streak, and the players of the highest class failed when we needed them most. It seemed that the players were more interested in reaching personal landmarks. What else explains India's pathetic test record but has players who have the maximum number of centuries and wickets.
Bhaktawar Singh
P.S We all say that Tendulkar is greatest batsman after Sir Don Bradman. He has also completed 19 test centuries in 68 test matches, but how many were responsible in successfully chasing a target in the fourth innings?
Answer- None


RAMNATH.N.S: I wonder when our Indian team will learn . Day in and day out they lose so pathetically that I guess all 950 million viewvers should now sitch to some other sport besides cricket . I guess the person to blame for all this the captain Azharuddin . We have a captain who hardly motivates a side by his performance , is a poor leader . I think our World Cup prospect is as good as over . If we even qualify for Super-League I guess we should celebrate

SURENDRANATH R BADA: sbada@hotmail.come: Indian players are practicing and showing us how they are going to play in ENGLAND. And this is what they got trained from Boby Simpson. Simpson said not to give too many dot balls, but they did very fair justice to that point, in his presence. Pkistanees displayed such a aggresiveness with the same aggressiveness Indians submitted their wickets. We felt that we are wasting our valuable time for this type unworthy game. And it again proved that we have to invest our time or money solely to Sachin. Man no way to see the match without Sachin.

Venkat: Pathetic show

Samir Ajgaonkar: Your writing reflects popular feeling. THe only question is if we can realise all this why can't players realise or don't the friends and families of these players tell them about whats the general feeling like. Apart from Tendulkar hardly anyone shows the awareness of public sentiment. Its not the success that people care for , but indomitable spirit in the players which symbolises pride for your country.
Also Pakistan seems to be playing with some strategy and it is consistently implemented, whereas Indians only are doing haphazard experiments. Some can say lack of coherence is the other way of putting it, and I think captain has to take responsibility for that. Its been several years we have watched someone playing captain's knock in Indian innings.
Also this Indian team is showing complete lack of imagination and ideas. THey seem to be completely hypnotised and awed by the pace of paki bowlers. There's always a way to tackle any bowler in the world. Sanjay Manjrekar showed it in Pakistan. But there has to be a strong will to do something , then ideas automatically flow in. This team precisely lacks that will. To sum it the problem is only of motivation.

Abhijit chatterjee: Enough of cricket played by India! It's too much to digest, India now even defying the spirit of contest! Is there any way to stop this Indian team from playing in the coming world cup! We donot need further humilation to our cricket pride!

Udaya Shankar: I think the best thing is to put some penalty on the players. Like there should be cut in match fee/pay, also remove the sponsors pay on them. Since they are so cool, no sprit, no positive/fighting attitude, no plan,no commitment. This team/players lack everything what is needed for the professional. Are they called professionals except some few, I am in US working on Software area. If we do not perform well at work, you know what it is like. Why should'nt the Cricket player be treated in the same manner. They should see the other other side of the life too. I am very sorry to write all these stuff, but helpless i am so disgusted with there performance.

Prabhjot Gill: Hello Prem,
Your today's article is on the mark.

Arindam Taran: There was a time when I sat up late to follow the Indian teams cricketing adventures.
Now I am so disappointed, I do not follow the games live anymore, but juts read the match summary from Prem Panicker.
I was a die-hard cricket fan and now-a-days I spend time following American football and basketball.
Hope things will turn for the good soon, and people like me will start loving the Indian cricket team again.

Raj: Indian players looks like they are playing for themselves and not the country. It hurts me to even call myself Indian, even in USA

srineni srikanth rao: The report was drafted perfectly mentioning the weakness of Indian team. every time i see India play Pakistan right from ball one i pray that India win but the outcome is always the same...India loss in bad way.i pray to god that take away the fear of Pakistan demons from Indian cricketers hearts and make them fight head to head like bulls do. wish India learn from their mistakes soon or it will be too late for they cannot be the heros of world cup 99 with current form of playing. good luck for next matches.....India.

