Rediff Logo World Cup 99
April 23, 1999

Weatherwise, and otherwise

Amazon: Hi Prem,
Both the articles written by you are Xcellent. I only wish these guys would take your words seriously and do something about it.
It surprises how these guys expect to win a world cup without a proper plan or strategy.
The management seriously need to do something about this.

Prashant Hegde: Hi Prem,
The column is well thought out with suggestions well backed up. I wish the BCCI would atleast spare some time taking some of your suggestions seriously. Even a half witted guy can understand that Indian team management has to get professional when all the other teams are well on their way.
I seriously doubt whether the likes of Lele would understand the gravity of the situation.
The apathy of the BCCI does not bode well for the Indian Cricket.
Thanks Prashant

Sathish Yerur: I firmly believe that this article should be sent to each and every member of the Indian Cricket board. I feel the board still has time to set things in order. Some senior players like Gavaskar, Kapil, Vengsarkar, Srikkanth etc. should all be with the team throughout the World Cup and give precious tips to th team. It is the responsibility of the board to ensure that such actions are taken which will keep the team in high morale and also have this will to make it. I think the Indian team basically lacks the confidence and the Killer Instinct like our neighbour Pakistan's team. It matters to put in your best and try 200% not 100%. In the final in Sharjah recently, the Indian did not put in their best in the fielding. They just threw away the match. Hope the board realizes this. The sooner the better.

Andy Ram: Prem I'm not in India . But I can sense the enormous buildup to the World Cup. All this because some trinket maker wants to milk the event to boost sales. All this financial inducemenst only suggest one thing to the players. Its alright if one fails. The going's been great even before its has started.
The simplest advice . LEAVE THE TEAM ALONE ! Remember what happened to Brazil in the World Cup ?

Deepak Sharma: Well thought out !, Prem. I think Prem has has a great analysing side to him, on top of his cricketing thinking. I always love his columns and perfectly agree to his viewpoints. Great stuff, and Good luck India for the World Cup 1999

N.V.Balaji: It's sure that you can't make the Indian Cricket Borad to Drink Water.I may sound a bit negative, but this what I feel: India won't even make super six and in case it makes it'll enter into that six with 0 points.And, obviuosly the board would have hazar reasons for the defetas,Our captain would like to forget everything and would like to think about the future ! (ofcourse, only if he's allowed to continue) and the media would negatively criticise the team and their performance for few days (until they get someother attractive news).This is not something new to the Indian cricket and its fans. In a sense, it's absolutely a waste of time for you to write all these columns and suggesting the cricket board something. balaji n v

Suresh Mani: Prem, Please Please, I suggest you religiously fax all your columns to the Indian Cricket board members, Board big shots and our cricket team. I am pretty sure there's a way to send stuff straight to our cricket team. I am ready to contribute to this effort in cash or in kind. We need to do this to help mother India perform well in the world cup. Thanks a million. Regards, Suresh Mani.

Manmit Madan: I think India needs just one THINKER-Prem. Getting more of others is, well, as they say-too many cooks...!

kamal: i agree with it

Samir V. Patel: Good Analysis Prem Expecting some more !

Kannan Srinivasan: Hi,
Read your article about team preparation for world cup... Good One.. But the team management and board should read it too... I also thought about one more thing about captaincy... Azhar has been named already and it will be difficult to change now... How about making Ajay Jadeja - A CO CAPTAIN.. That means Azhar will go for toss and select batting order and Ajay will be in charge of bowling... His shrewdness and leadership skills in field will take the team a long way. In this manner, Azhar is not ejected but maintains his captaincy and Indian team will show more enthu during bowling and fielding...

Shrikant Dharap: Great aarticle Prem. I think you are right about the team combinations needing a change based on the opponents. I must also congratulate you for a great quote " Azhar is Azhar ". In layman's language that means nothing, and that is what our dear captain is today. I pray that he proves us horribly wrong and he is certainly capable of that without doubt. Good luck to him and the team. I also hope that Sachin is in form which will mean a great treat for all those billion plus who will watch him. Off course I want Lara in form too. Though cricket is bigger thatn both these fellows, at this point of time, I rather watch them than cricket. Cheers Shrikant ps. Please don't worry about being blamed for criticism. I feel you do a great job.

