Rediff Logo World Cup 99
April 23, 1999

Sanjay Manjrekar column

sarkar: sarkasarkar: Well our present captain is definitely not a 'gully cricketer' and therein lies the main problem.

Suresh Mani: Sanjay, you can't change the non-gully cricketers. Even you were not able to change yourself into a gully cricketer during your playing days. What the board should do is sack players who can't adjust to the gully-level of cricket or in other words choose gully type of cricketers in the first place. People like Imran Khan did exactly that. He would go around and pickup raw talent straight from a gully and create a Wasim Akram out of him. Anyway, you said it well, fax your stuff to the Indian Cricket board and the players. Regards, Suresh Mani

Raj Aparasu: I strongly agree with sanjay that we need "gully cricketers" mentality to beat pakistan; This is a matter of attitude not technique or skill. But I am not sure whether this will work with other teams.

devender Singh: This time and for the first time you got it right. Earlier your upbringing was stopping you from admitting that people from the street are always a better fighter bacause in all aspects of life they have to fight for everything and anything however rightful it may be. And thats what make them TOUGH.

sukand: Sanjay,
Interesting thought. Guess it kind of reflects my feeling that the raw power associated with the intense desire to win is what differentiates Pakistan & India. The gully-team concept reminded me of a situation similar to that in our college where the so-called 'no-hoper' team put in 125% in every situation be it batting with guts (getting hit on the body many times), fielding with enthusiasm & fire (diving on not-so-green outfields) as well as bowling their heart out. That against the so-called-favorites who just would put in a max of 90-100% and if they lost, well it was a fluke or a stroke of bad luck or whatever.
The problem is that currently AZHAR thinks that whatever happens is a stroke of luck. Jadeja is too much of a diplomat to 'tell' azhar what he thinks. What needs to happen to the Indian team is that even in the art of 'captaincy' we go beyond a one-man show and use the collective ability of Azhar, Tendulkar, Kumble & Jadeja to work out the masterplan. Actually, why only 4 of them, all 11 on the field and all the 11 (of the field, including coach, manager, board president, doctor, physio etc.) need to get out there and put in their 125% to make it possible to WIN the trophy of all dreams.
It takes GUTS and LOTS OF IT. Need not be 1 person who supplies it, could be a collective whole.

nandu: Hi Sanjay, Beautiful article. Though I am not sure it's the right recipe to beat Pakistan. I believe we need to strategize more when we play a team of street fighters, cause we don't want to take a step back just to beat them. What would happen when we play others, our street fighting attitudes will not see us through. For instance, slow down the pace of the game when they are on the high, find out how they blend and how to break their unity. Find their weak link etc. Analyze them not only as individuals but also as a team. All I am saying is that one cannot have the same approach and strategy against different opponents, this is a basic rule of any sport. The Paks have probably ananlyzed how we beat others and have probably know our psyche since they are so close to us in terms of attitude and culture. In today's competitive world of sport the only thing that stands apart from two teams is "think tank". Whichever team has a better strategy and secondly a better tactic wins. For. e.g. look at the South African coach during a match and look at ours. The SA coach probably sits with a laptop analysing information chalking out a strategy for the next match / hour /session. Whereas our coach just looks like he's probably following the match. What more can/should I say.
Regards Nandu

Vikesh Nemani: Hey Sanjay,
I am an MBA student in the USA. I came here from Calcutta in 1997. I have followed your career and you for a long time. To tell you the truth, I am a great fan of yours. I played a lot of cricket and also took some professional coaching. I think you are among the most technically correct batsmen ever. Anyways, I read this article of yours and I think it has some very good points - but I dont think this is the appropriate moment to write an article like this. It is just on the eve of the world cup. Again, how do you explain the fact that India always manages to beat Pakistan where it matters most - i.e. in the world cup games Eg, 1997, 1992, 1985 finals etc.

Shariq Ahmed: Absolutely awful analogy. Is he trying to imply that the Pakistani cricket team is a bunch a bunch of ill-bred low lifes to whom ethics and laws of the do not matter one bit. And for whom cricket is the only way of showing the world their capablities? Does he mean to suggest that the Indian cricket team is full of scruples and gentlemanly behavior? Would he care to watch games where Prasad swears like a street urchin. Let me remind you that in a recent match Prasad after getting Englishman Vince Wells out, after being struck for six let out a volley of swear words....some suggesting that he would do things to Wells' mother.
Why is it so hard for him to admit that the Pakistani team plays superior cricket. Pakistan surely has better bowlers, batsmen who are more explosive and fielders who are more inspired. How does social class come into the picture? I find it really despicable that people with extremely racist and class-conscious ideas get to contrubute to your website, conveniently masking them by saying that they admire something that they show is resentful al through. This article is in extremly poor taste

Murali.K: Good and ralistic reasoning by Sanjay.

Hemant : Sanjay has hit the nail on its head. India needs more hungry people to play for it. But did anybody note that for last ten years Indian team has had atleast one player/coach from Baroda at all times (More, Mongia,Gaekway,Rashi Patel etc.) inspite of having an insipid team which cannot even make it to the knock out round.Does that coincide with Mr. Lele having been like a leech with the BCCI?

chirayu: So, whats your point? Should we throw out the educated cricketers out of the team and recruit the "jhopadpatti" guyz? Your idea seems will to you also if you think more realistically. Please dont write an article just for the sake of it. -- Chirayu P.S: The above comment of mine dosent apply to all your articles.

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
sarkar: Actually it runs a little deeper than 'gully power'. The main reason for India losing to Pakistan everytime is the way the players of the two teams have been brought up.The education system in Pakistan is such that hatred for India is instilled in their minds. They are taught explicitly that India is their no.1 enemy. India is killing and oppressing Muslims. India invaded Pakistan and obviously the other fact being that Indians are 'Kafirs'. On the other hand here in India we are taught to be secular. It is uncool to be nationalistic and heaven help you if you express solidarity with your religion(Hindu) or comment adversely on other religions, you are immediately branded as communal. Now who do you expect to be playing with more passion. Players of a country who believe that they are playing aggressors of their country and enemy no. 1 of Muslims or our very own secular, big hearted non-nationalists?

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
Kiran: Hi, It is too sad that the media is covering the veiws of players who uttrly failed themselves in the scene of oneday internationals, Example Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastry, Sanjay Manjrekar etc you can analyze yourself by reading the colums of kris srikanth or kapil dev. I say the media is just seeing things from magnifying glasses. I am following cricket from past 20 years i.e., right from childhood I did not find much difference when the team wins or loses. It is just a game please try to enjoy it whether we win or lose.

niraj: hi sanjay,
Great observation ,You are a close friend of sachin and many other cricketers can you make this point to them how important it is for them to develop this cause each one of them would have definately lost their respective gully matches. It is also high time that sachin started soeaking out asainst the selectors.