Jignesh Shah: One thing I didn't understand was that Y didn't India attacked Pak? I was following the match. The runrate was skying to 10 rpo and we had still six wickets in hand, and Dravid and Singh are good stroke player, but they seemed to play like the target was only 180 runs and not 280 runs. They played at a rate of 2 - 3 runs per over. Is it that India has resigned against Pak? Has it been ingrained in their minds that no matter what happens they can never beat Pak? Today's match was real disappointment. Sometimes I feet I should quit following cricket but again the next day I follow the game. Cricket is such a lovely sport but our team is killing all the interest in the game! Jignesh

hussain: it's the worst match i have ever seen .i never thought Indians can turn a one day into a test match.the very thought of India playing cricket is exasperating.inspite of the dismal performances recently by India ,we never loose hope and always think they will perform well in the next match.they dont seem to have a positive approach and it's better to ask tendulkar to join the Pakistan team, and rest the whole team for ever. atleast then can we enjoy cricket.when the whole country is watching u , just try to put on a fight, dont give up.u r playing for a country dont forget that,even small kids can put up a fight,leave the meaningless experience they have. the womens cricket team of India has a better attitude towards this game.i am feeling ashamed to say i am an Indian supporter.

Boston Vasu: Its typical Indian Innings. If they don't get the runs easier, they will give up. Fighting is only for sports like boxing, it seems. Millions of people expecting a miracle from these set of players & selectors. They make enough money. With the help of true heros like Tendulkar or ganguly or kumble or srinath (only these guys give 100% in the field), they manage to beat weaker teams, pull up some surprises against the good teams. But else the other guys are doing? Especially the captain? No seriousness in thinking, same set of comments like we batted poorly, we fielded poorly, like that. The coach and selectors (god only knows, whether they are really fit for that job out of the healthy cricket population in the country) also plays second fiddle. Azhar, is looking really like a govt. servant waiting for his super-annuation. It seems that he will go like this for another 4 years without any performance, activities. I am certain that more and more innocent hearts pray for these lazy inconsistent players to perform a miracle during the world cup.
But for one or two individual performances, the team looks really impotent. God please save Indian cricket from these pension-ers.
Good luck against England.

Raghu Ram: For those of you who have been following Indian cricket during these last 3 months (especially) during and after the Pakistan tour of India you can't but fail to notice the total lack of guts in the Indian approach to the game.
Every time Shoaib Akhtar steams in to bowl our batsmen are like petrified deer and freeze as though stuck in the highway with a screaming truck bearing down on them with headlights on. They back away to square leg and present a pitiable picture to the millions of cricket lovers who would love to see some spirit. At least, go down fighting. Is that too much to ask of our national cricketers.
Yesterday's defeat in the Cocoa Cola cup again demonstrates this clearly. With the World Cup coming up in May 99 I personally think we have lost it before the first ball is bowled. The batting is gutless, fielding is so-so and worst of all the will to stand up and fight is NOT there. And this is what upsets me most. Azhar's leadership style of not saying anything is not doing any good either "these are international cricketers, they know what to do" is his line.
Our cricketers are making mistakes even schoolboys wouldn't do (like dragging the bat into the crease as opposed to diving desperately and getting run out).
Saurav Ganguly in particular wears his rib guard on his back and his promptly hit with a Shoaib snorter and goes down like he was shot (Mohali match). To his credit he came back from the hospital and batted but continued to back away to leg each time Shoaib charged in. Our dear lad from Tamilnadu (Sadagoppan Ramesh) should realise a batsman is only as good as his last innings. Feet stuck in cement…..if he bats like this he is a goner folks….especially in Blighty!
Pakistan on the other hand came to India in shambles but are now a class act thanks to Wasim Akram's tremendous leadership. The current Paki team is brilliant and they fight like cornered tigers when they are down (witness the Calcutta test 26 for 6 and they win the game!). In my book they are the team to beat in this World Cup.
My World Cup Semifinalists (Pakistan, South Africa, Australia & India).
Did I mention India? Why? The answer is Sachin Tendulkar! The master blaster is the only hope India has, as he is the one bat who can move into line and whack the good ball off a fast bowler bowling at 156Kmph. This alone encourages the other Indian bats to think they can do it too…and counter attack as a true international cricketer.
Without him the Indian team all brilliant bats when playing medium pace and knee high balls bat like wimps when they face liquid pace and bounce.
South Africa and Australia are terrific all round sides but my world cup champion is Pakistan! ( I hate to say this trust me!). They are the ones with an insatiable hunger, brilliant cricketers performing as a cohesive team, outstanding leadership and most important they have the "NEVER SAY DIE" spirit.
I would be happy to eat these words and have em' stuffed down my throat with a Indian performance reminiscent of 1983! Or at the very least go down fighting and do India proud!