SANTOSH PAWAR: Dear Prem, Again this is a very good, thoughtful and interesting article from you about the conditions prevailing in England and how our team needs to adjust to it. What i don't understand is that how come the people who are immedialtely concerned with India's cricket never ever think of any of these things. What the hell are they being paid for and what the hell is their job supposed to be? Good Work Prem, keep it up.

Manish Bhatt: My dear friend... U are forgeting to main requirement to win all matches is that all players should Concentrate in the jobs they do. It all depends on the day when the match is played. They did not have enough rest, so it is fine that they rest a bit...Imp thing is that bowlers should not allow opposition to score more that 200 runs and batsmen should make it certain to score more than 225 in every match.This could only happen if they concentrate on the game and do their homework of teams they play.

B S Chawla: Well said. Hope the sane minds(!) listen. Carry on. You are right to say now than to "analyze" later. bye

Shyam.s: An important thing to note is that the last league and super-six matches are not played on the same day and hence scope for manipulating games is very high just like the asian test championship.This could be sent to the organizers(though it might seem late) and a farce such as the one seen in lahore can be avoided.

Alwar: Prem : Good articles. These are required more for the players and the administrators than the readers.
In addition to faxing the copies to Board, why don't u reach these to the players either by fax or during ur interviews or melas that go thru now. Else, reach it to them thru Kumble's in which he guarantees that the messages reaches the players
Continue the good work.

Sajith Kumar: Hello Prem, Keep up the good work. I have a small idea but I do not know if that is practical. We have so much Public Interest Litigations filed in the court. Why can't some one file a PIL against the cricket board and all those fools wo are the management in the board. If this is practical we should do that. Because the Indian cricket team is a national team and not a team who the management of the BCCI wants.
Please discuss about that in your forth coming articles.
Once again keep up the good work... may be you can wake up the board and make them think!!!
Thanks and Regards

Narsimha Reddy Mudupu: Hi Panikar, It is great help from your part for the Indian Cricket if the Board follows at least some of your suggestion. why can't, the board request our great players to help our team in the mega event. And our great playesr also should take intiatives and help the team.Hope Board will wakeup atleast after reading your columns. thanks

Chandra Kakaraparti: Article Excellent. I definitely agree with Pan'kr that we should make use of the presence of our Past Great Players.

Abir Roy, Minneapolis, USA: Prem,
You seem to a genius of sports (read cricket)journalism. And as a mark of a real genius you have got a huge following as well. As a die-hard cricket fan in one of the mid-western cities of the USA, I have been watching the growth of And this is really commendable. Congratulations!
Please view this as a personal opinion only. Since this is my personal opinion and I am not a self-made ( thus self-proclaimed) cricket journalist, you are at liberty not to share my views in the general public page.
I have been an ardent reader of all the cricket columns on rediff. And most of them mke sense. One thing still confuses me. And this is a candid (and may be a stupid) observation. Till date I have not read one single affirmative column about the Indian cricket team or its members. There have been definitely lines or two sprinkled here and there for some of the luckier members of the playing eleven. But, most of the columns read like an autopsy report performed on a pre-historic dead body.
All our team needs right now is a power-packed spell of positive thoughts – in stead of what they could have done but could not do, they need to know all they can do and tomorrow is the first day of the rest of the lives. All these tremendously “IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS ” columns feed them with nothing but negative and self-pity.
As the editor of one of the extremely popular web-pages, hence, it becomes your holy responsibility, Prem, with your wonderful team, to try to uplift the spirit. All we have been speaking for the recent past is defeat. And lo and behold what we got. There is a direct co-relation between how we speak and what we get. This is because what we speak programs our sub-conscious which is the key to all our behaviors and performances. This is one of the key success principles. And we are missing that by a mile or two.
This might not make sense. And there is an extremely high chance of that. (But you certainly can verify this with the any sports psychologist or any psychologist of any worth). We can not farther pull down the morale of an already sagging team. Once a team is mentally down and out, these extremely analytical pieces NEVER help to bring up the morale. The state of mind is directly related to one’s self image. And self-image decides the level and quality of performance.
Please take the responsibility as the Editor and betray some rays of hope in the mind of the boys who will be defending the glory of our 100 billion which in the first place is a tremendous amount of responsibility.
We should not sound like we are in the fault-finding business. Does not matter whether the erring party is Azhar or Raj Singh. We should always know what we want but we should also be intelligent enough to take what we get.
So I am positive that this Indian team can pull off another great victory. And there is no such reason whatsoever for it not being able to do so. We have one of the best sides in the whole world. All we need to do is to extend our whole hearted support to the team . Let’s forget what they could have been and in stead concentrate on what they can become on June 20th , 1999 .
Let’s all of us make it happen. Let’s speak what we want : ‘Get the job done guys. You are the best. You can do it. And WE BELIEVE IN YOU.’ And see the magic happen.