Venky: Dear Sanjay:
It was a nice article & a long awaited one. India can never beat Pakistan consistently, never in my lifetime.
I would like to add a few more thoughts. Though we have been winning some tournaments in the last few yrs, all these have been in the sub continent. In the last 10 yrs, if we look at India's performance outside Asia, "pathetic" is the only word that comes to my mind, to say the least.
So often, i have read articles in Rediff saying Indians are very talented & Indian talent can match any team in this world. Not true, not true at all. Talent, what talent, what are we talking about. "Consistency" is a key aspect of talent, not just flamboyance. Azhar, Kambli and all the other junkies (except ofcourse Tendulkar & possibly Dravid & to some extent Ganguly) may be flamboyant, but not talented. If they are infact talented that should show up in their performance, outside Asia. How can a bunch of talented individuals collectively fail (& so consistently too) against all teams (including NZL, Zimbabwe) outside home. Even the success we had in Asia, i would attribute most of them to Tendulkar & Kumble.
On the otherhand i consider teams like Aus, SA, Pak talented. They have always been able to win & win consistently both at home & abroad. So many years in to cricket & India is still beatable by any country. I tell u what, there is a very strong possibility that India is gonna be beaten & beaten badly by Zimbabwe in the World cup. Honestly i dont expect India to advance to the second round (Super six).
I was a die hard fan of Indian cricket for quite a while. But the way India has been playing has only helped them lose a fan in me. Not just me, i know so many of my friends who dont give a damn any more about Indian wins or defeats. I'm not an unreasonable fan, mind you. I dont expect India to win all its matches. I only expected them to be more consistent.
One of the most hyped up talent in India is that of Azhar. Boy! i cant remember how many Rediff articles i read which praises his talent. What has he done for our team outside India. How many matches has he been expected to perform & didnt quite manage it. Indian cricket is pathetic & Indian cricketers are hopeless.
I feel really sorry for a great batsman like Tendulkar to be caught up in this team. For his talent, if he plays for Pak or Aus he would/will have won atleast 3 world cups before he retires.
Having said all these, cricket is still the only dominant sport in India. Perhaps thats the only reason why there still are so many fans.
Indian cricketers have made its fans bite the dust!
- An upset former "die-hard" cricket fan.

Dinesh R. Khemani: You hit the nail right on the head. So often, we've seen that extra effort on their them their fans are less forgiving and to Pakistani's its heros or villians. We are softer, more forgving of the team's follies. Azhar keeps saying..the boys are human..agreed...but a job is a job, they are in the team for a reason, would'nt you say so. We need more 'gully-minded' cricketers, guys who can win, by hook or by crook, not initiate the 'crook' but to combat the opposing teams' antics. Excellent article, Sanjay.

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
Sada Malladi: This is just bullshit, I can hear a looser talking. First of all the author is not smart enough to accept the fact that they are better team (bowling/batting). He is under strong prejudice that no matter what his team is the best. I am not saying that we (India) have a bad team but they were the best. The gully colony story is just a talk by someone who thinks come what may he's the hero(which happens to be the attitude of many indians). I can elaborate on this but i am running out of patience

Pungi: Sanjay, you couldn't have been MORE RIGHT !!! I have been in similar situations too, but the there is also a couple of things I would like to mention. The foremost comes the ATTITUDE and the WILL TO WIN AT ANY COST--Call it what you may, Sledging, Irriatating the hell out of the batsman top get him out, or do something to to disrupt the bowlers rythm, anthing....Its all about BODY LANGAUAGE, as people call it...I think that's where Indians lack most ! (Also called PROFESSIONALISM in Australia, SA...). The second is the planning before match, it (the planning)really have to be not only before the current match, but before the Series, as to how to get the best batsman out, how to attack the best bowlers (maybe in practise tour matches, have the bastman go after them..). The other most significant thing is the FIELDING! Good fielding is the key to a lot of matches, be it a Test or a ODI, which is why SA and AUS have done, and come out tops. Also, your so-called 'Street-Fighters' had too have some talent and planning plus the ATTITUDE to win !!!

Priyank: Excellent. Pak dosent care about winning than it does about defeating India. They don care if Zimb defeats them but India MUST not win. WHich I think is an awesome attitude. If I was a member of Indian cricket team(which I think I am capable of), I would have the same feeling.

ChandraShekar Reddy Padala: How do we find them ?

saraN: But did Pakistan not win the World Cup with Imran Khan, educated in UK and being well aware of what ethics meant.
And if you would mean that Pakistan team consisted of 10 players other than Imran,I had thought that Pakistan won just because of Imran's captaincy.
Although I would not say that you do not have a point here, I would not completely agree with that. With the amount of superstars we have in our team, the only thing that that cones to my mind immediately is ego clashes. With the selectors, sponsors and coaches - and to a small extent press - crowning themselves as new stars by doing whatever suits them, things are not easy for the team.
We used trust,unity and belief to get our freedom. I strongly feel that India can win the world (not only the world cup) only with a team that believes in self than on Sachin (or any other individual).
Thanks for alloting space for my thoughts and very good luck to the representators of my country in the world Cup.

sanjay Chander: Keep it Manjerkar... You hit the nail on the head !!! We need more 'gully' cricketers to add to the likes of agarkar, prasad, dravid, kambli, jadeja who can think act and behave similarly to the opposition, which in our case is Pakistan. Need more articles like this in future. The least our world cup team is to read this article and get into that "spirit" for the world cup.

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
Sam Beera: hey what is that they play ? cricket;the rules are same for both teams, so its the mentalframe thats important,the desire to win makes all the difference,act as professionals,that will show results.

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
praveen: Hi sanjay, Nice to see u back in the cricket media, U just retired from International cricket and writing articals now, i have a question for u, i.e Now, u r writing the Indians can do like this that etc.. why, ur unable to do well, when the team gave so many chances to u? i hardly didn't remember any match u performed well in Oneday game and win a Man of the Match..... rather than saying street fighters to get in the team? u name in the artical who are they ? so that BCCI will look at them?

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
Yogi S: This is called hitting the nail right on the head. What you said is true enough!

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
Sentinel: This was a very effective way of demeaning the Pakistan Cricket team as well as explaining the reason why India looses to them every time. I think there were many better examples that could have been given but Sanjay just picked a crappy one. He should have used words like "street smart" instead of gully cricketers.If u do an honest review of the Indian team they are the ones who seem to have come from gullies and still lack a killer instict. The fact is Pakistanis are fighters and that is why they beat India everytime. It's the law of evolution. The STrong stay alive. They succeed. They weaklings they die or loose.

yogi: U SAID IT BUDDY!!:-))

Sarveta: Sanjay,
You are absolutely correct. I too get the same feeling and you reminded me of our own cricket played with tennis ball around Ruia Collage.
Your reading of the team and its performance is accurate. I still feel it is ok to loose after you have tried your best. It is always nice to go thru the match and enjoy the game as it unfolds.
Please do keep writing.

