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Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'Ganguly batting in top gear can win games'

'Ganguly batting in top gear can win games'

December 09, 2005 18:00 IST

As part of a series of weekly chats on cricket, Prem Panicker appeared on the rediff Chat at 1300 EDT/1000 PDT on December 8. Following is a transcript of the chat.

Transcript of Dec 1 chat: 'On form pick Yuvi ahead of Sourav'

Also see Prem's blog: http://prempanix.blogspot.com


 Prem Panicker : Good morning/afternoon/evening as applicable, folks. Couple of housekeeping issues ahead of the chat


Prem Panicker : Firstly, about answering questions -- last time, I think there were some 690 questions posted in the one hour I was here. With the best will in the world, can't answer, or even read, them all in that time


Prem Panicker : What I can do is take questions blind, in the order they appear as I refresh. Next week onwards, we will find a way to prolong the chat, and also field some of the unanswered questions and add them to the transcript


Prem Panicker : This week, though, it is the India Abroad Person of the Year awards function tomorrow and am swamped; will only be able to manage an hour. Do bear with us, we'll make things more user-friendly next week on. Righto, let's get this thing on the road.


Rohit : i just have query whether we need to pick SRV or RP singh in place of Agarkar
Prem Panicker : I don't know, Rohit, Agarkar seemed to be finding his rhythm earlier this season and has fallen away a bit since then; I'd think they need to give him the next game, and then make the call.


harrybahrain : Hi Prem Why India cannot produce a bowler like Glen McGrath?
Prem Panicker : Um. *LOL* How on earth do I answer that? We haven't produced any Thorpes either.


Pakorich : Hey Prem, whom do you think should open the innings for India?
Prem Panicker : Gautam Gambhir and Viru Sehwag; they've done their job thus far, I'd hardly start worrying about them on the basis of Chennai, would you?


ajit : On a fast track, wouldn't it be better to go with 3 seamers (IP, RPS, AA) and leave out a batsman/spinner? Will this be more effective against SL and also preparation for Pak series ?
Prem Panicker : Yes perhaps, Ajit, but I doubt the Kotla is apt to be a fast track. Never has been, actually


Ivan : Hi Prem, news here is sehwag is ill, may not play. Who should take his place? I mean who should open if he does not play?
Prem Panicker : If Viru is in fact not playing, I'd gamble big time, and have Sourav walk out with Gambhir, and bring Yuvraj -- or one extra bowler, as the conditions dictate -- into the middle. Be a very interesting ploy actually


the bride : Hi prem, good afternoon, had asked you last week for a swot analysis of Aus, Eng, Ind...are these the three best, on form?
Prem Panicker : You left out Pakistan -- those four teams are kind of ahead of the pack at this point in time, I would think; with South Africa the joker in the pack. One moment the Proteas look good, then they fade away again.


Chander : What is the best way to tackle Murali? In the air or off the pitch?
Prem Panicker : Doubt Indian players at state level on up will have problems answering that -- you *have* to read spin out of the hand, if you have to wait till it lands then you have no reaction time, it pretty much sets you up for trouble, no?


raj : What is the status of BCCI as a corporate entity? Does it fall under the Sports Authority of India?
Prem Panicker : It is an autonomous body not answerable to SAI.


rama : Hi Prem, The whole country is on sourav (he has second place after sachin in one days), unforunately he got a test cap instead oneday cap , i observe that the next one will be sachin, because he lost consistancy too. Is it because of their age or everybody got bored seeing these two faces for long.
Prem Panicker : Donno, the number of people rooting for those two players, doesn't seem like they have gotten bored. I'd think that when a player has done great things in the past, you expect him to do the same sort of thing each time out -- forgetting that as age, fatigue mental and physical and other imponderables catch up with you, your performance standards necessarily start dipping.


the bride : If you are a cricketer, can anything be scarrier than shoiab akhtar speeding in and then balooning a 60 mph delivery? :D
Prem Panicker : *LOL* Found that new weapon fascinating. As you say -- trouble with facing a Shoaib type would be the miniscule reaction time; most times you are making a snap judgment as he delivers and then backing it, no time to read the ball in the air and stuff. so then you make that judgement, anticipating the 150k delivery -- and get one half that pace, you are pretty much a sucker for it. Be great to see how the Indians cope.