vimal: no matter what calculation you put. if india wins their match in super six. they will make the semifinal(even if they start with zero). sit with pen and paper. TOP FOUR TEAM WILL GET INTO SEMIS. irrespective of group. and if india does not perform good in super six.. they should not get into semis. love vimal

Kishor Kapale: Hi! Prem, Your thinking is fantastic, hopefully or cricket board takes a note of it and make the most out of it. Regards, Kishore

Vidya Srinivasan: One of the reasons that I try and catch up with the World Cup section at the is to read Prem Panicker's articles. Nobody hits the nail harder on the head than he does, or with such accuracy! This article was a delight to read at the end of a long day.

Amol: People who stay in glass houses should not throw stones at the others.
This is in reference to Prem Panickers article 'With A View To A Cup' First to quote Mr. Prem Panicker: "To me, there is in this incident -- and in the entire hoopla surrounding the Indian teams's preparation for World Cup'99 -- the prescription for disaster in the making. Turn on the television, and every Coke, Pepsi, Brittannia are running ads that seem to indicate that the results of the tournament is a foregone conclusion.Switch to music channel, and we are flodded with songs and videos supposedly meant to cheer on th team."
and the rest of the article should follow suit..
To begin with , why complain of or grunt over or express horror when cricketers are lined for applying tilak on their forheads. It was foolishness and the media gaining some bucks out of the whole hoopla. But what is worse is Rediff lining up the cricketers and physio in their chat columns and inaugurate new software cricket games instead of leave them alone with their practice and other cricketing commitments. Prem Panicker little does realise that he too is cashing in on the same propaganda to promote Rediff as are Coke, pepsi, brittania...etc. then why eye their success.???
And can we leave our cricket team alone.?? Or atleast cheer them instead of speculating of what can be done and what should not be done.Its good to be concerned but that need not mean faxing suggestions to the Cricket Control Board.To me this foolishness on the part of a mature person who as a columnist (more as an analyst) has impressed with his views.
Mr. Prem Panicker should understand than he has got the electronic media under his belt and which encompasses only the graduate, learned, literate mass of the Indian population.not to mention the class which has the availability of this media. So Pepsi and Coke are pretty justified in firing up the spirit of natinality and cricket in the millioins of industry-workers, farmers, school children,and what have you....the mass which doesnt browse internet the first thing in the morning. So it would be nice if it was used for giving out information and statistics about how other teams are preparing (along with ours) for the coming tournaments and something that doesnt make people speculate about the result because some factors were not taken care of. For all we know the Board must have already thought of these factors (but they neednt fax us or Prem panicker, right?)
Leave them alone with their practice and believe in them for once. It could be that we might not call up Leictershire weather office and know the weather details, but we might still win the world cup.
Cheers and wishing our team the best of luck!

Our Sports Editor responds: For the record, neither Prem Panicker nor any other Rediff staffer 'hounded' either the team physio, nor Anil Kumble, to appear on chat. Kumble's presence was volunteered by his brother, Dinesh Kumble, during the latter's visit to Rediff to discuss the marketing of his CD-ROM drive. Dinesh Kumble was here at his own initiative, having telephoned the CEO of this organisation and requested time for a meeting. The physio occasionally uses Rediff's lease line to check his email and respond to family and friends back in Australia, and again, volunteered his appearance on chat. As for interviews being used to publicise Rediff, it might interest you to know that the greatest hits on the site are for the match reports we carry, and for the columns, not for interviews. An interview -- whether on Rediff, or in any other branch of the media, is merely the platform through which the cricketer and his fan interact, with the media merely being the conduit -- which, we thought, was pretty obvious.