Rakesh: Sack Azar.As a captain he is BAD.As a batsman WORSE

Anand: I was up till early in the morning to watch this dismal Indian Surrender. Even When batsmen after batsmen got out I still had a slight hope that the next guy would do it for India. If only the players had such self-confidence and self-respect they would even think of winning the match.As you rightly put it they dont seem to bothered about the emotions of the million odd people crying for their victory.
Losing match after after match is totally acceptable, but the way they surrendered without a fight put the whole nation to shame.
ps: Pannicker, how are you doing. How is your hand, when are you going to start commenting...I am waiting.

Subramanian: Indian cricket is now in a state of stupor...without Sachin, the healer, the psychiatrist, the motivator, the leader, the aggressor, the mentor and er, also the best batsman, good fielder and a damn good variation bowler. By the way, is it possible to rename India to Sachindia?

abdul ghafoor danish: today's match was a disgrace. Indians played like a completely new team fresh from the league. our players were doing batting practise. Sharjah should start inviting teams like Norway etc. hopefully we 'll get to see better cricket. Indian team disgraced us. Our heads are down in shame. Pakistan proved that they are a better team.

Praveen: Hi Prem, I always love your comments and I dont have any comments on that.
But can you pass this message to IndiaN players. Just tell them that, can they sit and watch if some enemy is killing their mother or sister. I think what Indian players are lacking is courage. World cup is not too far we still have time ask them not to practice anymore and make them watch some patriotic movies or do something to wake them.
I am writing you from Phoenix, AZ.USA.
Whenever there is match between India and Pakistan I dont go to sleep I spend whole night watching the scores on Internet. Finally, India will lose., next day I have to go to work.
I am very frustrated right now.
Keep up the good work.

Harish: I used to get fever during exams & people used to call this as Exam fever. Seems like our Indian team is pretty much under the syndrome of defeats at the hands of Pakistanis If I took as many attempts to pass my exams as the Indians are taking to win... I might be still doing my pre K.G's... :)

deepak: Dravid should be kicked out with immediate effect there is no place for player making 25 in 80 balls in highly competetive limited overs cricket.The other player needs a kick is that Ganguly. Sunil joshi should have been included in w cup squad .this squad is same as one in 1975 w cup thanks

Mok: absolutely right infact i don't have any interest in India anymore who are led by a moronic captain,a will never learn coach and a board which would make charlie chaplin films appear like testaments of logic."We have put behind the defeat"as effort to learn why WE LOST??The team works on always say DIE!Go to hell Indian cricket team now on i will support south africa the bloody sunzabithches know the how to fight till the last moment

M Kishore Kumar: I am really zapped by the attitude of the Indian team in this match. There was no zeal, at best the batsmen looked clueless and more importantly -- as prem rightly pointed-out -- they simply gave-up the battle as early as 17th over. In fact, I got a feeling, looking at the way Ganguly and Ramesh batted, the match was lost by the end of the second over itself. They looked totally clueless and their feet were really anchored around the leg stump.
God save India. I am getting increasingly convinced that in the upcoming world cup, we will not even make it to the super six. More over, we may end-up being beaten by a spirited team like Zimbabwe.
Even if Sachin is back in the side, (I still have doubts about his back problems. It may recurr! Athletic injuries take quite some time to heal. Recenly I read an article that analyzed his pull-shot and the twist that his upper torso undergoes while executing that shot. The doctor who did the analysis wrote that the twist is more than that of any other batsman as Sachin's front foot movement is quite different from many other batsmen in the world.) he will find it very diffucult to motivate a bunch of people whose demotivation levels are getting worse from a "bad" state
. God save Indian cricket!!

Indian: Talk about match fixing..!!!
I am convinced that the players in match fixing are not the players who play the game but infact they are the "players" who select the team!!
They ensure that the other team wins...!!! No wonder players like Kambli, Kanitkar and Joshi are played at the whims of the selectors..!! We have also seen times when "players" have tried theor best to "play" around with Manjrekar and Dravid branding them as non-ODI guys...discarding commited players like Jimmy Amarnath and Sidhu...asking (?) Sachin to bat down the order..."throwing" Prasad out of action...want more...I am sure all of us can go on and on...there is no way India can win the world cup again...not until....Kapil, Jimmy, Kirti Azad are Selectors and Srikanth is the Coach. If we need a consultant...Ravi Shastri is the best person to do this job. Lets keep SMG out of this ...he is too busy to for this kind of stuff.

