In the first of a series of weekly chats on cricket, Prem Panicker appeared on the rediff Chat at 1300 EDT/1000 PDT. Following is a transcript of the chat.
Also see Prem's blog: http://prempanix.blogspot.com
Prem Panicker : Good afternoon/evening all, as applicable
Prem Panicker : Am here, and will stay put for an hour or a little more. With the best will in the world, may not be able to answer all your questions -- but do post them, and I will see if I can't, over the next 48 hours, clear any I haven't answered on here
Prem Panicker : One word -- okay, two -- at the outset. Today, December 1, marks the 10th anniversary of the day our CEO, Mr Ajit Balakrishnan; our editor in chief, Mr Nikhil Lakshman; and some few of my colleagues got together in a little room in Mumbai's Fort area, and launched Rediff.com. We've come a long way since -- and a major reason we have survived the dotcom turbulence is thanks to the readers who joined us then, and who have not forsaken us since. On behalf of Rediff and its management, our thanks to all of you
Prem Panicker : The one other thing I wanted to get out of the way early was, I suspect there could be a lot of questions relating to matters I have repeatedly, and at times extensively, commented on in my blog. This is the address -- http://prempanix.blogspot.com/ In the event I don't manage to answer your queries, do check this site; you will prolly find my take on some of the salient points relating to Indian cricket on there already.
saip : Prem,Once and for all confirm the following for us :-)1. Do you or do you not hate SG?2. Do you or do you not hate JD?3. Did you or did you not switch your allegiance to Dungarpur? (Remember you criticized him some time back, and you haven't said anything about him in the last two days, so, you must love him now.)4. Are you or are you not objective? If you are objective, every time you criticize anyone from JD camp, you shall criticize someone from Pawar camp also, it doesn't matter to me if you had criticized earlier.5. And finally, I can't stop asking this, do you hate India?Remember I will come back and ask similar (could be same, or just change some names here and there) questions later, even if you clarify this for me now.Now, get down from that moral high ground that I claim you stand on, and say something bad about the team management :-)Seriously, thank you for the blog, and fuelling some spirited discussion. Hope you can figure out a way to enable comments, and provide minima
Prem Panicker : 1. I do not hate Sourav Ganguly. 2. I have met Raj Singh Dungarpur thrice in my life and spoken to him on phone maybe thrice more -- to see that as allegiance, past or present, is purely in your own mind. 3. I am opinionated, not objective. I don't need to be. 5. I don't hate India, I love it. By the way, from the tenor of your questions, is it fair to ask -- do you 'hate' me? And one final thing -- don't threaten, please. That bit about repeatedly asking the same question, even if I respond, is juvenile. As to the the blog, thanks mate. Been fun, and pretty soon, it should return with comments in tow
ragothsun : hi Prem, Congrats on the 10 year marathon. Do you think Saurav should be in the eleven ? How would Rahul and Greg decide on this ?
Prem Panicker : I believe he should be, yes. I have no clue how Rahul and Greg Chappell will decide one way or the other, what I stated is what I think
tony : What is the weather looking like Prem?
Prem Panicker : Here? Chill, and getting colder :-)
krish : There is a saying in Tamil " Aamai puhunda veedum, Ameena puhanda veedum Uruppadaadhu" which means, as you know, If tortoise (due to flooding) and Evictor (due to debts) enter into a home, it is not fit for living. The present day Indian politicians should also be added into this category. Wherever he ventures, only chaos will prevail. How different Mr.Pawar is? Do you thing that any body can be better than the erstwhile managers of BCCI?
Prem Panicker : I believe that Pawar has certain proven administrative skills, that the likes of Bindra have been there done that before, and can make a difference. Will they? I have no means of answering that -- it depends on how much of a will they have. Anyone with some common sense can make a change for the better -- whether this lot has the will to do what needs doing, is something the coming days will tell
masood : What will you say about Zaheer Khan`s exclusion from Test series?
Prem Panicker : I don't recall reading a fitness report anywhere, so that aspect I have no knowledge about. He did however play at the domestic level and did very well -- given that, and absent any logical reason for his exclusion, it is frankly surprising. And not a bit shocking.
Kapur : Good afternoon Mr. Panicker, My question is to you that can we in India take tough decisions.
