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Readers Speak Out

Last updated on: April 17, 2005 20:48 IST

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Nalin Jain

Very nice work with the commentary Prem.

Quite different perspective from the commentary on….Excellent.  keep it up and thanks.


Anandamoy Sahoo

Aloha Mr. Prem.

What a terrible disapointment for you, my friend? You just thought that removing Ganguly would remove the evil that dogs the Indian team and now see the result. Ganguly was the first Indian captain to rise above the narrow regionalism and promote players from all states based on the performance.

Now you will have a Bangalore Indian team like earlier we had Mumbai cricket team. Its the narrow minded regionalist guys like you who are the real problem.



Hi Prem,

You're doing a great job!

With Afridi gone, the Indians should be breathing easier.

They need to keep an eye on the over rate as well.. I think they are 2 overs behind already.



1) Turn them over to the Indian army. Get the lazy, selfish, gutless wonders to go thru a boot camp for 3-4 months.

2) Link their packages to their performance. Why should they be treated any different from the rest of the working stiffs?

3) Time to slide Tendulkar & Ganguly out; both of whom show more committment to opening restaurants than producing the goods on the cricket field.

4) Make pitches that test the batsman and encourage the pacers in the Ranji fixtures.....



Hi Prem Panicker,

First of all , thanks a bunch to you for your excellent work , we enjoyed it throughout. For people away from their TV sets, it was the only way of visualizing what's happening in the field.

Just to put in my opinion on what is making the Indian team slip down in the rankings.

It is just that Indian Cricket Team never believed on Team effort. Our team solely depends on individuals. Be it Tendulkar or Sehwag or Dravid. And the team believes that , for India to win, one of these must score in heavily.

But on contrast take any other team which is above India in the rankings, there are no Big starts there . There are just performers. And every player there makes sure that he does his bit of it, for the team's success.

Just look at the Indian score board in every match. It shows one or two batsmen scoring heavily, and India some how managed in some of those matches.

And have a look at the Pakistani score board in all the matches(even in those which they lost). You can see the definition of team effort there. Every batsmen doing his bit.

Tendulkar scored a big century, (which makes sure his average in intact) and rest of his outings are easily forgettable.

Sehwag continued his form in the first few matches but then failed to maintain the rhythm. Excricketers and the commentators, often say that its a plus point for Sehwag , that he is least bothered about the condition of the match and that he always tries to play his natural game. Oh. come on, you need to have people who can understand the situation and play accordingly.

It will be of more help to Indian cricket if Sehwag and Sachin contribute evenly(consistently) in all the matches, than scoring one or two big centuries per series and then tying up their hands as if they have done enough.

But I would say India played very well in the first 4 matches considering the fact that it played with only 10 players and a captain. ( It was never 11 players).

For Saurav, it time for him to take a break, work on his batting basics and then return to the team as a player. He can not hold up a place in the middle order in a team which heavily depends on the batting.

For quite sometime we have been playing with almost the same batting lineup. Not giving any chance to the younger lot. Just imagine the scene after the next world cup. All the Indian biggies would be well over 35 and not sure if they would still continue to play(keeping in mind the fitness levels of our Indian players).

Just imagine our Indian team without Sachin, Dravid, Saurav, Laxman.

Now the question is, are the younger lot ready to take over.? Uncertain. Isn't it.

You can not expect these guys to chip in and takeover and win the matches for us. They have to be groomed well to handle such responsibilities. Just take the case of Yuvraj and Kaif. Two exceptionally talented youngsters. But never given the chance to show what they are capable of.

If Yuvraj and Kaif are batting at 6 & 7 , consider the options they have.

If India is batting first -- they get the chance only in the slog overs if the higher order performs well enough. So their job is limited to pinch hitting. Or they get a chance way too early and have a huge task of covering up the collapse at the top order.

If India is chasing -- again they get a chance only when they require to finish up the well-done work at the top order. Or they get a chance too early(like the last match in the latest series) and they are under tremendous pressure as they are the last two recognized batsmen in the lineup.