Sanjay Patel: I completely agree with Sanjay Manjrekar. In our team we have some fellows who are very soft spoken. Of Course, Azhar our captain is the leader of them all. What we need is more people like Jadeja and Tendulkar. Someone who is brave enough to shut the hell of the bullies. I think Jadeja will do just fine. He can provide that energy to the team to beat Pakistanis. Ever since I was 12 years old, I wanted India to beat Pakistan. I hate every member of that team, except Wasim Akram. India loses more matches against Pakistan because they run out of ideas when in fact, there is nothing to worry about and they start messing up things. They really should tear the Pakistanis apart.

Nikhil Deshmukh: Could'nt be said better. Some people play the game almost like a war and if the Indian team wants to win it has to match it, or else the nation should stop expecting anything different. Getting a team psychologist could also help the team counter the "street fighters" by understanding their behavior and motivations. By suitable modification of behavior the "street fighters" could also be rattled to make the wrong moves.

surya jandhyala: godd suggestion sanjay!

anil: I am not sure what you are really trying to point out. However the fact is that our team selection is wrong, specially for ODI. And attitude of the players on the field is casual. I think India has right talents and if properly selected can win the WC99.

Sanat Chowdhury: Sanjay, Your analysis is right. But, you are too harshe on Pakistan team's social back ground. There are quiet a few playes who come from upper class families.

Amit Deshpande: Manjrekar may have a lot of respect for 'gully cricketers' but then reading this article i could only imagine the Pak team full of people lacking in social graces and the Indian team , a bunch of sophisticated men. Well, that may not really be the case. You have quite a few of them (or had) in the Indian team who never knew to speak English(Dodda Ganesh for one) and so were very poor in communicating with others. You also had a certain Vinod Kambli who came from a not so well to do family and a poorer neighbourhood.In Pakistan you had Imran Khan educated in England , Rameez Raza who has a Masters in Management.Now you have Akram who communicates quite well. There is no difference between the Indian and Pakistani players . They have a greater will to win. It's as simple as that. It's not true that a player who comes from the lower echolons would automatically do well at the highest level. True Pakistan had Javed Miandad. But India had Kiran More, Ravi Shastri and others. It's just will to win. Or wait. We are not such a good team.

Rajagopal Jayaraman: Hello Author,
Really a very good comparison. Most people are reluctant to quote such comparisons. It is exactly same that I too have experienced. When we used to play against a gully team, often we found them to win. But we could not reason our failures. It is purely a classical way of playing the game but lack of fighting tendency and killer instincts. And yes, we are in of all-rounders with a street-fighting (killer-instinct) ability. Even Srilankans the then underdogs could go and win the world cup with the same approach. In contrast, the team with bunch of talents the windies could not make impressive wins recently because they took it on a too much sportive way. They lacked a fighting tendency.
Lets hope for the best.
I wish INDIAN TEAM good luck.
Regs, -Rajagopal J- from the USA.

Seshagiri: Great Sanjay,
The best Comparison i have ever come across.
U are really great Thanks seshu

Sethu: Sanjay is very vague in his comments . His failure to pinpoint problems or name the a culprit in the team , makes his commentary dull and boring . Probably , he still wants to be in good books with the Cricket board.

Kartik: I couldn't agree with Sanjay more. Unfortunately , the two players who are real street fighters, Manoj Prabhakar and Vinod Kambli have always got a raw deal from the selectors

manish vaja: i like the artical. perhaps indian cricket board don't know the same fact. I had same feeling The formation of my gully team is just like pakistani team or more killer instinct.
we had only jadeja and robin singh of that caliber. to some extent ganguly and sachin. Rest of the team is good for other country.

Rajeev Bishnoi: I agree with the fact he points out when he says 'Indian team lacks the BURNING DESIRE to win', but don't agree with his analogy of Indian team being some sort of 'MORE PRIVILEGED'. I mean how in the world can you say such a thing?? Do you think that the Pakistani team is a bunch of illiterate, less privileged, socially outcast or ostracised people. It's so sick !!!

: : Dudes,
Nice article showing A requirement, and maybe not exactly THE requirement that this team seems to be lacking.
Desire to win is almost the most imp. attribute to have to be an accomplished player/team. There are/were enuf players as talented as MJ, if not more. But that can only take to the arena! To win, you need DESIRE! It is true at the work place too, I guess!
But, my question we really think this Team HAS reached that 'arena' we're talking about, to start talking about intangibles? I sort of think we dont. My feeling is we still lack...
match winners (read bowlers capable of winning matches by virtue of a single spell) solid middle order (there must be somebody to drive the middle overs before giving it to Jadeja and Robin; this has been done by either the openers/dravid or AJ & RS, and _not_ the middle order guy). Yes, Azhar's lack of performance has hit the indians bad.
But, my opinion is we are reading too much into the bad loss at the hands of Pakistan. With Akram at his peak, we surely needed some out of this world batting performances from somebody to get us thro'. We just didnt! I thought Dravid had an on-off Sharjah (and I consider him our trump card for any low score series, and this sure was one). Remember they did come in with a lot of momentum.

Syed Ahmed: I think the Indian Cricket is put under termendous pressure when it comes to Plying against Pakistan. It becomes pure "prassure" game. It is not the matter of talent it becomes matter of toughness. Unfortunately for India, the Indian team seems to give in to pressure. What they need is mental toughness and committement. They have the talent, good bowlers(Srinath, Kumble and co.), what they need is believe in themself. Play aggressive and attacking cricket, they have the weapons.

Mahesh: Sanjay, Somehow the analogy to the colony team and gully team seems far fetched. Its seems like you were trying to say that the indian team is more virtuous and privileged. Getting more street fighters is not the solution. we have to accept the fact that pakistan is a much more talented team.

Srinidhi Kadalbal: I agree with you. I had the exact feeling when I see INd.vs.Pak match. Why don't you next suggest of how to transform our players into gully cricketers..?

Geoffrey George: Well said ... As Wasim Akram said in his interview ... Indians have a laid back attitudes towards matches .. If we dont win this one, there's always a next match. For Pakistanis every match is a must win ... There lies the difference in the attitude ...