Prem Panicker : We can, Kapur. When facing threat, or dire situations, external or internal, we have. What we seem to lack IMHO is to do that on an ongoing basis, and without being pushed into a corner
Sriram : Prem,I am a frequent visitor to your blog. I have a question on your recent post about Nel figuring out a way to keep dhoni silent. How to counter that line and length ?
Prem Panicker : It is a line that has been tried against Sehwag as well, and will be tried against any predominantly front footed player. The counter is to add back foot play to your repertoire, there really is no logical counter to that. A short ball you have to play off the back foot. If you can't, you set yourself up for that line of attack. I don't know if Dhoni can or not -- I haven't seen him play too much off the back foot thus far, though, and I thought it is this they exploited.
subbu : Hi Prem...hope you and loved ones are OK...first off, what is this tish tosh about having a test match knowing fully well that a cyclone is approaching?
Prem Panicker : Apparently the BCCI's scheduling committee works in a vacuum, absent external impulses/inputs. I mean, boss, what can I say? Any idiot knows to take his umbrella with him when he ventures out in Chennai in Oct-Nov-December. And we are all fine, thanks much
Rolwin : On a slightly different note, what has happened to Rediff Radio? Have not heard the last three Panix Station episodes because the site keeps claiming it is undergoing an update. Over a month now.
Prem Panicker : Rediff Radio has for operational reasons been indefinitely suspended; it will likely resume at some point in the future, I doubt though it will be in the immediate future
Kowsigan : G Chappell wants to offer new challenges to keep Tendulkar engaged. Sachin has nothing to prove anymore to anyone at the top order scored enough runs, centuries etc. How do you figure if he is positioned down the order as a finisher etc. Gives Kaif, Yuvi et al chance to build into solid No. 3s, 4s & 5s, considering the future. Has enough experience to shepherd the tail. Can shift gears as needed. No pressure to face the new ball, not that he had handled that badly
Prem Panicker : I believe we have a lineup of finishers -- and we have more youngsters to draw from, besides experienced hands like VVSL and SG if they get back to ODI form and fitness. Where SRT has invariably been worth, when he carried out the brief, is in dominating, even terrorising, at the top of the order. While posting this response, I swear I could in my mind's eye see that WC game against Pak -- India going to chase, good total on the boards, Akram, Younis and Akthar on hand -- that opening blitz by SRT and VS pretty much did it for us. That is the role I would love to see him play, carefree buccaneering. If he for whatever reason cannot do that, IMHO it is perhaps time to consider whether the team's long term objectives are not better met by resting him for this form of the game and focussing his skills on Tests
Vinod : Prem, whatever happenned to L. balaji ? Why is he not even in the picture anymore ?
Prem Panicker : Vinod: Damned if I know. Of all the people suddenly out of the frame, the only one I can think of is L Balaji of whom nothing has been said, in any forum -- not about form, not about fitness. Very very strange silence.
masood : Is this the right way to uplift Indian cricket?
Prem Panicker : Which?
Madhu : Dont you think Dinesh Kaartick has been given a raw deal with his exclusion??
Prem Panicker : I personally don't see things in terms of whether one player has been given a raw deal. The point is only one wicket keeper can play. Dhoni has an additional skill set -- in that his explosive strokeplay can potentially be a game breaker. I think to try that option out is fair enough; if it does not work at the Test level, we still have Kaarthick, if it does, we have discovered yet another weapon. Incidentally, wasn't 'raw deal' the argument advanced, say, when Ian Healy was dropped ahead of a farewell 100th Test and Adam Gilchrist picked? Not equating Dhoni with Gilchrist, but I think similar late order explosiveness, if MSD can produce it, could be a huge plus to the Test team's approach
flute : Prem, Where do you think the Indian cricket will go in the next 2 years? I am not asking in terms of administration etc., but one thing that occured to me recently is, given our bowling resources and lack of a genuine , matching changing bowling option, may be we pretty much reached our potential. We are gonna languish as 2nd or 3rd , with a few wins and few losses. Don't you think we should try out some really fast bowling option we have and see if that helps with our composition? Pathan is clueless if there is no swing and Agarkar has his off days syndrome. What do you think?
Prem Panicker : I remember once asking a similar question to Kapil Dev. His answer then was, if you look at the personnel that won the WC, that team had no business winning it; the individual components were hardly earthshaking. The trick, he said, is to clearly understand the strengths and limitations of the available personnell, and to then figure ways of maximising that. The West Indies with four brilliant fast bowlers have had their share of losses; teams like Sri Lanka, with no one standout performer, have won. IMHO, this is what we have. Rather than throw up our hands and say ah, the heck with it, we can't go anywhere with these legs, it might be a better option to strenghten said legs
Agnarv : Most of our batsmen's footwork and usage of the crease is far from desired. Can GC fix this?