Gopalkrishnan.P.: Dear prem panicker I am sending this mail in sheer anguish.What ails our Indian team. Out in Jakarta,the sharjah matches are a bit of a hassle as the matches go late into the night...finishes by 2oclock morning.(In this regard we are eternally thankful to Doordarshan in telecasting these matches live.If u have contacts within DD,pls let them know that the plethora of ads are being viewed by a big chunk of NRIs around the world,who visit India atleast once .So the pepsi,coke,Bajaj,Fiat,Maruti are taking up a part of our brand equity theDD should factor this benefit in their ad reach) But that does not deter us from settling down to the sofa and seeing the Indians battling out in the desert.But where are the warriors??I agree that Shoaib looks combative,but is definitely playable.I fully agree with Kirti Azad's viewpoints on this issue.15 members of the International team from a country of 950 million are playing like school kids.
In the pre-Sachinbackproblem era,the rub off effect of Sachin's brilliance was evident on other players in their strokeplay.Even when Sachin went off cheaply(a rare event),we used to put up a fight and glimpses of fluent strokeplay was evident from a few batters.In the post-Sachinbackproblem era,our batting has touched a nadir.A negative,tentative strokeplay is on display.And this approach has also seeped into our fielding and bowling departments to some extent I wish a few panickers address our 15 member team and sort out the problems,which look solvable today.If the approach of the team and the captain is not altered,we are a looking at an embarrassing scenario in the world cup99.
Best regards

Dharma: Prem there is no point in saying all these. The team doesnt bother about emotions of fools like us who spend time in the night in fronot of the pc a the cost of missing office the next day only to find a dismal and frustrating performance.After all they are not bothered about the results and the problems lies with s only since we dont account them at all for their performance and they also get a lots of money with out playing through the commercials and sponsorships so naturally doesnt really bother much about performance.These sponsors and commercials should take into account performance before showering money on cricketters that they dont seem to hold pride representing India.
If only Sachin tendulkar can handle all these pressure why are the others be given so much importance.Look at azharrudin, not in form or lost his batting abilities and never really seem to bother wbout winning but continues and comes up with irritating excuses every time saying we are now fresh and will go for a win etc and that goes for anshuman geakwad.Please dont publish those statements any more and tell your friends in the media not to ask the captain or the manager for their opinion as we can have the standard opinion published till the end of world cup like how azhar was appointed captain.I do not know if players like azhar and jadeja etc care for the country or the people.

Ravi: I think whatever you have written is true and very very frustrating for Indian Viewers. The best thing we can do is stop watching Cricket and switch to some other sport like Chess or Tennis where people are upto international level. Media should stop giving attention to each and every minute deatil of Indian Cricket players. They are being given too much importance.
As some one said Sachin's back is being more publicised than Jaya's tantrums. Mind you these are not words from Chess or Tennis lover but a true and ardent Cricket lover who cannot miss a single ball when any team is playing. But the frustration which the Indian Team has led us to certainly makes us think twice why the hell do we care a damn about it.

Srinath: To Whomsoever it may concern
I hereby disown all interest in Indian cricket (for a period of atleast 24 hrs).
Now, for some interesting "RECORD" info.
1) India has lost the 8th consecutive ODI to Pak.
2) Each time, we seen the match, we feel India is on the verge of a new record and once India passes the 143 run (loss) margin, we heave a sigh of relief.
3) 143, 123, 116. Does these look like scores of low-scoring matches? These are actually the loss margins of India to Pak, the last 3 times while chasing!
Is this team fit to be called an internaional team? And I read somewhere that Azhar has no plans to retire in the near future which means that the team has to carry him along till then. And I predict that Indian cricket is doomed, if Azhar keeps his word!
Look at Gang, calls himself an international cricketeer. When Sachin was thulped on the nose by Waqar, he thulped the living daylights out of him. So does DeSilva. Such people have faith in their own ability, can't say the same thing about Gangs.
And Dravid! Words fail to describe his innings today. On a minefield of a track, against deadly fast bowlers (after Akhthar & Wasim had gone off), dear Dravid employs impeccable technique in defence & saves the day for India.
And Ramesh, if he wanted to take any cue from someone, did he have to take it from a petrified Gangs?
Azhar enters... I rest my case...
"As one Indian fan who has invested so much energy in this team", this defeat just purely pains me owing not to the defeat but the total lack of fight which has characterised Indian innings of late!!! Worse, such performances not only lowers India's morale but raises Pak's!!!
And I get the funny feeling, the Worst is yet to come...

s.Mahadevan: I agree with your views. I feel the Indian team needs a total restructuring to keep the interest of the game

s.Mahadevan: I agree with your views. I feel the Indian team needs a total restructuring to keep the interest of the game