Consider the other Indian batsmen, they are comfortable in the top or middle order, cause they know that even if they get out, there are many a batsmen to come in the order. So they are under less pressure.

Why can't they send Dravid and Ganguly down the order and promote these two youngsters to 3 & 4. Any way these senior players , with all their experience, should be able to handle any situation better ,compared to these youngsters. Now with reduced burden on their shoulders these youngsters can show what they are capable of. Once they gain the confidence and the experience, the management can then try them out in any number in the order.

All this time I have been talking about only our batting, and where are our bowlers. uhh.. what should I say about the Indian bowlers. They must be called the scientists of Indian cricket team. They experiment with all possible lines and lengths. And always fail to be consistent. If we fail to defend bigger totals of 315/48, then what can be expected out of them?.

On the same pitch if the Pakistani bowlers are able to get the ball to swing and bounce, why not the Indian bowlers? Our bowling , for sure, lacks the quality for an international team. Except for the new Irfan Pathan, other seamers always failed to be consistent. Our spinners remain to be our strength. On a pitch where the spinners can't get it right , we have less chances. And we don't see any new bowlers in the making.

So Its time for the management to put on their thinking caps , decide on the strategy, now and for the long term. We have the players who can make India to the top, but only if they wish to do so. Hope they will, soon...


Sunit Mehta

Hey Prem,

How are you doing ? I really feel we lost the one day matches all due to the horrendous performance of Saurav Ganguly. A number 3 Batsman is supposed to hold the innings and not hole out at each and every occasion. Even in the last match had someone else in form been at the wicket we would have won comfortably. Its been the same, in the Test Series as well as the One Day Matches. Due to one batsman, our entire country has been let down. Let me know what you think about this. I'm listening in from USA to your commentary.


Oswald D'Souza

It was just an immense torture to watch the Indo pak series for the simple reason that we lost to a side who were not favourites and cannot compare to the past teams that came here in 1986 or 1999 but hats off to their brilliant display from a side which was dead and buried losing the first two onedayers and bouncing back to beat us in the next four games.Except Sehwag and Dravid all others batted well in patches.Sachin and Yuvrajs footwork were horrible to say the least and vice versa Pakistan were playing like a cohesive unit with everyone chipping in be it an Afridi or Rana,Razzaq,Youhanna,Butt,Younis and let us not forget Inzys leadership.It is time our adminstrators woke up and made our domestic structure more competitive on the lines of Australias PURA CUP and not prepare rubbish wickets so that we could produce more quality players and have a good bench strength and also ask our so called fading stars to get back to basics rather than chasing commercials  and be picked on merit and current form and not on past  glory and push India to the number two postion which we were two years ago from the number 8 position we are currently at and be accountable to the millions of fans who watch the game.


Bilal Asghar

Hi Prem....

I am a Pakistani living abroad...just came across this site n stayed conneted to it though out the i really loved the way u kept up with that live typing...that was feels really good  to admire this effort of urz...You DID A GR8 JOB....!THUMBS UP!

The Indian supporters diminishing hospitality at the end of the match wasnt a very positive sign though...i hope  they knew how we felt when our team lost its matches in front of our own eyes to the visiting team..thank god our attitudes never went cold ,your comments at every criticism reflected your positive nature...newayz....hoping to see more matches of such kinds with u on the keyboard again...



Hi Prem,

After watching this match & series I decided to write to all the sponsors of the cricket team as well as individuals and urge them not to sponsor from now on. We made these cricketers our heroes and when they don't do what they are meant to do its our responsibility to bring them down. For this very reason for next few months I'm going to spend some time every week to collect the signatures from the Indian fans.



I compared the win:loss record in ODIs during Azhar's and Ganguly's times. Excluding games against minnows, I was shocked (coz I thought India improved "dramatically" under Ganguly) to find that India won 46% under Azhar's and 41% under Ganguly.

Team India? Improving? where? How?


S Hari Shankar

Dear Mr Prem,

This mail might be a trifle late, but then I have to say this - you have been in an unfortunate position of having to exercise infinite patience watching the bunch of 11 players make a mockery of representing this country, while guys like me could switch off and see some other channel. Thanks pal.