Prem Panicker : I sincerely hope GC doesn't start tinkering with the basics of each of our batsmen. They play the way they know how and they do it within their limitations. Virender Sehwag's footwork has been criticized -- by everyone except the bowlers he regularly decimates, to give you an instance. Tell you what, mate, I'd rather see runs on the board, than dance floor elegance in the middle :-)
rao : Hi, Greg Chapell was part of a comitee that voted Mark Taylor as a btter captain than Steve Waugh. Whats your opinion? and why?
Prem Panicker : I don't think GC is the only one who holds that view. I remember once a member of the Australian team who has played under both captains told me that Border is the man who showed the way; Taylor, the man who refined the team and gave it the guts to defy gravity; Waugh, the man who took a finished sword and honed it and honed it to a point where it could cut all that came in its way. I like Taylor as captain -- was he the greatest? I don't know -- I've invariably steered clear of such comparitive debates, because who in hell can at the end of it all give us the ONE right answer?
stupidprem : Prem, What quaifies you to be a self-proclaimed cricket guru? I think most of your analytical skills are myopic, biased and full with negative intonations. If we talk about cricketers retiring, why can't we talk about critics retiring? They don't add any value to anything anyway. Don't bother answering this... I will not be around to read this anyway.
Prem Panicker : Where did I proclaim myself a 'cricket expert', for you to ask my qualifications? Talking of stupidity, with due respect, why ask questions the answers to which do not interest you? That is wisdom?
subbu : Prem, of all the things that you've said of late, the loud protest against the atrocious use of "funeral rites" for living people and issues as a mode of dissent is commendable! Kudos for voicing outrage at this...this ought to stop...in every sphere!
Prem Panicker : Frankly, when I read that, I flashed back to traumatic memories of doing that for a father I did not speak to for a considerable period in time. I know how hard it was to do, and how cleansed I felt, forgiven almost, when I did. I realize from that, the value of what on the surface seems yet another 'ritual' our religion is embellished with -- and hence my disgust at its being misused
Jayesh : Prem, What do u think India's strategies shoulb be to win series against SriLanka? I was thinking rotating Laxman or Gambir with Yuvraj and Kaif. And bring RJSingh instead of Agarkar.Give me your thoughts.
Prem Panicker : Frankly, Jayesh, IMHO if India plays clinical Test cricket, it will be difficult for it to lose versus Sri Lanka. My personal hope is the team management realizes that this is its best opportunity, in actual match play, to fiddle with the various bits of the jigsaw, to see if there are different ways of putting it togehter, to in other words experiment with team orders, batting and bowling solutions, even fielding positions and settings -- because we have two great contests looming against Pakistan and England and the more answers we find now the better
rahulpkk : HI Prem, If you were in chappell/dravid's position, whom will you pick to final eleven..Saurav or Yuvi or Kaif?
Prem Panicker : Put it this way. Today, I would pick Yuvi just marginally ahead of Kaif; mainly because outside of skill sets, I personally believe in backing form and confidence. So the choice is between Yuvi and Sourav. I may have picked Yuvi on form and confidence alone, except I don't have a proper yardstick to judge Sourav's recent form with, outside of the domestic hundred recently. On balance, I would pick Sourav -- because you then start considering external factors, and picking Sourav in the 15 and not in the playing XI is not, at this point, to my mind a viable option.
demouser : I feel Greg has injected an amount of discipline in the team however senior he is. Do you like to add on that statement?
Prem Panicker : I think something is changing, and changing for the better. Fitness for instance seems improved. So do other factors. I think, too, that we really haven't had really severe tests yet, outside of the four games against SA. I'd like to really review what if anything GC has brought to the table, after the series against England, I thiknk that breadth of time will give us a sufficient sweep to make informed judgments
jyothish : what in your opinion are the major weaknesses of the indian one day team after watching the past 11 games ?