Nishan: I was dismayed by India's batting performance.To me, as in inumerable instances the problem with the Indian team seems not so much about Technique but about the approach to adopt and re-think for a given situation in an innings.
Situations change dramatically within an innings,and without a re-assessment of the situtation from the players playing in the middle as well as form the Captain or the other Manager's of the team watching from the Box,confusion as to "how to go about things.." will always prevail.It always looks like the Indian Team players are lost as to what measures to adopt.Its never clear whether they are using their own common sense or whether they are merely "following instructions" from the Captain or Managers or whatever.This reflects in their Batting and in their approach to the game.Sure there seems to be some message going to the batsmen in the middle, from the dressing room,but more often than it seems to be some "Smart" or "clever " suggestion rather than simple common sense.
Without an aprroach our team looks lost.They need to take a leaf from South Africa and Australia and now maybe Pakistan.And by the Way just imitating the use of Notebooks to work out Strategies does not mean that team has a proper plan.I refer to a stage that India adopted when South Africans were using the Notebook computer "Tool" to have an assessment of their game play. Here's the message Just use your Common sense and stop trying to be "smart" or "brilliant" as unfortunately we Indians always to be and end up falling on our faces.

ashish paradkar: Prem, What you have said in this aricle is absolutely true. I hope the Indian cricketers read this article, especially the point raised by Kirti Azad. You got to play with a sense of vengeance against the opposing team, and with a sense of national pride. They get paid so much thesedays-so they have to deliver.Time and again this Indian team meekly surrenders to Pakistan which is really frustrating. We do not mind if India looses, but they have to give a fight right down to the end.

Surendra Shahi: I think yesterday's was one of worst display of sporting spirit in any form of competitive sports I have seen in recent times. It was the most pitiable, meek, damaging, spineless, submissive and shameful performance by the team we pay so much of attention to. But looking from a slightly different point of view it doesn't really surprise me that the whole team was so consistent in performing the same way.
Like Akram's team has been so consistent in performing the way they are. After all the players are supposed to imbibe what the leader had to exemplify. And, without getting personal, I must say Azhar has been a symbol of how the team performed yesterday. Just that it took some time for the whole team to perform according to the example he sets. How ironic it is that he is going to lead the team in the world cup whereas with such a disgusting performance from its captain even Bangladesh won't retain its captain?
At the very least, I think the manager/coach and the captain must be asked for an explanation. And yes Dravid and Robin should also be asked to enlighten us on their state of mind when they were playing as if they it was the final day of an already drawn test match. Looked like they had lost all their desire to play and perform. Or again were they merely imitating their captain?!!

alok mehta: I have said in "Indian World cup" report response, that Ramesh is a misfit in the squad. The youngster, even in his test debut, has shown that he has the good intention to play, but lacks the footwork needed with intention! There is dravid & Amay to take on the role of additional opener.
The Indian team appears defeated even before the first ball is bowled. The passion is missing. Does Sachin absence/presence make such a difference!
Pull up your whatevers guys, and strat turning the tables! All the best.

Sameer Chivate: The tail of a Doberman dog is cut, so that he won't put it between his legs when frightened. Indian batsmen don't have tails. So what shall we do?

Sanjay Kadam: What is lacking is Sachin's absence. Because, he is the only player in India's team who can knock Pakistanis bowling attack.But, we are missing him. Hope, he will be completely cured from injury. Amay Khurasia is looking in best form. He has an good attacking power. And I thing he has proved that in his debut, against the last World Cup champions. I thing, this is the right time to give him more chance, and I am sure he will prove.

Manoj. M.: I agree with Prem that unless an outside chance for a victory is smelt, the Indians roll over and give the game over in a platter to the opposition. It is exactly this, the effort to win not coming in genuinely, that angers the home crowd and I am pretty sure that even the Chennai crowd (so generously praised for their behaviour by the media during the India - Pakistan First Match ) would have also misbehaved had not Sachin and Mongia put in that brave fight. The Chennai crowd were happy that they got to see a good game of cricket, though their home side ended up on the wrong side, but I am very sure that their ugly side would have been shown had not Sachin and Mongia fought it out.

M.Anand: How about recalling Kapil and others of the '83 squad ? !!

Naresh M V: Great article. Please send it to every member of the team if possible! Undoubtedly It is a record. I can't think of any other team which is capable of this feat. Even if this is not the record, the actual record might be in India's name I guess!!