Karthick: It was good reading your article. I have always admired you as a batsman, today I am forced to disagree with your comments. Our Indian team always lacked the team spirit after a loss and we are not that matured to accept victory and defeat on the same lines and hence we have very high spirit after a win and it gets shattered after a loss. In order to avoid such situation we need true players without sentiments. We Indians are too sentimental. We need a true player who smiles even after a humiliating defeat, one such player i could see in the current team is Jadeja, we need to nuture such attitude among others too. Once we show our cool-headedness to the opponents their morale remains the same. If we start expressing our pressure it is an added strenght to the opponents. We Indians should start thinking on these lines which would pave way for our success. Indian team is the only team which has five batsmen with 35+ of average in ODI and I see no reason for India to loose because of batting. Hope you agree to this and expecting a good reply from you.

jeevan b: hi manj, what u have written is cent % correct .but we to have to show fighting team spirt .we have to go out and play natural game not showing any fears .

vimal: darling.. pakistani ko gully vala bola hai.. abb terekoo bahut galiyan milengi. take care.. even though u praised them.. they gonna make a hue and cry.. good luck take care while choosing words..

srini: : I disagree with Sanjay Manjrekar's assessment. It is clear that Pakistan has been the better bowling side for the last 20 years since cricket resumed between the two countries. When it comes to batting the kind of bowlers we have had have consistently under performed as they are mediocre at best anyway. However the batting wilts under pressure which is probably due to the reasons Sanjay cites. Professionalism is also very important. And the lack of this comes out the most against any hypothetical gully team.

bittu: Nice to write articles....but what did sanjay do when he was the part of Indian national team. Smack of hypocricy to me

Sreenivas Punna: I agree with you totally. However, the most important point we are still missing is that the leader (captain) of the team should be street smart, inspiring and lead by example in every sense like Wasim Akram. I admire his guts. When we have a selfish, ignorant (of what a captain should be) 'dud' like azahr, we only lose and always lose.

Chandra: You are right Sanjay.
May be we should get some street guys who are powerful and go getters in our team.

Shaival Chokshi: This is a very nice coloumn. And I'm agree with the ideas expressed in this column. Keep writing!!

sreejith kolore: Hi, Id like to put forth another reason for India's poor performance. I think that a possible reason would be that the Indian team do not seem to be learning from their experiences. Clearly, the Indian's have lost so many matches in the past to have gained enough maturity in their planning or preparations or even play. To put mildly, what the team is doing now is pretty sloppy. They play like no more than a bunch of happy go lucky kids. There is not one person capable of a consistent performance. I'd say even Tendulkar is like this. Out of 10 matches, he may make centuries in two, make fifties in two and the rest would be pretty pathetic at times. He happens to be the only player in the team doing relatively well and is definitely more hyped than any other player. Its sad that not one person on the team comes even close to feeling strongly to win. That burning desire to win that probably the whole of the win famished country now has doesn't seem to be in the Indian team. I wouldn't be surprised if the Indian team goofed up again this time too... (no point in saying nice words now I think) ... there is a lot of bitter disgust for the way the team plays. Every one in the team needs to feel for the country, feel like the country. They must realise that they carry hopes of a billion people. It ok if we loose well. There is dignity in that. But never the irresponsible way we have been lately. Pakistani team walks around with the pride of their whole country on them. That sense of responsibility is what gets them on the top. Is it unfair to ask for the same from the Indian team too..? Are they ever going to wake up.....?? -SK.

sunil buddaraju: excellent comparision and good sugestion.

Arvind Singh: Hi Sanjay! Nice excuse! Good to console you. Indians are socially, academically, ethically superior and more priveleged that's why they lose to Pakistan. What a great reasoning! Probably that's why we have been beating Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies so consistently home and abroad (check our records, dude.). BTW, India started losing so many matches to Pakistan only after the advent of Imran and Miandad in Pakistan before that our record was more or less even.

Santhanam Mahesh: Very truly said. Our team lacks fighting spirit. I hope they wake up before world cup.

Umar Chaudhri: confused!!....what was teh purpose of this article??? was it to tell the indian team to become more street minded? Or was it to label the pakis as 'socially inadequate', 'not knowing the meaning of ethics', 'less priviliged', 'less-educated', 'not knowing the dos from the donts', 'school education not being their priority' or 'socially inadequate'???

arjunan venkatesh: I feel the same as Sanjay. Also Pakis are India-centric whereas we are not Pak-centric.

Madhu Rayala: If this is the case, which i fully agree, then they should replace Azharuddin with Atul Bedade or Manoj Prabhakar or Kiran More who can do something in this department.

Mahesh V. Konduru: The article by Mr. Sanjay Manjrekar seems absolutely amatuerish. By comparing the "gully" team to the Pakistan team, is he trying to imply that they are uncouth and uncivilized people- as much as I would like to call them that, it is not the fact nor is it right. It is a shame that you would allow this piece to appear on your website without proper editing. Mahesh Akron, OH

ashley: I have only one thing to say: A nation of eunuchs DOES NOT breed street fighters!!!!

Farhan: I cant believe that i have just read this senseless article. What is it that Sanjay is trying to communicate here?
How could he compare pakistan team with a bunch "lacking communication skills" while comparing indian team to "more privillaged." it is absurd to accuse pakistani team.. "i am not so sure wheather they even knew the meaning of ethics."
let me tell you why india seems to lose more often than pakistan Pakistan has guts to take chances, has courage to try new talents, has patience to give talents time to blossom.
all these and many others are the qualities that both inidan board and team lacks...
Lastly, i hope that some one proff reads these articles before they are posted.

Pritam Datta: There are millions of people like that lift man, believe me. If it were possible to combine together all their anguish and despair all into one there would be such a bonfire which would be visible from the heavens !
All these common people of India most of whom are under-privileged like those eleven that comprise the "gully team", watch every game in a hope to derive a sense of pride, a self-satisfaction from a single day in their, otherwise, mundane lives.
I have been brought up in that kind of a lower-middle class society. When it burns in here, it kills every positive emotion within. Love, sympathy, forgiveness, everything. All that remains is bitterness, shame and anger . . . all in the form of lump right in the middle of the throat. Who does he go to with his feelings ?
Does anyone . . . anyone AT ALL, feel ACCOUNTABLE to this person's shame and anger ?
He is the same person who makes a run for the airport to get a glimpse of his favourite cricketers whatever time of day or night it is ?
Does anyone . . . anyone AT ALL, feel ACCOUNTABLE to this person's love and affection ?
He is the same person who spends hours and hard-earned, sweat-soaked money to get his ticket to a game.
Does anyone . . . anyone AT ALL, feel ACCOUNTABLE to this person's expectations ?
Yet when this person decides to show his displeasure in the only form he could, in a state of shock, anger and shame an unwritten book of ehics was thrown at him. The same book of ethics that the "gully cricket team" knows not. He was lectured about the spirit of game and LOSING, the spirit the "gully cricket team" knows not. He was condemned for his actions from the high pedestals of values, the condemnation the "gully cricket team" cannot stand !.
But who cares ? Sign your product endorsements, make your speeches, get your fat checks, blame people for their insensitivity, put the losses behind you and in the next match collect your tail between your legs and depart !
Our batsman did not do well ! We dropped too many catches !! We did not bowl well in the slog overs !!!. . . . What the hell do they think 900 million people were watching for the last six hours for God's sake ?! Do they really think that all these people are that stupid not to understand ?!! Do they think these are all morons ?
But they are !! THEY ARE MORONS !
Sanjay ! does it burn ?? DOES IT ??!! Welcome to the CLUB !