Prem Panicker : Inconsistency. You will find a batsman doing brilliantly well today and playing like a dork the next day. You will find a bowler today hitting the right line and length like a metronome, and spraying it around tomorrow. You invariably find no visible reason for either. I dont think every player can play at the top of his game every day, not in today's frenetic pace -- but I believe that if each player can hit a par and MAINTAIN it, half the battle will prolly be won. For instance, if say Pathan takes out the top three in one game, I don't expect him to repeat in the next -- but the team management I would think would at the least expect when he gets ball in hand that he will bowl the prescribed line and length, bowl to his field, and not give too much away. If the 11 on the park are consistent, we will be a good side; if foiur, five of them raise their game over par on a given day, we will be nearly unbeatable
shekar : Y gambir is given so many chances.?
Prem Panicker : I am not aware that Gambhir has done anything to be tossed out.
saum : Any update from Mr. Rahul Mehra of late? Been a couple of months since some of us who come to your blog send in our 2 cents for the case against the BCCI... just wondering.On a related note, would be nice if the new Pawar led BCCI actively seeks inputs from the likes of Mr. Mehra... he has a laundry list of things the BCCI needs to fix and how to fix them.
Prem Panicker : No, I understand that his petition is likely to come up for its next airing in court later in December. Be interesting to see how the new power structure reacts to him; will keep you guys poted
Nagaraj : Hi Prem, no doubt Tendulkar is one of the greatest cricketer and good person, but don't we treat him more than god ? , I mean the normal rule which applies to otheres don't apply to him. I never seen experts criticizing him any time
Prem Panicker : We are reflective of our main religion in that we have a plethora of gods, mate -- the one we most worship appears to be dictated not necessarily by his order in the religious scheme of things, but on the basis of our personal preference; who we deify in cricket too follows that pattern.
subbu : The only good thing about picking SG is that we can have closure on this issue. SG has been pampered enough that I don't agreee, Prem, with your point that we can sit in judgement of his batting only AFTER the PAK tour! No way, IMHO
Prem Panicker : I frankly doubt that you can decide about any player on the basis of a Sri Lanka tour where the first test may likely not happen; the second may happen on an underprepared pitch since Mumbai only knew yesterday it was going to host it, and so on. I also think the SL attack as it stands, and in fact even its batting lineup, will not pose the sort of questions that we can judge any player by.
Prem : ---Rediff's match report quality has taken a nose-dive. Since Prem stopped writing, it never was good -- what with Fasial Sharif before and now Harish K writing them. They hardly write good English let alone a complete report.Prem, do you think rediff would hire someone better to write them?--
Prem Panicker : We are right now in a state of flux. Harish was initially hired for one job -- it is commendable that he has, though not attuned to that mindset, pitched in and helped out when I left and was no longer in a positon to do it. The same goes for Deepti. Hopefully, Harish is learning as he goes -- and we will add to our staff as well.
krish : I fully agree with you that the main weapon of Sachin in ODI batting is taking the fight into the opponent bowlers' den of initial offence and demoralizing and softening them for the rest of the batsmen to feast on it. Whenever he failed in the past, others went into their shell and allowed the bowlers to dominate. Now, with Sehwag to give company and Dhoni and Pathan to do it later and Rahul, Yuvi and Kai to do the repair jobs if needed, there is no point in Sachin restraining his instinctive offensive approach against the opening bowlers. But think of the sentimental Indian, who will tear you to pieces at the very word of dropping Sachin from ODI. I think Sachin himself should think of it lest he may go the SG way.
Prem Panicker : If I thought of the sentimental Indian, mate, I wouldn't have been able to countenance the dropping of anyone at all, and our team by this time would comprise 150 members at the least. *L* What the hell, I get ripped for being anti-SG, might as well get ripped for being anti-SRT too while I am about it
shreek : I think the only reason for picking saurav was to give him one last chance to bow out of international cricket on a high note.
Prem Panicker : Or to prove that his form blip was temporary, and that his class is permanent. Could happen, you know.
abhi : Isnt this becoming a Ganguly bashing forum again?!!
Prem Panicker : Is it?
Kanes : What do you think of Saurau's future in Indian Team?
Prem Panicker : I think -- his form and his fitness being a given -- that he has a role to play in the team; that he can be a vital component. His biggest strength, when in his pomp, is his ability to tear attacks apart at pace; that makes him a potential gamebreaker in the middle after the first three, four batsmen have set it up. If he is back where he can do that, he is an asset.
Tendulkar : My bro Sachin has earned enough money and I feel that he is now playing Cricket just for the sake of it.Your thoughts...