Manju: I just want to Watch Tendulkar getting those arogant centuries against the best of best bowlers making them look like some minor county bowlers But as far as India winning or not I don't care a damn - they don't deserve it - unless it is won single handedly by Scahin like he won the sharjah cup recently - only he deserves it...

Subramanian R. Iyer: I am shocked to read this article. There does not seem to be an iota of sense in the mind of the BCCI. They are only after money and making fools out of our cricketers.
It also is very dis-heartening to read that Srinath has to bowl for 3 hrs at nets and has to face Gaekwad and Kokhinas in return when it comes to their batting. Where is the sense of responsibility on part of the Board. When they are making money out of campaings to promote cricket, they are tiring away our star bowlers by doing a stupid thing.
Very truly all the 11 members of the team are supposed to bat. Hence we cannot shun away with a excuse that our batsman did not do a good job and hence we lost. Its not amazing that India lost the test in Madras with the tail-end unable to score 17 runs to win the test after Sachin's departure.
Coming to presenting the cheques to the family of Raman Lamba and Ramanth Parker, the organising committee have insulted these two players by not respecting them and making a TAMASHA of the whole thing.
Last but not least by throwing out such a party before departure to the world cup is in itself putting tremendous pressure on the team to perfom.

Ravikumar DVN: Edged........and Dropped
Thats my worst fear. Must be yours too. When Ravi Sastri says that during his commentary from England, the agony will be too much to handle I think. We heard this many times during our recent trip to New Zealand. When it is biting cold out there in the middle, our fielders will definitely drop some. So, be prepared to hear this. Ganguly and Dravid ( who will be our main slip fielders apart from Azhar) will be better off making sure that Srinath and Venky wont carry any knives with them to England ;)
We need specialists in slips. We need them to hold onto those chances that come their way. We need atleast two more Azharuddins(the fielder) out in the field. Brijesh's first job must be this. There is enough daylight in England till 8:30 PM in the night. Lets hope Ganguly and others will pratice and take those catches well. On second thoughts, since everyone is saying that batsmen's job will be difficult, it is only wise to ask people like Kumble and Robin to step in and practice those slip catches than asking our batsmen to spend time on these things. Ganguly and others will be better off spending time with Mohanty and Prasad.
Let us debate few other factors that will affect India's chances in England.
Sachins backspasms : Thankfully weather wont contribute to Sachins backspasms as was the case in Chennai. We havent seen much of sachin's heroics after the back-breaking effort in Chennai. If Sachin can bat for four hours without any pain, Azhar will again be hailed as a great captain. Err..I mean... we will again start winning matches under his captaincy. Isnt it all too clear that Azhar's secret of great captaincy lies in the simple fact of how Sachin performs with his bat? Its very rare that we won when Sachin failed.
Seemingly innocuous Swing : Can Agarkar swing the ball and use those lovely English conditions well? Agarkar is a "wickit taking bowler". It is well known but seeing the way he is giving runs in the recent tournaments, Mohanty must be prepared to play more matches than he thinks. Remember those little few steps Amarnath used to take and bowl those deadly deliveries in 83? Do you think Robin Singh is capable of doing that? I personally dont think so.
Only our dear Venky will bowl well. I hope and pray that Srinath will learn to pitch it up rather than bang it in short. If you carefully observe Srinath, you will find one thing. If the batsman hits him for a four, this guy has started to bang it in short immediately. It wont work in England. Srinath, are you listnening?? Ganguly and Tendulkar will share 10 overs between them. Ganguly needs to watch Ranatunga, Tillekaratne, Cullinan and Hick. He will be bowling to these guys definitely more than others. Ganguly and Robin Singh will need to sit with Anshu and find the weaknesses in these middle order batsmen.
Can Ganguly deliver with bat too? In English conditions , Jayasuryas wont be of much use. We need more Dravids and Gangulys. We need guys who can work the ball around and take more singles. Since most of the matches will be low scoring ones, these two guys are very crucial for us. Hope they will do well. I dont like Dravid when he plays in India. But believe me, he will be our trumpcard if we are chasing less than 220 in those conditions. It all depends on how he tackles Donald, Pollock and Gough.
All in all, it will depend on how Dravid and Ganguly will play when Sachin fails and how much support Venky will get from slips when he finds those edges. Take care of these things, we will definitely reach semis atleast.

Mok: : Maan what are you doing at rediff?? you ought to be running bcci