Prem Panicker : Actually, Chander, if you think it through, the ones who do best against Murali are the ones who read him out of the hand, then play him to length -- going either right forward or right back, depending on the length he is hitting. Pretty much the best way to tackle any quality spinner, think about it


Dude : Do you think there is something wrong with Sachin mentally now where he just wants slowly accummulate runs or is it more physical in nature which has forced him to change his batting sytle?
Prem Panicker : I'd think it is mainly that he had a bit of a form slump and never gave himself the breathing space to get back into nets and work it out. You end up playing game after game, the mistakes remain and get magnified, the slump continues, and over time mental pressure builds up on top of everything else


sightscreen : Prem, cud u enable comments in ur blog?
Prem Panicker : Not yet, but the blog will be revised, with comments included, before the end of the year


Asterix : Ganguly has undoubtedly been one of the greatest players (especially in ODI's) produces by India..unfortunately, however it is clear that there is no place for him now..what do you think would be the ideal way for him to end his career? and avoid these rumours and fake excuses during each selection!
Prem Panicker : I'd think like any other sportsman's career, Sourav's end is pretty much in his own hands. Coaches, selectors, even us lot can debate all we like -- but if SG starts reeling off the runs again, all that talk means nothing; conversely, he doesn't hit reasonable form, his runs dry up and he looks ill at ease out there, all the morchas in the world won't justify his place.


hello : Why do you think that Sachin is not at his best is it that he thinks that he might get injured again. He is not as usual.
Prem Panicker : My honest opinion is I -- and do remember I am not a doc/physio whoever, this is purely from watching him play -- is that he is not fully recovered yet. The physical rehab may be complete, but it is like, you break your leg, it sets, medically you are healed, but there is still this period where you are very ginger in all you do with that leg. That was the impression I got from watching him -- that somewhere, he is still holding back to an extent, esp after those first two comeback innings


rama : So do u feel that they both and then rahul should step down after 2007 to the maximum so that a new team would build in future
Prem Panicker : What happens in 2007 would pretty much depend on their form at the time, no?


Sri : Hi Prem, whats going on btwn Laxman and Ganguly in the middle to get confused with running... this is 2nd time in the last 2 tests...dont they practice/communicate...?
Prem Panicker : Both are among the slower runners in the game and it's been a while since they played together as well. ACtually, sometimes when you have two guys who are slow, you walk out there not really trusting the other guy to call right, and that adds to the hesitation in your mind when you hear the call.


Srikanth : Morning, Prem! Heard that Prabir Mukherjee is preparing the wicket for the 2nd test. Not sure what he did in Kolkata two weeks ago was intentional or not, he sure seems to be piqued by the media reports about his alleged role.... Not sure what to expect of him in Delhi! I hope people will grow up!
Prem Panicker : The good bit is, this is a Test -- not necessarily finished the moment the coin comes down on the toss. Sure the pitch can be a factor, but over the longer course not quite as much as if you have a blazing fast track and have to bat first in an ODI. Who knows what the guy will do?


sightscreen : Prem, dont u think Murali Karthik will be a better spinner than harbhajan and even kumble sometimes?i think he has a nice flighting loop.ur comments ?
Prem Panicker : Used to love Murali at one point -- for those two things you pointed out, more loop really than the flight even; seemed though to have lost some of that real zing he had, during the home season thus far.


