Rediff Logo World Cup 99
June 22, 1999

Australia versus Pakistan

Sameer: Do you think 1. pakistan peaked too early and couldnt quite get back to the same level 2. Jitters 3. were the earlier 2 reasons compounded with australia playing total Cricket Thanx Sameer

ven Hari: Thank you for the commentaries and match reports on the World Cup matches. In spite of the much debated points system, it was nice to note that the finals was between two of the best teams. I do believe that India could have been the team that won it: 1.If Sachin Tendulkar had played in the game against Zimbabwe. 2.If the tail enders had shown more application in the game against Zimbabwe as well as against other teams 3. If Sachin Tendulkar was more consistent and had scored more runs in the crucial matches. 4.If Azhar had used the many years of experience he had and had performed better as a bat.( Personally, I dont think that he should have been the Captainor that his form deserved a place in the team). There is no doubt in my mind about the need to amend the points system. But for India losing to NZ, Zimbabwe with no wins in the Super Six would have been in the Finals. India should now start rebuilding.Pick 20-25 players with no zonal biases and give them intensive match exposure and coaching.It is time to drop Azhar. Mongia should be made to understand that his place in the team is not a given.Reserve players ( Ganesh,Robin Singh)would have to be trained as replacements for Srinath and Prasad wghen they are no longer able to carry the burden of bowling. Agarkar should be persisted with. Statistical analysis shows that Robin Singhs performance in the ODI is as good as that of Madan Lal and Roger Binny. Ven Hari

mani: : The Australians had come from no where and lifted the trophy. In first round they killed West Indies , In super six they killed India , Zimbabwe and In Semis they killed South Africa and finally they killed Pakistan in Final.

Thmopsan: Finally akram and his co. got it for their unrealistic dream of lifting the world cup. I haven't seen such a royal s----ing in a world cup final. The world would now know what does it take to be real champions and should never ever hype a team in a rather prematured way without knowing the difference between team with bunch of wild animals and a team with real classy players! Bravo australia

surendra ojha: Dear mohan you have done so well in giving the information and that too at very short notice i think icc should give you full credit for this and i would say great work done by rediff warm regards to you -ojha

Rajesh Chandra: When I went to watch the final, I was supporting Pakistan team. After their innings is over, I was wondering, whether Imran and Hanif were prophets. How come a team can play this low? Wasim shouldn't say, he is proud of leading the team. The way he led, by attacking Shane's ball and got out reveals, how much he is arrogant about the bowler and dearly paid the price. Hanif was 100% correct. "ONLY PAKISTAN CAN BEAT PAKISTAN". And Shoaib Akhthar, he might not have showed his immature and inexperience, better than this final. And Pakistan's batsmen. Better not to say anything. Fully deserved Aussies.

Vidyadhar: Its sad that South Africa bowed out in most cruel manner one day cricket can bring to a very great TEAM. Note I have highlighted the term TEAM. SA was one which played as a TEAM throughout the tournment. Although Lance was there to bail them out in more than one occassion, it was team effort that brought them this far in the competition. I would rate Aussies second when it comes to playing as a team. Eventhough SA bowed out they can go to their motherland with heads held high. I wouldn't say same of our Indian team. They played as a team in bits and pieces. Only against Pakistan and England they seemed to be pumped up. There is no dearth of talent in the current team, but unless they jell together as a team we have to go thru this agony of losing in early rounds. Also our players cannot handle pressure. Barring few instances even Sachin has let us down in big matches. Thank God we won that game against Pakistan, but the shot Sachin played after getting set was bad. He should learn to convert those 40s to 100s in big games. (I don't mean to crictize Sachin, infact I'm great fan of his batting.)This goes not only for Sachin but to other batsmen too. We cannot afford 3-4 batsmen failing in a big game like it happened against Aussies. If they have learnt anything from this World cup then they will play as a team. Also I would prefer unearthing talents from all over the country in a adhoc manner akin to Pakistan's selection of Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis and Akram. I remember Manjrekar's article mentioning matches between gully cricket folks and boys from his colony where gully folks won most of the time. This requires passion which we often see from our cricketers.

Cricket_fan: So akram and his men finally ate the humble pie and the inevitable has happened. That shows the difference between a team with bunch of wild nuts and a team with classy players. The critics would relaise now as not to hype a team prematurely as the best team which fails to display any consistency. Bravo australia

Kalyanaraman: Hi Prem, Just because the finals proved to be a bad performance from Pakis don't blame them too much they don't deserve such a bad criticism.You must remember they were more consistent than Aussies in the initial stage,Semis and have even beat the Aussies in the league.