Rahul Singh: hey all! I am writing to command this colum. This is very bad. So just take this page off.

subhash: Sanjay! i dunno know why the hect u people just try to extrapolate the situation..the matter of fact is that Pak has tremendous bowling attack and we indians are not even half of them...this is just simple rule of thmb to win ODI..rather than just giving some scrap reason to support your logic

Akhilesh Kumar: Every body know it not the matter of talent. It's matter of killing instinct, naturaly everybody don't have the killing instinct. And here comes the question of leadership, I think indial captain and coach both lack the Killer Instict, It is duty of the Cpatain and coach to make this happen with avery player.
When I was child I use to go to RSS Sakha and know how they make it happen. Please don't take the previous sentence other way. It was just an example of leadership.
Thanks Akhilesh

Amit Kelkar: i dont think it is quite fair to compare the pakistani team to the "under privileged" team you played against. i think the reason pakis win more often is because they want it more especially against india. it is a matter of life and death for them unlike the indians for whom it is just another day at the office. also i feel calling the indians more sophisticated compared to the pakis is being a bit snobbish. by the same argument india and pakistan should always be able to beat aussies, the english and s.africans since those countries are more " privileged " than ours.

manav agarwal: Sanjay, would you rate yourself as a gully cricketer or colony cricketer?

Ranganath Vanaparthy:

Ranganath Vanaparthy: Hey Manjrekar, The comparison is very apt, keep it up. It was really fun reading your column - Ranganath

sundeep: Look who's talking. It is very easy to comment on the indian teams performance. But i think there is more to it than meets the eye. This article does not bear any significance. If only street fighters can win mathces then why are professional teams like South Africa and Australia huge successes. Indias dismal performance against pakistan cannot be attributed to one single reason.

Ankur Teredesai: Dear Sanjay, I have in the last 23 years of mylife; faced the same anguish, that the lift-man you mentioned faces. When I was in India, i have always sat glued to the radio in my college canteen, or to the TV in my house, or with friends in their homes. And everytime India has won, we have taken out rallies with the Indian flag in our hands flying high.. But everytime India has lost, Sharjah or otherwise, a gloom comparable to death has hung over the mind.
Gully cricketers and gully cricket is but one aspect of the truth. The other aspect of the truth is individual merit. How many of the Indian cricketers have gone out in the field thinking that showing the confidence that strikes terror in the oppositions heart? Why do we never feel safe even if there is a single Paki batsman yet to come in, that we will win the match..? I still remember the way I shouted myself hoarce in the only match that India won against Pakistan in Toronto, on that saturday..
I may be biased , but the general feeling around is that India wins only if Pakistan commits errors of doom.. If they are not in the mood Otherwise, nothing can touch them..
I sincerely hope your wish that more of gully cricketers will break our selectors windows soon will come tru.. otherwise god help the Indian cricket, and god help the Selectors who seem to show extreme narrow mindedness and short sight, when selecting players... Why otherwise would we find gully fighters like Amre and Bedade out of the game in the peak of their carrers?
best of luck to you for you've seen it all and may help in changing the view of the viewer...
sincerely, ankur teredesai

K.Ramesh: Very good article. The burning desire to success against terrorists & militants is lacking in Indian team.

K.Ramesh: Very good article. The burning desire to succeed against terrorists & militants is lacking in Indian team.

Sridhar Rajagopalan: I think the only street fighters in the Indian cricket team that i can think off are : Sachin Robin Jadeja and Mongia. All others are shy 'softies'.

Abey George: Well written article, Sanjay. You made a very good point here. Even we want those street guys in our team and start winning instead of giving excuses at the end of every game.

Kannan: What a bunch of nonsense! Bring on the real journalists and writers please.

anwar haque: Dear sir,I just read your comment on "why India cant beat Pakistan. I was ammased to hear you putting the Pakistan team as a gutter team. Attributing there win over us to there being "from the gutter" as you have so elequently expressed, seemed to me to be the real reason why we haven't had much success of late against them. Insted of admitting that they were better; prepared, mentally and technically, for the matches against India, and copying what they do as it seems as the clear formula for victory, you as it seems, most of us are hell bent on excusing the defeats to some preoccupation with "gutters". This takes me to my next point, competition. When you admit that you don't know how to fight, then I don't think that these players should go to war, whether it be against Eng., Pak. etc.. Loosers continue to accept defeat insted of rising to the challange. And, it seems to me that our current team however talanted, is full of loosers. These bunch of sorry excuse for cricketers are accepting defeat too easily as if that is the goal to be achieved by playing cricket. The sollution is simple. You sir, must take your mind out of the gutter and advocate from here on, loosers need not apply for the Indian team. We must get competitiors and sportsman like Kapil, who is truely one of the greatest. Also, I am appaled at the influence of politics, either it be geograhically, politically or relegiously based, influence on the game and sellection. For example, we must have X# of players from Bombay, X# from there, etc., and because Muslims account for 12% there for, must have one. This quota system, which is not doing our country proud, doing opposite of its well intended purpose, is sneaking into our national team and ruining its fabric with loosers. Just like the army, when you go to war, you want with you the best and loosing is not an acceptable option. At last, I am sorry if I offended any one, especially you, Sanjay, as I really got riled up with you earlier stated essay.

Jose Daniel: I fully agree with Sanjay. To get India back on winning record against the Pakis, step number one is to dump Azhar. Bring back Sachin or Ajay as captain. These two are real street fighters. Adios

Tarun Seam: Well said. India needs a cricket academy to groom youngsters into "tough" fighters, not just sissy talented wannabees of the present day team. No.1 Message : NEVER HANG YOUR HEAD IN DESPAIR, NO MATTER WHAT THE OOUTCOME OF A GAME.

Tarun Seam: Well said. India needs a cricket academy to groom youngsters into "tough" fighters, not just sissy talented wannabees of the present day team. No.1 Message : NEVER HANG YOUR HEAD IN DESPAIR, NO MATTER WHAT THE OOUTCOME OF A GAME.

Keeping a watch on Azhar:
Ritesh Sanyal: It was good to hear Azhar get a lucrative contract for his contribution to Indian and world cricket. However, it is time that as a captain he accepts responsibility for the poor performance of the side. I do not understand why look for reasons and blame the media when the players could actually accept thier poor performance. These guys are paid well and have lucrative advertising contracts and hence when they do not perform well they should bear responsibility.