Sid : Prem, I wanted to say that you are one of the most astute cricket commentators--even at times I have differed in opinion with you--I have always thought your analysis are well-thought...I just had a comment and a question..Why do you think our journalists are so quick to write players off or criticize them--I was reading how all of a sudden Shewag should not be opning in cricket--because he scored 36 last game--the guy avg 56 in test cricket and was India's higest test scorer last year. My other quesion is--is there a fear that if we don'tplay Yuvi and Kiaf in test team right now--when they are in their prime--they might get too disheartened and it may be too late--shouldn't we grrom Yuvi as a test lplayera against sl before tought Pak and Eng series?
Prem Panicker : No idea; I guess increasingly, we journalists too are catering to the 30-second attention-span times that we live in. Nothing beyond the last innings counts -- and most certainly, no one has the time to look not ONLY at runs on the board but at how the guy looked (there have been batsmen off form who have scratched their way to 50+ scores, and guys who have looked in lovely touch who have gotten out for 20 -- not sure runs alone are a good yardstick, but then what can you do?)Yuvi yes, I believe his time is really here. Wonder how they ghope to make room for him -- the selectors are left with no choice but to hope that one or other of the senior players will have a prolonged spell of bad form.


Ragav : what was the logic behind india's slow batting...was pathetic to follow
Prem Panicker : Totally. We do that often, don';t we? We play the conditions in the mind before we have to play them on the ground; sit around and go, accha, lots of rain, pitch dodgy, let's defend. Invariably, whenever we have gone out in that mindset, we have been bundled out cheap -- and yet, we repeat the mistake next time out.


psa : Hi Prem, what do you think of the new selection committee? Many of the names are unheard of...
Prem Panicker : Like who, boss? More and VBC have been selectors all along. Jagdale was a member of the committee in 2003/4. Only Bhupi and the Kolkatta guy are really strangers. ACtually I did post on my blog, my thought that rather than question the credentials of this particular committee, it is way beyond time that we questioned the criteria for appointing selectors in the first place. You can question a Bhupi, make a fuss, but then who said he cant be replaced by another unknown? Instead, you draw up sensible criteria for who can be a selector, and you wont have this annual heartburn


sightscreen : oh i c.. thanks for the reply. but i hope u wont move the blog to rediff domain. cuz blogspot is nice
Prem Panicker : I probably will. If it stays on blogspot it will be without comments -- I prefer having tech support I can count on


the bride : from whatever we saw in the day-and-a-half Test in Chennai, don't you feel, the lankans went home, did their homework and came back better equipped, while we still haven't gotten over the demanding battle against the safs?
Prem Panicker : I wouldn't make up my mind about anything on the basis of Chennai, boss.


deep : will ganguly ever be playing in one days
Prem Panicker : Why not? For instance, assume that in the two Tests against Lanka and then Pak, he makes runs fluidly, and bats like he knows how to. Where is the case to then keep him out of the ODI side?


cricpower : Hi Prem, don't you think it would be a more interesting ploy if Dhoni was asked to open for this test and have yuvraj/ganguly fight it out in the middle order for that one slot?Would be a good test for yuvraj against Murlitharan too..
Prem Panicker : I donno that you want Dhoni walking out at one -- it's an interesting ploy substituting one heavy hitter with another, but the flip side is, we forget Dhoni in Tests is still at the experimental stage. To then fiddle with his position seems a surefire career killer -- or at best a career roadbump. Be like the time we got Yuvi into the side and bumped him up to open, then dumped him


rama : Do you beleive that chappel has hit list
Prem Panicker : No.


sv : Prem, Do you think, the Indian team needs a bowling coach ?
Prem Panicker : Not just yet I would think, boss -- I think the bowling coach concept works best the way we used it in Aus; there we had Bruce Reid, who could talk tot he bowlers not general theory, but specific tactics for specific pitches they were going to be playing on. Never personally been a fan of having a half dozen coaches floating around the dressing room


sightscreen : tell me prem, have u joined rediff again?
Prem Panicker : Never left. India Abroad is a part of REdiff, I ahve been deputed to handle this brief


kiran : hi prem when we discussing test matches lara is far better than tendulkar becas lara single handedly won the matches for his country but tendulkar is not like that.will u agree with my arguement
Prem Panicker : *shrug* Lara fails in two three Tests, Windies lose the series, Lara then produces a great innings -- if he were an Indian, we would be going oh, he never plays when we need him to, he only plays for himself. Which is in fact what some of his mates have said about Lara. Why do we need to compare?