Prem Panicker : :-) I am privy neither to his bank balance nor to his mind, mate.
hariharanv : Prem, Isnt it funny that Ganguly says he is ready to enter the team as an allrounder? His batting is in total disarray, he doesnt field well, his bowling is good only in tracks which have some juice. Isnt this a sign of desperation and dont you think this is not the right way for a player of such calibre and record to state during press conferences?
Prem Panicker : As far as I know, Ganguly has merely said that he is ready to play any role the team requires him to play. Even from my time of covering cricket, I remember VVSL, SRT, RD and many others making similar pronouncements at different times; I don't think it is something you need to hold against the player concerned -- what the heck is wrong anyway with a player desperate to get into the national team? I'd think I prefer that to one who didn't give a hoot -- ambition is not in fact a bad think. The 'all rounder' bit, over which he was being crucified, is a tag gifted on him by some selectors who really should ahve had more sense; wouldn't personally hold that against Sourav
Gaurav : PremDO you think it is more than mere coincidence that Yuvraj has shifted to a new level since Chappell took over ?
Prem Panicker : I would think GC had something to do with it; he said at the outset if I remember that one of his priorities was to define goals and to bring the best out of under achievers. I am in fact hoping that one of these days, reporters out there will actually ask players these pertinent questions -- a Bajji, say, when and how he decided he would go round the wicekt to left handers after resisiting that all these years; a pathan how he rediscoved that ball that slants across a right hander, then swings in late and straightens off the seam; a yuvi how he added mental strength to his repertoire. I woiuld personally love to hear more about that, than about 'Do you think Ganguly should play?'
murugan : Do think India will go in with 3 spinners and pair Ganguly with Pathan for the seam option?
Prem Panicker : I would be shocked out of my wits if we did that, frankly -- I mean, I thought the days of Sunil GAvaskar opening the bowling, and the INdian fielders rolling the ball from slip to gully to third man to fine leg to midwicekt to mid on to cover to mid off en route to the bowler to get the shine off and let Bedi bowl the third over of the innings was long gone. I mean -- the real problem with doing something of the kind is, it is incredibly sghort sighted. You do that against a Pak or an England, you get taken to the cleaners, so doing that for no real reason now against SL is IMHO absurd
h : hey prem? one private question!u from kerala?
Prem Panicker : I was born in Kerala, have lived in Chennai and in Mumbai
harshit : What is your acievement in cricket which enables you to analyse permormances of Sachin and Rahul?
Prem Panicker : None. If you open the day's newspaper, any newspaper, you will find in the editorial pages an editorial analyzing the Bihar results, or the Prime Minister's latest policy decision, whatever. I can assure you that the guys who wrote those editorials, no matter which paper you are talking about, have never contested an election; they have never been prime minister. So?
James : Prem, How good is rediff Radio for sports? Is it worth subscribing to it
Prem Panicker : The question is moot, since RR has been suspended.;
p : u suck
Prem Panicker : Confronted with an ice cream, I have been known to do that, yes.
aravinda : Prem while talking of consistency you say that you least expect Pathan will bowl the prescribed line and length, bowl to his field, and not give too much away.That is high expectation...not everybody can be McGrath.
Prem Panicker : Do we start out on the assumption that the basics cannot be done consistently? It is a bit like saying that to expect a journalist to consistently keep the basics of spelling, grammar and punctuation is unfair, not everyone can be Charles Dickens or Shakespeare or whoever.
irfi : Dont u think it is high time players like kaif should be given a permanent place in the playing eleven in test cricket?
Prem Panicker : I think that I'd like to see a situation where our squad of 15 players are all equally important, that there is a distinct possibility that any of them might step out onto the park in a given game, and that the choice of playing eleven will be dictated by the conditions, the opposition and the team's requirements in that particular game. This 'permanent position' thing has players thinking the India cap is theirs by divine right.
ak : Prem, Any comments on the upcoming test series between Australia and South Africa? I feel that SA has got a chance since Aus middle order is new and inexperienced; and if SA can get top 3 Aus batsmen out quickly (Polly and Ntini can do that), then the series shud be interesting.
Prem Panicker : I don't really have a take, boss. I saw the Proteas here yes, and I would think they are at this point one spinner shy in the bowling department. Vide the batting, I dont know what kind of form Gibbs and Boje are in. More to the point, to my regret, I have not been able to see a single moment of the Aus-Windies games, so I dont know if that dominant performance is indicative of the Windies continued collapse, or of Aus having regained its nous
avinsah : dont you think vvs deserves a place in odi's? given his past perfomance.