Prasad Narayan: Sanjay Manjrekar's article, "Wanted: street fighters!" was an umpteenth piece relating to India's abject surrender to arch rivals Pakistan. Cricket buffs of India are now sick and tired of watching India display an abysmal performance against our neighbours. Surprisingly, Sanjay failed to mention the street fighter of all times, Javed Miandad. Besides, there are few other things I would like to draw my attention to. Pakistan's record against India is simply outstanding for more than one reason. 1. When they take on India, their mind says, "Its our No. 1 enemy", let's humiliate them. 2. All the playing eleven forget about their internal differences and aim at only one thing - 'To Win' 3. While playing against their rivals, there is one more thing that is in the minds of Pakis, "The whole country is watching us, so we better perform else become a target of their brickbats" 4. If at all Paksitan has performed badly and they foresee defeat, each one of them talks to himself saying, 'Fight it out until the last second, we can still win'. Wasim Akram in one of his recent interviews had rightly stated, 'Indian team is too mellow'. He also commented that playing excessive cricket has burned his players but whenever we take on India, we are fired up. In contrary, do we hear any such forthright statement from the likes of Azhar, Gaekwad or any other player. Its a clear indication that we play against Pakistan like any other opposition while they give more than 100% and we've all seen the results. There are other factors too like for instance, we lack killer-instinct. How many times have we snatched victories from the jaws of defeat ? We have lost so many matches after being on top, let alone pulling one back. The captainship also matters a lot. Imran & Akram have always led from the front. How can we expect Azhar to inspire his teammates when he himself is struggling with the bat. It's a harsh truth that Pakistan is capable of beating India 8 out of 10 times even when out of their sleep simply because that's what they dream of. If the team is united they are capable of giving even South Africa a run for their money. We've made Akhtars & Saqlains as the best fast/spin bowler in the world while rest of the playing nations would simply opt for Walsh, Donald, McGrath or Warne (even when not in the best of forms). The bottom line is a student becomes a doctor only when he puts his heart and soul to it and aspires to become one. He will only be making a fool of himself by keeping the books open just for the sake of his family members while actually thinking about something else. To do well against Pakistan, just follow their approach and try to be equally aggressive. If the players cannot read their minds, they should read the Interviews/Articles of some of their players, journalists, read the newspaper 'DAWN' to understand the difference. We can only do well if we take a leaf out of Pakistan's book. No exchange of pleasantries on the field, do not celebrate until the match is over, Tit for Tat, show more often your body language. Lot of things also needs to be changed from the grassroot level. We got to get rid of the quota system, the board members should only be players who have played at the highest level for a minimum of 25 odd matches. How stupid of them to have included Mohanty for the World Cup squad without taking him to Sharjah ? Poor guy, he has said a few times that he will give his best shot in England. Hope he does not turn out to be a Sunil Walson who did not play a single match as a member of the victorious '83 team. Still wouldn't hurt me if we lost to Pakistan only outside of India! Sincerely, Prasad Narayan Fremont, CA USA

Rudrava Roy: I agree wholeheartedly with Sanjay's viewpoint. Indian circketers do lack the killer instinct, to qoute the oft quoted phrase again!

Rajeev Sharma: Mr. Manjrekar, At this moment we should stop yelling advices that we should bring these type of player or that type of player, but now we should work on the players what we have!. We should play descently and win. For winning i don't think that we should have street smart people.Dravid,venkatesh,srinath,sachin,kumble etc are the same people who have brought glory to INDIAN cricket.Then why we are losing faith in them, The need of this moment is to encourage them and extract the best from them to win the greatest cup of the game. Best regards, Rajeev

Nadeem Siddiqui: Sanjay Manjrekar's column reminded me of the old lesson of social sciences learnt in my early college days -- every event has a structural explanation ivolving classes, i.e the classic struggle between haves and have-nots. I think it is extremely faulty to draw an anology of such a kind because there is little similarity between "gully" cricketers and Pakistani team albeit the fighting spirit. Pakistani team does not lack communication skills and is neither socially inadequate in terms of their behavior on and off the field. Many members of the present outfit are eloquent and well versed in cricket and small things related to everyday life. The gully cricketers in Manjrekar's example lack self-confidence and are struggling to prove their superiority other than cricket. This is not the case with Pakistani cricketers, they have proved in the recent past that they could overcome all the obstacles and problems and could achieve their goal of glory rather easily. There is no match between the strategy and calibre of cricketing skills between Pakistani team and their Indian counterparts(minus Tendulkar). I think the Indian media and cricketing brains should realize that Pakistani team simply has outplayed them in every department of the game. I think another inadequate try at structural explanation fail to suffice in this case.

Rajiv Viswanathan: I think Sanjay Manjrekar has hit the nail on the head.From one look at the two teams it is clear that the Indians are a very sophisticated lot off the field with the skipper leading from the front here.If only he did the same on the field , I think we would be much better off.Don't mistake me,I have the highest respect for Azhar the cricketer and he has always been one of my all time favourite batsmen.HIs contribution to Indian cricket cannot and should not be questioned. A gentleman par excellence and a great ambassador of his country, as a scheming tactitian he cuts a sorry figure.I agree with Sanjay that what the team needs is a bunch of street-smart guys who can wrest the initiative from the opposition.

Haider Shah: Sunjay or whom ever, Loosers always makes excuses, there are only a few brave souls who actually learn from their failuers. It seems to me that you are not one of them. Pakistan cricket team is a wel-balanced, wel-educated and a well trained team. Do not be comparing my home team with your trashy neighbours at your home town. Unlike the Prepy's (your Colony boys)may be the gully boys were putting more efforts or maybe they were simply more talented, who knows this is just your fantasy. If you look at Indo-Pak over all records in both one day and test matches Pakistan has won more matches. Yet the team has changed numerous times since 1947. Lets see what makes them better team. Physical fitness, unlike the lanky Indian players who reley on singles and midfield runs compared to Pakistan team which is capable of hitting further and scoring more boundaries. Faster more intense bowlers rather then spiners and medium pace Indian bowlers. Indian team might have individual talents but colectively they simply suck. There is no communication and they all seem quite mad and upset at each other. Pakistan team might be camray shy yet they can all talk and boost each other. They play more aggressively like men, and are more focused. Only the low self esteemed individual worries about his image, or talks about his living standard or education level. This is an Indian mentality where material is most valued. Where one lives in a dream world of belonging to a super cast. One needs to be humble and be proud of his achievements not race or where he comes from. You can brag about Indian players personalities and attitudes all you want but Pakistani players have more class, atleast on the field. When camara is focused on them you can actually see their height and faces. Most of Pakistani players are youngsters and perhaps only have high school diplomas. But back home they have good jobs and belong to good familes. Compared to Indians who are older and perhaps have the same education level. But this is a sport where a Masters or a PHD degree is going to go waste. One doesn't need to be a book worm to be a good crickter. Only skills and coordination matters that comes through practice. At present Pakistan team is better and more well rounded. Maybe if India puts more Punjabies in the team then there is hope. Other wise rest are all dreamers and proud of something that nobody in the world gives crap to.