deep : what are the risks team india would take to become highly competitive in 2007 world cup should they continue experimenting or not
Prem Panicker : I would think you experiment as long as you have unanswered questions. We do, actually, have a few left. For instance -- who are our back up spinners? Are we sure we want to go to WC2007 with only Bajji and Murli as known entities, or do we want to explore other options? Two, who are our ideal supersubs -- players whose utility wont necessarily end at the toss? There is more, but my point is, till you get answers to the logically important questions, you ahve to keep looking for them I would think


Chotiwala : what do you think is the reason behind sehwag:'s lean run: temperament, technique, or overconfidence?
Prem Panicker : Donno about overconfidence -- he always has eben a confident bloke. Donno about technique and temperament either, he has been playing this way at his best, and at his worst, you really see no perceptible change in him. I m ay be reaching, but once on the blog, I made the point midway through the home season that I thought his bat speed was not like earlier -- he seemed to be hitting the ball later than he does when on song. I also -- again, could be a hell of a reach -- thought he was getting it back towards the end of the ODI series, and seemed quite okay in that brief knock in Chennai. Would think it really is a matter of time for him


Mehul : Prem, one question too many on Ganguly in the recent past, but what do you think about this?Isn't it a bit surprising that Ganguly is selected for Tests and not ODIs. He has always been a better ODI batsman than a Test batsman. In Tests, he has, at best, been an effective batsman, far from brilliant. His recent form was much more suspect in Tests than ODIs. Now to say that his fitness or fielding is the reason for his ODI exclusion, he never was much fitter or better fielder than what he is now. If he has any place in the Indian team, it is ODIs and not Tests. What say?
Prem Panicker : Yes, in one sense. BUt I think the ODI philosophy India seems to be going with is about speed, energy, all adding to skills. Would be the single reason why guys like SG and VVSL lose out; also the single reason why our fielding is so much tighter now -- no more players out there you can tap the ball to and walk the single. In Tests, not that much of an issue -- plus, Ganguly batting in top gear can win you games by buying your bowlers time, in Tests, and if he hits form there, where there is more leisure for him to work things out, then you can bring him back in to the shorter format


RonyPony : Beta Prem, Offlate Sachin has become very very incostitent in One day as well as Test Cricket. Is his carrer on the threshold of Sunset?
Prem Panicker : He's been doing this for what, 17 years? I'd think that is a longer career than most, so yeah, sure, he certainly doesn't have many years to go.


Hui : Prem your hate form Kolkata and Bongs are deplorable. Ranjib Biswal is not a kolkata guy. He is a Ranji cricketer. Your ignorance inspite of being a cricket writer is appaling.
Prem Panicker : hui: You ahve in the emails you sent me, and now here, gone on deploring my "hate" for Bengalis. Ad hominem statements like yours prove nothing. Funny -- didn't say anything about Ranjib Biswal, so what exactly was your problem? Forget it -- I don't intend to spend my life debating a 'hate' that is more in the minds oif some of you than in mine


Gaurav : Prem, given the ridiculous nature of sports coverage these days (last week STAR news proclaimed that sehwag lacks guts after his inns of 36) ... what should the fan do to optimize his cricket reading experience ? Given time constraints ? i mean i make it a point to read all harsha columns ... and all.... but really how can one find 1 reliable and decent source ??
Prem Panicker : Just what we do with the rest of life, friend. We read, watch, hear -- in other words, get information from various sources. No one said we had to set up one of these as the TRUE one -- given limited intelligence, surely we are capable of processing all we get by way of info, then making up our own minds?


Hui : Ranjib Biswal is a Ranji Cricketer from Orissa
Prem Panicker : So? Did I say anything to the contrary?


dev : Prem, is there any chance that Ganguly will get his captaincy back?
Prem Panicker : Who knows, chief? I mean, a year, year and a half ago, would you have said Dravid would get to lead the side? Anything can happen. I dont think SRT will ever take on the captaincy again. So say tomorrow RD has a horrid run of form, or is injured, or whatever. Assume too that Sourva by then is back in form. You probably would give it back -- at least in part because the younger players haven't gotten to where they are ready to lead, yet.


mania : hi Prem...why is someone like ranathunga supporting inclusion of saurov....sarrov is a good player no doubt but with his weakness for pace bowling becoming his weakness why should even india consider him. Is this some sort of a strategy to confuse/presurize the selectors/indian think tank...
Prem Panicker : *L* I read Arjuna and leave it at that. He takes strange positions -- one column says India's experimentation is great, the next he says it sucks.