Mahesh Chandrasekharan: At the beginning of the Super six stage, two teams entered with ZERO points to their tally. The strategy was as simple as: WIN the remaining seven and cup is yours. AUSTRALIANS with the sheer grit and a copious dose of professionalsim accomplished it with throrough elan. As far as the second team goes it lacked both and hence packed their kitties early. What a comeback!, Pakistan got everything wrong on that day. Prophetic indeed, when Imran said whoever wins the India-Aussie encounter will win the cup. Steve Waugh and Warne were bang on target when they proclaimed that Pakistanis can be good on one day, lousy the next... They were horribly lousy. There was no urgency and one felt like they thought it Carlton series ODIs, where finals is best of three matches. But, hats off to the Aussies for a tremendous show. Though I thought, South Africa deserved to be in the Final. Botton line: Talent, flair and flamboyance can only take you a little up but Professionalism, grit, passion and a sound mind can take you all the way up. Somebody please tell that to the Indian team.

Ananth Nagarajan: The semi-final should have been the final. The trophy belonged to both Aus and SA. In my book, the four best teams in the world cup were : Aus, SA, Ind and Pak in that order. Of course, I am discounting India's loss to NZ on the obvious grounds that NZ was fighting for survival and India had nothing at all to play for. Regards, Ananth Nagarajan

V. Arora: : Surely an over-intellectualized analysis. I doubt that cricketers go through all this tortured analysis and soul-searching while actually out there in the middle (see esp. description of Wasim's innings). Also, in these articles there's inevitably a see-I-told-you-so tone, with everything that the losing team did being seen as wrong and everything that the winning team did--even inadvertently--being seen as brilliant. And this I think weakens the piece considerably.

Veera: Prem, You're a big match player! At times some of your suggestions seem laughable (like Srinath opening the batting!), Also he tirade against Steve Waugh was a bit uncalled for (it beats me how you missed out the fact that NZ - the very team Aus was trying to knock out - had made a mockery of the game by losing to Pak in their final 1st round match so as to play the semifinal at home) But your big match temperament (backing the Aussies in the semis and the final; backing Fleming against Anwar etc) is commendable. Hats off also to your long term prediction, right at the beginning of the cup, that the overwhelming media and enthusiast favorites South Africa will not win the world cup. That took some guts and insight! Your crusade against the Indian team management, for their appaling insensitivity towards the heartbroken millions and their utter lack of accountability to the public is a worthy effort. If only they could take a leaf out of Steve Waugh's book. To quote these memorable words from the Aussie captain (could have well come from the pen of one Mr. Prem Panicker): "Sometimes you lose sight of the fact that there's so many people back there who support you because you can tend to focus too much on what's said in the papers and not what the average person out there really thinks. There's a helluva lot of people who follow us 365 days a year and give us a lot of support and I think it's great that we can play good cricket and perhaps help them to a dream as well. I know there are people out there who feel they are part of the Australian cricket side, and when we've done well they feel they've done well." Thanks for a fantastic world cup coverage and hope you'll continue to be in cracking form for the rest of the season. (BTW, could you please refrain from making comments like: "Does Prem Panicker need an introduction" and such stuff. It was poor humor, I thought.) Three cheers to your brand of cricket reporting! - Veera

mahendran: My Friend: As one of person who really want you to be the best in what you do, I always wanted to tell you the following, (taking or leaving it purely up to you because I may be wrong or it my be none of my business); For the analysis to look professional: 1- Avoid using "I" 2- Even better would be just to write about the game w/o using lots of personal opinion. I mean writing something similar to talking to someone..Ex. "Raj you it was stuip of him to" But your comments on Akram's insulin levels in my opinion is similar to writing: a) About a cricketer who can't hear very well: His shots were like his hearing, fell short of boundries.. If someone comments on inzaman because of his overweight which may affect his running between the wicktes, even I would not have pleased with it but atleast understood why it was written.. But the comments on Akram's insulin level has no relationship on the day how he played, even it had any connection you didn't indicate it in your article. It looks like you used those comment s to say his bowling is erratic as his insulin level.. In my opinion it is totally uncalled for and unnecessary even if you think they are not offensive.. PREMS comments: "Akthar's first 3 overs went for 23, and the game had gone with it. Akram's bowling, meanwhile, has been fluctuating as wildly as his insulin levels, and he too found himself unable to break through, or even bowl the fuller length that would have had the batsmen playing at him." Thanks Mahendran