K. Partha Sarathy: I agree with Sanjay Manjrekar 100%. Gamesmanship is not a part of Indian cricket team. Remember soccer is the common man's sport in India.

Sriram Duvvuri: Sanjay, I agree that the Indian team has become more of a spoilt upper class bunch of snobs. They are pampered too much by us fans, which is sometimes sad. Cricketers are not gods - and when you become a new cricketer, you haven't achieved anything as yet.... You need more people who just come in and give all their commitment, not worry much about the "social graces". Now, they should feel like the "Cornered Tigers" - unless they want to become a Social Disgrace.

Sree Balaji: Kudos Sanjay!! That was a good viewpoint. But the last sentence that shows respect to such rough cricketers does not help the gentleman's game get anywhere. Winning is not everything.

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
Jerry: Some one needs to give Sanjay Manjraker basic leasons in manners. He is a reputed cricketer and instead of acting like common mongrels roaming around the streets it was desireable that he should have written this article in sanity. He loved so muach the fighting sprit of Gully crickters (Sarcastically though) that he adopted their language too. Sanjay I astonish that you were a man once compared with legendary Gavaskar it was perhaps this difference of approach that you could never sustain the position. Jerry.

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
Hemant Yagnick: Dear Sanjay, Good point there about the mindsets of players in your colony/gully matches. Well, I was also reading Wasim Akram's interview on Rediff sometime back. Imagine him saying that the Indians "too mellow people" in other words we lack the killer instinct on the field. I believe he is right to a certain extent. The Indian team needs some "going flat out aginst the pakis kind of guys". Four of them won't do. We need all eleven for it. Hoping for some better cricketing times for India in future. Sincerely, Hemant

Venkat Ayyar: I am afraid until we become Muslims we cannot beat Pak.We have Prey-type mentality,they have PREDATOR-TYPE.We are bred to be too Shy and cautious.We have good peripheral or Rod-vision to spot a Predator so we can run early.Muslims have predator type sharp central or cone vision.Whereas they are the Hunters we the Hunted.Azhar is cool like a cucumber Wasim is like a Storm--having a devastating effect on oppositionWe must aim to have PREDATOR mentality,develop sharp Cone vision and go hunting and deffinitely eat meat.Indian ethos or Philosophy is not condusive sporting or any success.we are the worlds best losers.

Vinayak Nadgir: Pak makes our tough bunch of street fighters look like clean kids. Let us not fall into the trap of equal talent. Our spear head Srinath cannot match Shoaib'pace or Wasim's pace and guile Waqar or even Zahid. Stats wise he is more of Aquib Javed( wickets per match etc).The less compared about our other bowlers the better. Get a couple of bowlers who can bowl at 155kph for long spells and then we can think talking about equal talent. I have not even mentioned the spinners Saqlain and Mustaq. I only hope that India wakes up to the fact that Bowlers win matches(especially test) and batsmen may at the most save it(test).

Balaji Reddie: Watching the alst league match against Pakistan in sharjah , one saw the way Rahul Dravid was upsetting Shoaib Akhta by nudging him , complainin that he was in the way , etc. This surely upset his line and length and now I feel we have burst the Shoiab bubble because he did not make an impact in the final as well . In that sense , yes . I do think we need some cricketers who can use skills other that their natural criketing talent . We need to have one member who can psychologically disturb the concerned batsman / bowler . I remember talking to Bishan Singh Bedi when I was in college and he had come down to Bombay for some engagement . He had told me how he used to hurt Viv Richard's ego by having a forward short leg . This prompted him to go for the big one and it invariably worked . That's when he said - More than your talent , you need to psychologically win the battle.....

Raghuvir: A very apt analogy from Sanjay. I guess one point that emerges very clearly is to stay focussed with a clear intent to win. Thats what Pakis do especially when playing India. Sanjay correctly conveys that the "Street fighter" spirit is required - but remember that does not mean one has to stoop to "gully behaviors". Harsha Bogle had mentioned about Leander Paes. He embodies the spirit - stree fighting - with sophistication and a will to win. Wasim Akram too had correctly conveyed the spirit of a Paki - "woh chalta hai, apne yahaan nahin chalta hai ! Hamen to jeetke he rehna hai" Now c'mon Indian Cricket team, can u all memorise those few hindi words for heaven's sake ?

kal: well, Finding excuses is easy for the Indian team than Victories. I don't know the reason for their failures

Devang Sheth: Message to Sanjay I totally agree with you, but would like to make one more point. Pakistan have real fast bowlers and India don't. They can scare us and in response we can do nothing. I am surprised over a long time how come India can never produce fast bowlers and pakistan can produce so many !!! I have some indication for that query. 4 years a go I was a student at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. We have many indian and pakistani students and we used to play cricket together. I remembered when I played street cricket back in Baroda, we always played with tennis ball. Pakistanis play with tape ball. In case you don't know what tape ball is, they take tennis ball and put cello tape on it. That ball when thrown resembles season ball. Pakistanis never plays street cricket with simple tennis ball. They are grown up playing with such tape ball and get the necessary skills from very beginning. Solution: if we indian are given free cello tape for street cricket, we can also produce fast bowlers !!! It may break some more window glass though !!!! Thanks

Deven: : Great article. Sanjay has put our thoughts into words. Good work, keep it up.

Ken Rayan: Dear Sanjay, I am sorry, I can not totally agree with what you have mentioned. Yes, I agree that India needs a street figher. But do not compare Pak. team to a gully team. You should understand that when it comes to India/Pak. Pak. emerges the better team. Do you know the reason(of course, you should know, as you were part of the Indian team), Pak. always plays to win and India always plays not to loose. Thats the basic difference. We always choke and have a psychological disturbance against Pak. especially after from that huge sixer from Javed in the last ball. So, please do not under estimate the capabilities of the pak. team and it is time to realize our weakness too. In my opinion Pak is the better team atleast in the India/Pak ties. We lack motivation, our capton is not interested in motivating the team. So, we are paying the price now, and also I am sure we are getting ready to pay it next month too. Thats the curse on the Indian team where you have skills and under utilized.

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
Padman: What else u need more than a world cup win? Ask Pakistan to win us in a world cup which they have not done till now. They are yet to to win us in a worldcup match. ha ha..

The Sanjay Manjrekar column:
Rama: I am sorry to say but this article was very poor. The comparison is ridiculous to say the least. Rediff should be careful in choosing articles to publish even if it is from some respected figure.