Gaurav : which sri lankan batsman is likely to give us the biggest headache in the upcoming series .. my bet Mahela but cud be Sangakkara ?
Prem Panicker : I'd go with Sangakarra on that, wouldn't you? Also, Atapattu in Tests has this thing of building long innings, since time is on his side.


IndiaFan : Prem, How do rate Greg Chappell Vs Bob Woolmer?
Prem Panicker : Donno -- you would want to watch Pak a little longer, really, before you assess Bob Woolmer wouldn't you? He did wonders with SA, but then the Proteas are more tuned to that style of coaching than subcontinental teams have been, so he would ahve found it easier there to translate his ideas into onfield action.


amit : do u think indian cricket need Ganguli any more ?
Prem Panicker : If it is a Ganguly playing at his peak, why not? By that token, why bother with names? We need quality players at the top of their form and fitness, why apply different parameters to different people?


cricpower : cricpower asked, Hi Prem, my question about Dhoni opening in this test was with keeping in mind that Sehwag will be unavailable for the second test..
Prem Panicker : Sure thing, but the thought I ahd then is still valid. The lad has been experimentally brought into Tests, why fiddle with his position and get him all confused?


sightscreen : You are cleverly avoiding tough questions from me.. Like Laxaman trying to keep strke away from murali and play bandara and fernando
Prem Panicker : I made the point at the beginning, I dont have time to read through questions and rate them on levels of toughness. What about it anyways? I mean, was a day and a half game, aren't we looking for too many tea leaves in there?


amit : prem wat about ZKs long term future i mean for the world cup 2007
Prem Panicker : No clue, boss, what is happening with Zaheer. He had a brilliant game -- and then I notice he didnt turn out for Baroda this last Ranji game. Whether it is fitness, or so other reason, donno.


decemberstud : I was going through rediff message boards the other day, and I ntoiced somethign. Invariably all the peopel who supported Ganguly ahd their last anmes Bose, Mukherjee, Chatterjee, Bannerjee, Sen, Bhattacharya etc...Hmmm...Isn't that unfortunate ? Do you agree it's time to throw Ganguly out of the team ? (Oh, and I was born in Calcutta, BTW).
Prem Panicker : Because people named Bose and Mukherjee and whatever have been posting themselves to a standstill on various message boards? *L* Why hold Sourav accountable for that?


tvs : I think, the problem with this Indian team is more mental than skill ? Otherwise, how can you explain the way they batted in chennai test. What do you think ?
Prem Panicker : That I thought was typical -- we go out there with a pre planned game plan we dont change. I would think a quality team woiuld go out in an aggressive mindset -- and change to defense only when the conditions warrant. We sometimes do the reverse -- go out hell bent on defending till kingdom come, donno why. I mean, there was no way we could ahve lost, so not sure what all that dead bat stuff was intended to do.


Gaurav : Prem, who do you think is the future captaincy material ? Sehwag ? Kaif ?
Prem Panicker : Sehwag is the only one of the younger lot that has more or less stabilized his place. I think the trouble with picking that is you have possibles like kaif or yuvi for instance who haven't yet cemented their place, so how do you begin thinking of them as captaincy material?


shiv : prem do u support that ganguly has an ill feeling with ajit agarkar?
Prem Panicker : How would I know, boss?


ganesh : When will our Cricket Administration change? Why can't there be a rule to say that office bearers in BCCI should have certain minimum criterias like They should have played 50 international matches: I don't believe the message that "Good Cricketers do not become good administrators" -- Infact that should be a pre-requisite...Who is Sharad Pawar Or Jagmohan Dalmiya to decide about the future of Indian Cricket when they never faced a tennis ball, leave alone the red cherry
Prem Panicker : Administration IMHO has nothing to do with knowing which end of the bat is up. For instance, Dalmiya sold hell out of the game and made the board rich in a way a Gavaskar IMHO never could have. I believe there is a role for cricketers -- but running the board is not it; their role is in developing the cricket structure, which really is the area of their core competence