Prem Panicker : In the matter of scoring, he has had his good knocks and his bummers. I think though overall, no player who has to be hidden in the field, who you can take a single to even if you drive straight to him, and who is slow between wickets, has a place in today's ODI mindset. I remember reading that VVS was working on just these things; I have no means of knowing though what his current form in these areas is
dekaniga : Hi prem, Should Kolkata continue as an international venue for tests? Considering that they are bengalis first and Indians next ( I saw the matches live and was shocked to see the support SA recieved), should'nt the venue be banned for an year or two. Its a diff issue if a section of the corwd throws bottles, etc, but in this case the entire crowd was against us ( Indians :) )
Prem Panicker : I was shocked too, yes. But I also seem to remember hearing Sourav being booed onto the ground, and clapped out of it, in Bangalore and a couple of other venues. I think the whole situation, where we have allowed regional sentiments to obscure the fact that like him or not, the captain represents the country and should not be denigrated especially in front of a visitor, is unfortunate.
foo : If you were the selector, based on the current form and stats would you drop Tendulkar from the one day team?
Prem Panicker : On stats alone? No I would not -- but then, I dont think the decision really is about stats -- a player like Sachin can, winging it from memory alone, produce enough knocks over say a 12 match period to buck up the stats. In his case, my decision would be based on what role the team has picked out for him, on his input into whether he feels able to deliver that role, and my own feel on that question.
lolly : Is it true that Sourav actually did not bowl in the 2nd innings of the domestic tie, after he was selected as an 'allrounder' for the test team? & if it is true isn't that deplorable?
Prem Panicker : Sourav did not, as far as I recall, bowl in the second innings of that match. Whether it is because he had already been picked is not something I know -- how could I? And not knowing, I am not about to deplore or applaud anything. I have, though, in the past seen enough instances of national players, whether batsmen or bowlers, elect not to push themselves once it was clear there was no chance of a decision, and I wouldn't on those grounds alone fault someone
Gaurav : PremWhen do you think ideally ganguly should have quit as captain ? pak tour of 2004 ? his zenith of glory that was
Prem Panicker : I think around that point -- yes. Actually, one of the regulars on my blog mailed just yesterday, asking a question on these lines. I was intrigued enough by the subtext -- when do you really know? -- to mail him back saying I would do a post on that, sometime soon.
Indian : Prem: I am slowly getting a impression that unless something is said about your greatness you will not answer a question about SOurav contribution to Cricket in the East.
Prem Panicker : Indian: Wait a while longer, your feeling will 'slowly' get stronger and stronger. And while waiting, you might want to actually read what is being said here, about Sourav. I am not bothered about his 'contribution to the east' -- as far as I am concerned, the members of the Indian team are the members of the INDIAN team -- Sourav whether from the east or west or north or south or straight up above contributes as much to me as he does to those who come from the east
ets : do you think Balaji was a better wicket taker than Agarkar in tests, that too on subcontinent. We had seen in play in Pakistan. What has happened to him. I am not getting into regionalism, but Balaji can bat too.. Is he being ignored because he does not have mentors in the selection board or Board ?
Prem Panicker : I mentioned before, here, that Balaji's omission -- more to the point, the total, utter, complete silence on the subject -- mystifies me. I wish someone, somewhere, would actually ask the selectors for some clarification, a medical report, a form guide, whatever. It's like the earth swallowed him up
irfi : Dont u think tendulkar's prime is over and he also should be considered if performing well in domestic cricket?
Prem Panicker : No I dont.
SRT : On Selection of Sharad Pawar: Do you think Pawar can make BBCI better managing body? I am talking about the business aspect of BCCI. To make indian cricket team better is different story.
Prem Panicker : I would think so, certainly. He is a more than decent administrator; he has in his team members who have the experience and expertise in these matters. So if the question is CAN he -- I see no reason why not. If the question is WILL he -- I have no means of predicting that; I do hope, though, that he will
Narendra : Prem, DO you t hink Rahul Dravid should be continued as the captain till/for the next World Cup? DO you think its time we got rid of political cricketers like Saurav Ganguly until they get back into the game?