India have not lost the series, but as some one put it, India have been humiliated. I, as an Indian, will not stand for this. There is no harm in losing. When two teams play, one team has to win and the other team ends up losing. The team that is better, will win consistently. If however, a team performs in a manner that the group they purport to represent, is humiliated, then it is the right of the group to stand up and ask for an explanation. If the explanation is inadequate or unsatisfactory, then it is necessary to make changes or else, the same humiliation will continue. If our team is a new team like say Canada, and our team loses consistently, there is no dearth of explanations. If however, our team boasts of players who, on the basis of some inefficient system of ratings, appear to be individually terrific, and they get consistently humiliated, then let us toss that irrelevant rating methodology out of the window. Let us look at a change in the system. This is sadly the state of affairs in Indian Cricket today.

We must demand changes in the system - which today stands out as terribly inefficient to say the least. It is time we Indians got up and asked for what is due to us - if someone is going to represent us, we better have some sort of a say in selecting these jokers. Dalmia and gang have absolutely no right in lording over the Indian Cricket scene any longer. There should be a proper organized and a transparent system by which the administration should be selected. In the same way, players who make the bill must have a record in the immediate past in domestic AND international fixtures.

More important, it is extremely commentators like you and the media, gloss over personal landmarks. Centuries be damned. The cricketers step on to the cricket field to win a match for our country - they have no business to be there to pursue a personal landmark. The hype over number of centuries, runs scored et al must stop now. If a cricketer has had a hand in a win or in an effort to win, then yes, do praise him, else consign any news related to personal landmarks to the classified columns.

No more selecting Sachin for his records. If that is the sole criterion, then call Sunil Gavaskar back - after all he still holds the record for the highest number of centuries. Call Bedi, Prasanna and Chandrasekhar - their record, given the number of matches played by them should suffice. Or else, every season, select a band of 18 or 20 players, backed by their consistency over the previous six months in DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL fixtures. Expunge all irrelevant scores, so that only performances that matter are considered. There are ways in which this can be done.

Another useful change in the system - the Finance Minister must introduce a representation tax for players who represent India and earn over Rs 50 lakhs - tax such people at 50% of the amount in excess of Rs 50 lakhs - it does not come cheap to represent India. Such a tax must exclude earnings from match and representation fees. In addition, all players who represent the states in domestic tournaments must be given a tax rebate so that whatever little they earn by playing Ranji Trophy goes into their pockets.

There are other ways and means to spruce up the system. I would like you and the rediff portal to look at a forum by which a serious change can be effected. The time is past when we can offer the gang handling the system, any further opportunities. They need to be accountable - and accountable to their shareholders - who are the Indian populace who follow this wonderful game. Help us in this, please ....


Rahul Sehgal

Well Prem, Pakistan is back to haunt India. with the ODI and test wins in pakistan last year, India was well on its way to forget the six off the last ball by Javed miandad. it seemed that era of india's dominance over pakistan will start much the same way as pakistan did to india for so many years. but all that has gone now. India lost 4 ODIs in a row after that last year's series in pakistan and now they have lost 4 more. one can only feel sorry for John Wright as he could have left the team last year and gone with glory but his extended stint gave him the ignominy of home series loss against australia and now pakistan. what to say of Indian team. only 12 months back players were hailed as best in the world. Now they look like pack of jokers. this is the diffrenece between australia, the team which has managed to hold onto its position for now so many years and India cudnt even manage 12 months. SHAMEFUL!!!!!!!!!!