Hui : Anyway, Prem I may not neccessarily agree with you but I think you debate with passion which is good. After all neither me/ nor you will change the deplorable mess Indian Cricket is in. But your comments carry a weight because of you can form public opinion. So i think a little bit of reasoning than retoric is desirable from Journalist who are in this game.
Prem Panicker : I totally agree. And that goes for fans too -- merely pointing fingers at anyone you dont agree with and going 'you hate me because...' doesn't quite satisfy the 'reason' litmus test, mate. Anyways... cheers


curious : What's up with ambati rayudu ?
Prem Panicker : Wish I knew. Thought he was a bright prospect. He seemed unhappy with his home zone, which might well be part of the problem -- be interesting how he goes this season. I hope he comes good, actually -- if he can put his game back together, he could be a heck of a good addition to the side


Chotiwala : whatever happened to speedster debashish mohanty? did he become a victim of parochial cricket boards' politics?
Prem Panicker : Mohanty fell off the map some years ago -- it's a thing with our selectors that we drop someone and then unless he is some big name, never go back to him. Donno what kind of form he is in now, though -- I do agree he merited more chances than he did get


Gaurav : Prem, in the ODI series Murali seemed only lukewarm while Bhajji seemed hot. In the Chennai test, the situation reversed. Is the performance of players so severely influenced by how much their team is on top at the given time ?
Prem Panicker : The team performance does have an impact, but like I said in an earlier answer, chief, I wouldn't read anything at all into Chennai.


rem : Prem do you have any inside on whats actually been happening in that indian dressing room? Everyone seems to be accusing everyone. Its like one big mess. Arent we turning into a Paki team ?
Prem Panicker : Um... donno, maybe we are looking in through different windows but I thought in recent weeks, the dressing room is actually settling down again. :-)


SriSri : Prem, What is happening with the playing Test 11? If you see the team that toured Australia after the world cup, this is more or less the same minus PA Patel, Zaheer Khan. But the approach is altogether different. It was Tendulkar and openers we were focussing on then. It was a successful return without GC.
Prem Panicker : Sorry? I mean -- what IS wrong with the team? We have been playing ODIs all along -- where is the evidence that the Test Team has deteriorated?>


Chandu : Y still indian team is not in the position to play as team not as individual player.
Prem Panicker : I thought we were getting better at that. No?


sightscreen : dont u think dravid lacks the managerial skiils which hangu had?
Prem Panicker : Um, actually, no. What makes you think he does?


Gaurav : Prem how wud u rate RD as a player of spin on a scale of 1 to 10 ? (10 being the highest)
Prem Panicker : On a good day, 8; on a bad day, below 5. *L*


dev : Prem, I have seen in rediff and in elsewhere, people cited 2 main reasons for Ganguly's outser in ODI's and getting his captaincy stripped, 1) Recent Spat with Greg 2) Prolonged Bad Form. While 2) is a cricketing reason, and should perfectly be a criteria for selection, but I don't think they should have cited 1) as a "main" reason too...your valuable comments Chief?
Prem Panicker : Who are these 'people' who 'cited' the reasons, boss? the only ones who are in a position to drop Sourav are the selectors, and I dont remember them citing reason 1. Should we necessarily ask every tom dick and sunny what he thinks, then get all up in the air or down at the mouth on the basis of those answers?


satishkonduri : prem, I just joined the chat and dont know if any body asked you yet but how are you predicting the SL series?
Prem Panicker : I'd think on balance India has what it takes to keep its record of not losing to SL at home intact, actually


Gaurav : Prem who do you think is India's biggest match-winner in test cricket ?? Kumble or Dravid ?? Plz dont say Tendulkar.
Prem Panicker : I frankly dont like answering this kind of thing, chief. Because I think the day we start thinking of Test cricket as a game one person has to win it for us, we are dead. For long, we went around expecting Sachin to do it. Then Bajji. Or Laxman. Or whoever. One of these days we will look at a team of 11 players with 11 skill sets and tasks, and reckon the day they put themselves on the park 100 per cent we will win.