Prem Panicker : I don't know about the next WC and who should lead -- again, I think that we have had just two series. One against SL proved, for various reasons, too one sided; one, versus South Africa, was too influenced by pitch and weather and external factors to afford a fair measuring rod. I think to determine RD's captaincy future, you need to see what he does from the day he took over, to the day England leaves our shores. Fair enough to make a call then
Gaurav : Prem have youd ecided not to answer more than 1 question from 1 person ? If so i can stop asking and go to sleep
Prem Panicker : No. I answer all the questions I find on screen, then I refersh. It is likely that in the interim questions have slipped. Is this a no win game? If I answer too many from one person, the others can say I am only responding to one; you on the contrary feel I have only asnwered ONE of yours. I dont look at the name of the questioner before answering it, do note
BUNTYAURBABLI : off topic..Dont u think Martyn's axing was uncalled for even by ruthless Aus standards?? anybody else concur
Prem Panicker : It was pretty ruthless, sure. Interestingly so, considering what a key figure he has been.
BengaliBabu : Hey Prem Dada...How are you?Did you see what happened to Indian team at Eden Vs South Africa. Many such things will happen if Sourav is included in the team. What do you say?
Prem Panicker : Is that a promise?
shiv : So far your view about ganguly seems to be negative and arrogant.
Prem Panicker : That would be your perception -- that when I suggest he should play, I suggest he should bnot be judged ahead of the end of the Pak tour, etc, that is arrogant and negative, what can I say?
abhimic : Prem tell about your family
Prem Panicker : Sorry, maybe some day if I happen to find myself roped into a relationships chat?
udayan : What if Chennai game is washed out..Will ganguly be included in the second test?
Prem Panicker : Why should he not be?
irfi : Prem, dont u think tendulkar should not be selected if not performing well, for that matter any player?
Prem Panicker : Isnt that a no brainer? No player who is not performing well, within the parameters and expectations of the team, should be picked.
a : Chappell is using the Indian Divide to rule -- Somewhat like lord clive did in 1757 and the worst part is : Indians are appluding that...( looking at that even britishers did us some good in their 200 yrs stay -)should we have let britishesr rule india more - looking at an all indian repsonse to chapell - i am confused and hence the question?
Prem Panicker : Sorry? I mean, what really is the question here? Rule what? The man is on contract to deliver some things. His contract term is till WC2007 -- which is what, 24, 26 months more? Robert Clive? The British Empire? Geez
Gaurav : oops prem sorry for that. just as i posted u answered my second question. do u really respond to each and every email sent to you ? i tried a couple of times at firstname.lastname@example.org and didnt receive a reply
Prem Panicker : I try. I use Microsoft Outlook; it has its own spam filter. I tend to check the spam mail box only once in two, three weeks -- I have almost invariably responded to what I found in my inbox, though
Ruchir : Prem: Is your email ID on the blog profile active? I got a bounced mail when I tried to send you one on that ID.
Prem Panicker : Do not worry about the bounce, guys. I have a mirror of my office mail on gmail. That tends to get full and I don't always have the time to clear it out
Swadesh : Now Amitabhji is sick and suddenly a lot of people are praying for his speedy recovery. Who oraganises these people ? During Kolkata one-day match there were thousands of Sourav supports. They were united and fighting for Saurav's inclusion. How indians become united for Sourav and Amitji. Why we never become united when there are bomb blasts in Delhi or Our jawans are killed on Bengal borders by our enemies ??? Why we are never united on the issues of national interests ?
Prem Panicker : I have seen both -- I have seen people coming together in crisis, and being incredibly divided over trifles. I don't know the answer to this one, mate -- the guy who does, needs to tell the rest of us; it really is a sociological puzzle
Swami : Hi Prem, you may have answered this question. How did ganguly become an all-rounder ? That too in Test.
Prem Panicker : the three gents who can give you that answer are currently unemployed and presumably have the time to answer it, mate :-) speaking for myself, I think it was needless humiliation of a player who did not ask for it
vijayaraghavan : Prem, when Sehwag was coming up the ranks in the Delhi Ranji team, he used to bowl a lot of off-spin...among the non-regular spinners in the Indian team (Sachin/Yuvraj/Sehwag/Raina), he is the most orthodox? Why is he not more of a regular bowler in both One-dayer and tests in International cricket....to me he can bowl better off-spin than Carl Hooper of West Indies...plus he has Bajji for special tips when he needs them.
Prem Panicker : I think he is a very handy sp[inner in ODIs yes. I was wondering why he hasn't been used more. I notice though he seems to be getting more overs these last two, three games, fingers crossed hoping that continhues. also yuvi.
harshit : Don't try to prove yourself right by giving someone else's example. Try to point your highlight or else ?