Jigar Vaidya

i am a fan of indian cricket. but i am very dissappointed with the performance of the  fucking indian team. i wouldnt have mind if indian team lost against the like of AKRAM. Wakars and Shoib Akhtar but the rich experienced indian team lost to a young pak team. an it hurts even more when we learn the way they lost. though paks lost two games there was some kind of fight they put forward ,but indians were no match  against them . SACHIN- (10000+plus runs ) -what is the use of having such batsmen who almost failed at so many important venues  ( frankly speaking thats b'cos of lack in confidance in  dead situations).its only some indians who think its hard to get sachin out .but good teams like australia , pakistan and south africa have always got him with simple stratigies and planning. SEHWAG- good on flat pitches but does not still has any kind of strategy , can throw his wicket any time which  also shows some kind of irresponsibility.DRAVID - has always been  better player than tendulkar and ganguly, but still he is counted below them . why?  he might not have the technics of Tendulkars or sixes of gangulys but always had the urge to win and applied himself  better than others instead of just  trying. tendulkar ,sehwag and ganguly always tried their best but dravid always applied himself.

Yuvraj and Kaif never got a real good foundation and always came in tight situation. Dhoni -is an established batsmen and its not his fault but captain must know at what situation to bring him in to bat. its always better to send him in when part time bowlers are in .but   better bowlers an get him cheaply.  mind set of indian bowlers have always been unpredictable . have you ever  thought why?its bcos they don have the urge like other teams have. lack of talking or discussing about a perticular chapter (player i n deatail and  lack of planning. they lost even before tha match my next part and you will be .......


Vijay Ganjoo

I did not understand why Agarkar was shown in... what kind of selection is this... this guy is out of touch... has not been in the side for quite some time and u get him in this important game and on the other hand u have Irfan Pathan who just did not perform well with the ball for couple of matches.... thrown out and not considered. At least he could have batted better than our so called champions today keeping in mind his previous innings. Rana Naveed did not perform in every match... the previous one was an example... he was not given rest... what kind of approach this Agarkar has and what doesn't Irfan pathan have. He could have proved very productive today...


Raghunathan R

Hi Prem,

Your commentary through out the duration of this series has kept us updated on the match status. And congrats on doing a good job.

I dont think India need to do too many changes in its ranks. Maybe Kumble should be advised to keep out of the limited overs version so that his test career can be prolonged. And the result of the series is certainly justified becos the Pak guys played intelligent and spirited cricket while the Indians were always under a lot of pressure from the media.

Playing Dhoni at 3 will be a good move only in the games where India plays first. While chasing, it makes sense to have a flexible order. Kaif or Yuvraj can go in at 3 or 4 depending on the pitch conditions. Further, its time Ganguly took his rightful spot at the top of the order. Sachin or Sehwag can be the other opener on rotation basis.

Think India played bad cricket only in the 3rd and the 6th match. They fought well during the 4th one day and it was a one off day for Afridi to be steaming hot for such a long time at Kanpur. There is certainly expectations from the fans of Indian cricket but the real pressure is from the media who wants to write some players off in a hurry just because it could create a sensation.

Ganguly has led the team outstandingly for the past few years and the choice should be his to decide if he needs to step down. On the contrary, Dravid having lost the last 2 matches as captain, an alternative skipper is not readily on hand.

If a young Indian team can tour Australia and come back with flying colours and Australians did not consider it as a shame, why do we think that Pakistan doing well here is a disgrace to us?

Time for a new coach to take over and John Wright has done enough for the team and the game in the country and for that, its a "BIG THANX" to the kiwi.

In all fairness, we have lost to a better unit ably led by an inspirational leader. A note to Javed Miandad - Bob Woolmer may not know the language that most Pak players speak, but he does know his job and he is proving a point out there with the results.


Sabyasachi Dey

I think Indian fans are bit too idiot. I don't see any of these great cricket lovers watching and even bothering about domestic cricket. Grounds go empty! Sponsors turn their back. And all of a sudden they expect nation will produce dozens of cricketers who will rock the World. Bravo!



Hi Prem,

Well done! It was a fantastic job by you.

The statements you made after Nehra got out really touchy ones..

Just feeling relaxed that the match is over.. Whenever we expect our team to play they failed like this.. All of them should be thrown to Arabin Sea..

Now onwards, I've decided not to hear/watch these cricket matches on TV. It is a idiotic and foolish game and we are simply wasting our time..


N S Sridhara

Hi Prem,

Shame on these guys. All politics.

Just to please Pakistanis.

Friendship series !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Playing with our sentiments, time and money..