Little : Fourth Time Same Question:: India's cricket is more dominated by politics than the real game?? Whats your openion
Prem Panicker : *shrug* You mean the Administration? Sure, whole lot of politics in there. You mean the players? I'd think no more, no less than you would find in any group of talented blokes in any field, who you put together for prolonged periods -- any such group will have frictions, and will sort them out themselves


rem : Dont you think that indian media should take some responsibility on whats debatable and whats not. The other day i saw something like chappel and his hit list posted on rediff. which i thought was very silly.
Prem Panicker : Former selector Yashpal Sharma was the one who called the press and spoke on those lines. Are you suggesting that Rediff, or any other media site, take the responsibility of deciding whose comments should be aired and whose should not?


cleanfan : Prem, when Sachin came back after the injury, he seemed to enjoy his batting in the first couple of one-day innings...he played his natural game and brought out shots which he had closeted for years...then for some inexplicable reason, he went back to a very tentative, conservative type of innings which put him right back at square one culminating in the painful innings in the Chennai test. I think the failures against SA affected his confidence a little bit. Do you think Chappell has to step in and somehow cajole Sachin to play his natural game without worrying too much about the outcome....clearly when he is hell bent on staying at the crease he is not at his best....
Prem Panicker : I'd think so. There was an interview in the Times of India where Chappell did talk at length about Sachin and about bringing out his exuberance. Hopefully it works


carlos :  Prem, it has been quite obvious that we lack a tearaway fast bowler (or two, even better). But after all these years of MRF, John Wright, Chappell yada-yada-yada, is Agarkar what we got to show for our effort? Who is this Agarkar anyway? Even Ganguly wasn't given so many opportunities. If the fastest in India, reputedly VRV Singh, can only manage 145 at best, don't you think we are still way behind in the game?
Prem Panicker : Another way of looking at it is, not so long ago we had sunny gavaskar opening the bowling for us. In other words, we didn't have a pace-oriented mindset -- and now that is changing; there are more bowlers taking to pace. We went ballistic when Zaheer began touching 140. Now VRV is doing 145. I'd think if we can keep giving seamers their due, I'd think we'd produce more. We do moan the lack of quicks -- but we forget that till the early nineties, we didn't have any use for them.


subhashis : Dont you think rediff is the strongest contender of anti-ganguly tag?
Prem Panicker : You are handing out the awards, you do the picking, pal


Prem Panicker : GUYS, I HAVE A REQUEST. WE ARE 24 HOURS AWAY FROM THE PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARDS FUNCTION WE ARE HOSTING, AND THERE IS A GROWING TO-DO LIST. CAN WE THIS WEEK END A TOUCH EARLY? WILL MAKE UP BY STAYING TWO HOURS NEXT WEEK IF YOU LIKE :-)


Imraan : Do you honestly believe critics like you add any value to the game of cricket? It's evident from your writings that you NEVER played serious cricket even though you never admitted that. Some of your comments can barely pass as puerile platitude. You have a great ignorant fan-following because of the platform you got through rediff. How are you different that the arm-chair critics who reside in almost every household in India? Please don't answer this question with an arrogant 'So?' like most people do when confronted with truth.
Prem Panicker : Value is for you to take away. If I add no value to your appreciation of the game, that is your call. If I add value to someone else, good. My job is defined by my organization -- if I am completely valueless, I'll probably be shown the door. In any case, I dont sit in judgement on my own value, or lack thereof.GOOD BYE, GUYS, SEE YOU NEXT WEEK


Prem Panicker : THANKS GUYS FOR LETTING ME OFF THE HOOK. BE BACK NEXT WEEK, AND WILL STAY PUT FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS TO MAKE UP FOR TODAY. FOR NOW, BYE AND BEST.


 Transcript of Dec 1 chat: 'On form pick Yuvi ahead of Sourav'

Also see Prem's blog: http://prempanix.blogspot.com