Prem Panicker : I am not particularly interested in proviing myself right or wrong, assuming there are such definable attributes. People ask, I answer with what I think. Period.
jacob : Whats your take on Dhoni - is the guy a good enuf keeper to replace Dinesh KArtick?
Prem Panicker : I thought he is not quite the finished article yet, but to my eyes there has been significant improvement in his keeping. If you weigh the two purely on keeping skills, I'd prolly give Karthick the edge today -- like I said, his selection is interesting from the point of view that if it works, we have an incredibly interesting option in the late middle order
Mallesh : Prem can ganguly play in 6th position which is all rounder position in an ideal test team. Even though he got some wickets in recent domestic level . I think we can't consider him as an all rounder. if we include him as an all rounder we have to with out 5th bowler. I guess no place for ganguly in test team. what do you say. I we see his stats also he is better one day player than tests.
Prem Panicker : I doubt that Sourav is the bowler you would want say on a flat deck. I'd love to see him bowl if there are humid/overcast conditions, or if there is in the wicket something that affords seam movement. His biggest strength apart from wobbly movement is he keeps it wicket to wicket -- which suggests that you can use him as a potential wicket taker in helpful conditions, or use bhim in brief spells, to rotate bowlers around or to spell the frontline seamers, in conditions not as helpful
ct : Hi Prem, How is India going to sustain its test position at the top consistently.
Prem Panicker : I'd think we have the team to do it -- assuming we play together as a unit aware of what each component is expected to produce. I know I know, sounds cliche, but check out recent months and you will see that when we have done that we have done well
MayurC : Prem what makes you think given the current form and ability, that Ganguly should be picked over Yuvraj and Kaif?
Prem Panicker : In my answer to which of the three I would pick, I indicated why Yuvi over Kaif, I said why on form alone I would be tempted to pick Yuvi, and why in the present circumstances I would pick Sourav. You missed that?
premmmmmmmSucks : Prem, Do you think Agarkar or Singh deserve a place in test Squad ahead of Zaheer who did brilliantly in Duleep Trophy(including getting Ganguly on duck in both innings).In my opinion Zaheer got raw deal
Prem Panicker : In my opinion too. As mentioned earlier
a : based on one of ur comments - chapell has a dleiverable -- an indian win in world cup - with all the chrun that he has created and the overall damage - if he fails in world cup 2007 - do we crucify him
Prem Panicker : I dont know how you want to dispose of the remains; I do know that in a professional organization, when a pro is hired, he is given a brief, and his tenure depends on whether he can fulfil that brief or no.
Prem Panicker : GUYS, THIS WAS SUPPOSE TO BE FOR AN HOUIR, IT IS NOW CLOSE TO 90 MINUTES AND COUNTING AND IN THE MEANTIME, WORK IS PILING UP. AM FORCED TO SHUT DOWN... WILL IN FIVE, AND WILL IN SEQUENCE TAKE AS MANY QUESTIONS AS i CAN IN THAT TIME. THANKS ALL FORM THE COMPANY
Ameya : Prem, What do you think of yuvraj Singh's chances against Murali in Tests? Will he be able to cope up with the pressure? Do you think the way he handle's spin is good enough?
Prem Panicker : I think he can -- as long as he handles the space between his two ears -- handle pretty much most things thrown at him. I thought the same question was raised ahead of the ODI series, in fact it was suggested that Murali would devastate the Indian batting. Didnt see it happen, though
Maher : prem i asked 5 qs none answered.why u always replies asap if someone criticise u just avoid and be on topic, tum turant bahak jate ho, ok lunch is over have a nice day.
Prem Panicker : You mean you are the only person on here who has criticized me? Boss, each refresh brings 50, 60 questions. I dont have time to see wgho is asking, what his tone is and stuff, I click and as the qeustion appears on my frame, answer it
Arag : Prem, will this chat answers be ARCHIVED? Pls. let us know. Sorry if this was already informed earlier - I may have missed it
Prem Panicker : I believe it will, mate. I will check with the REdiff desk. AND WITH THAT, FOLKS, I REALLY NEED TO LEAVE. THANKS MUCH FOR THE COMPANY, HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT WEEK SINCE THIS IS NOW SUPPOSED TO BE A WEEKLY FEATURE. BEST, ALL, AND TAKE CARE. *GONE*