Padman: Basically i would say all this. Azhar-obviously the better choice as captain if not pressurised unnecessarily. Sachin-nothing to comment about his cricket.He is cricket Ganguly-Luckiest in the world bcos he sees the master blaster on the otherside. S.Ramesh-is a good pick and man to watch apart from Sachin. RahulDravid-Man who can do wonders when needed.much depends on how he rotates the strike. Jadega-Man starts his batting in 45 overs and gets a good total.reminds me of Kapil(man of Zimbabwe match) Mongia-might not be a good bet. RobinSingh-Should do really well with his medium pace.he reminds me of Jimmy Amarnath(man of 1983.) Kumble,Srinath-good bet. Prasad-ok..but not a good bet. Agarkar-man to watch.We can be sure that he gives the needed break. Chopra,mohanty,khurasia-maybe ok..but not unless they perform well.

Ravindra HS: Yes, Sanjay. You are perfectly right in your thoughts. Just the psyche of the being playing against Pak is seems to be demoralising the indian team. Other pretty I observed was, whenever they beat Pak, they celebrate in a style and then onwards they wil start losing at least 4-5 before bouncing back. I should be raito is like 1:4. More than the gully cricketer / street fighters, we need the players to have the basic killer instinct right up to the 10th. Ravindra

kashyap: I agree. But this 'street fighting' attitude can be fostered by people around the team. Our team has a liberal philosophy of 'doing our best' out there. What it needs is the raw determination to WIN, WIN WIN.... May be they should see 'Chariots of fire' or 'Rocky'

Shielesh Damle: Sanjay has forgotten Indian debacle this season didn't started in India against Pakistan but it started from Sahara Cup 98, One-off test in Zimbawe and in New Zealand where he himself was present and doing commentry. As far as beating Pakistan is concerned Sanjay has also mentioned before even Ravi Shastri also mentioned long back. Indian team and Indian Govt offcials are busy in making friends in Pakistan. I do not want to comment on Govt officials but making a friend in Pakistan team is upto an Individual. One thing certain Indian team will not able to generate a will to beat Pakistan team on the field becuase of their friendship. In my opinion they should start treating Pakistan team as enemy then only Indian team will be able to beat Pakistan team. In fact Pakistan is enemy country by its birth and it can be never friend of India. 50 years history is proof of this fact.

Prasanna Chitturi: Interesting article. Interesing angle. But I disagree with Sanjay's last paragraph where he proposes a solution. True that a fighter like Kapil Dev will help. But the solution lies in paying the players only if they perform. And paying the team only if they perform. And most importantly firing the selectors if they don't do the job. And getting a good coach like the Pakistan team is getting from South Africa. This man has a proven track record of taking a loosing team to the top of the South African leage.

Deepak Puri: Hi Sanjay, First of all I would like to tell you how big a fan I am of your graceful batting. I do agree that Indians lack the instinct to play like the "gully" man but that does not explain India winning over Pakistan in the mid 1980-'s(before Miandad's sixer turned the fortunes) I think that we are in awe of the Pakistanis and just don't believe that we can beat them on a regular basis. The world's greatest One day team South Africa (personally) have more gentlemen than hooligans.Thanks for keeping the cricket lovers here in the US current with your expert comments. Regards, Deepak Puri

Balasubramanian: Sanjay is right. This is purely a psychological stuff. There are similar examples in other professions also. But I am afraid, the Pakistan cricketers may feel affended by this column.

Ravi: Dear Sanjay : I'm a regular visitor to the Rediff site and have been noticing your columns. This is my first reaction to the present article. You have just hit the nail on the wall. You're 100% right. I've always said (crudely)that the Indian team lacks balls when it comes to facing Pakistan but you've put it gentlemenly. You are going to find a lot of supporters for your column. Keep up the good work. Ravi

M.K.Suresh: I have lot of respect of Mr Sanjay Manjrekar as a criketer. After reading this article i have come to the conclusion that he can's express his thoughts properly. What India requires is killer instinct whethter they are your home team or gully team. Further i take strong exception for comparing Pakastanis with your gully team.Communication between pakistanis is loud and clear that is to win whereas the well educated indian who are suppose to be good in communication lacked this aspect.

anoop bhaskar: Hi Sanjay, I do not agree on your views, i believe the best way to beat the Pakis is to beat them at their game - by not losing cool. If we do not loose wickets and if the first spell of Akram, Akhtar and Saqlain go wicketless, Pakis heads start to droop. In all the matches where we have beaten them, this has been the key issue - we have lost less than two wickets by the end of the thirtieth over The key to Pakis success is that they come out charged - batting or bowling. If we are able to contain them in the first fifteen overs - either get three / four wickets or score over 70. Our chances of winning are very bright. One should remember every team has its strengths and weaknesses, we would be making a mistake if we copied the Pakis style, just beacuse they do well against us. We have to come out with our own stratgey to contain them. More so we need to believe, we can do it.

Suresh Anand: Although there may be some element of truth in what Mr. Manjrekar says, I would suggest that the Indian team ought to master their art and team work, rather than blaming away their defeats on bullying tactics of the opponents. If the players are self assured, they will not be bullied. May be they need some psychiatric counseling

Sameer Chivate: Dear Sanjay, What exactly do you mean? The players in the current Indian squad are not good enough to beat Pak based on their talent alone? This is the best XI (or 15) we have, and if we go on to replace some of them, we will necessarily have to compromise on talent. Also, do you imply that the current pak team is lacking in talent? Yes, I agree that they are more aggressive than Indians, but at the same time they also have the talent in abundence. So the only point I can take is that we should be more aggressive and spirited. And changing the way of thinking is not easy!! Regards, Sameer.

sairam: This is fine but don't u think the article projects pak in a bad way ( when u indirectly call them underpriviliged and all that.

sairam: This is fine but don't u think the article projects pak in a bad way ( when u indirectly call them underpriviliged and all that.

Nikhil Shah: Bang on target , Sanjay, bang on target. Pakistan has always suffered from a persecution complex and badly feels aggrieved and under-privileged. They have to compensate that feeling with victories over India. India always seems to accept defeat like the elder brother who normally keep quiet when the younger one becomes aggressive and fights knowing very well that these victories are not important.

r d kamath: i couldn't agre with you less,sanjay..when it comes to an indo-pak match we play two notches below whereas the pakis are onenotch above in real life too it is the backbenchers who do better later on rather than the studious frontbenchers

Pradeep Mahadeshwar: Very True !!! So far Javed Miandad (at Sharjah),Salim Malik (at Calcutta) and Manzoor Elahi (not even a regular batsman) again in Sharjah have taken away matches from India's grasp by sheer fighting spirit. How many such matches have India taken away from the Pakis ??? Winning spirit and determination is what we lack.