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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Interview > Meyrick Pringle

'Indians will fire soon'

February 18, 2003

Meyrick Pringle represented South Africa in four Tests and 17 one day internationals. The all-rounder, some consider South Africa's 'King of Swing,' has represented Orange Free State, Eastern Province, Western Province and Sussex in his decade-long career. Soon after South Africa's defeat against New Zealand, he assessed the mood in the host nation in an interview with Ashish Magotra.

South Africa must be in a real state of shock.

Coming from a former South African cricketer, obviously I want them to win. I want them to play well and so does the entire country, But these things happen in cricket. You look at the World Cups  we have played -- we have always played well in all of them, got to the semis in two of them. This is undoubtedly our worst start. Maybe we will go on to win it this time round.

There might be a little loophole, there might be rain in Benoni when the West Indies play. There is a vital game next week Friday when the West Indies play Sri Lanka. I think the South African public are actually praying that the West Indies play in Cape Town.

We have had a terrible start. It is not the route we would ideally like to take but we got to pray and hope it happens.

What do you think is going wrong with India?

It is amazing. In the first game against Holland in Paarl to be 115/6 will be very alarming from the team's point of view. You tend to go into these games very, very relaxed, go through the motions and not take the game seriously.

Yesterday, I watched the Pakistanis play Namibia and they got into the game. Wasim Akram bowled the best I have seen him bowl in a long time. He swung the ball, bowled with good pace. Their approach was brilliant.

The Indians will click and hopefully play much better. They are having a bad start like the South Africans.

What exactly is going wrong with the Indians? 

I also watched the game against the Australians at Centurion on February 15. From the word go Brett Lee was banging them with a lot of short deliveries, hitting them. I think that automatically puts them on the back foot. I think the only player that was sort of comfortable was Sachin Tendulkar. Among the other players, Ganguly had no foot movement due to the short deliveries. Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Lee just put them on the back foot straight away.

The Indians played a lot of unnecessary shots. Sehwag got out in exactly the same way, on the back foot chasing a delivery away from the body.

I am sure they will get back to their best. But it is an interesting group they are in. Pakistan, England and now Zimbabwe are all looking good. But who knows? India is a good side.

Do you think it is a case of trying to do too much? They are so used to getting 300+ in the sub-continent that adjusting their technique and style of play seems to be a problem here. Do you think that's the case?

I am not too sure when the Indian team arrived in South Africa but in the future when teams like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India tour South Africa, England and Australia they should probably arrive at least a month before the first match just to get used to the pace of the wickets. That's probably what they lack at the moment.

But I don't think it's going to take them much longer to adjust now. They will fire soon. They are professional cricketers and they know their nation is not happy with them.

The Duckworth-Lewis system comes back to haunt South Africa...

It led to our defeat in the 1992 World Cup and now again in 2003. Some things never change. The laws of cricket are written thus. There is nothing we can do about it. We just have to carry on.

Do you feel that the rain rules need, rather demand, a change?

I would like to see them put an extra day aside. When the side batting first gets to 25 overs it's a game. If it does start raining then we must carry on the next day. But if we start a game and it's less than 25 overs that you have batted or fielded then you have to restart the game the next day. I would like to see that for the next World Cup.

It would have been a magnificent game for South Africa to go out and bowl this morning (Monday) against New Zealand.

On current form who do you see making the Super Six?

Before the World Cup started I said to myself you got to be careful of New Zealand and the West Indies. Both teams are in top form at the moment. I am sure they will both make it to the Super Sixes. Hopefully for South Africa, one of them don't. Australia are far, far ahead. They have such a phenomenal side. I take my hat off to that side. They are true cricketers and brilliant to watch.

Does it surprise you that the gulf between Australia and the rest of the world just keeps increasing?

No, it does not. They just seem to perform on and on and on. They just don't seem to stop. I don't know how any team will get on top of them, how any side will defeat them. South Africa recently went on top of the world Test ratings but I would like to see them play a full 3 Test series with Australia (home and away). Then we will see who is the best.


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Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: Pringles assessment of Indian Cricket team...

I completely disagree withy Mr. Pringle. They can't bat for nuts. They can't field for nuts. They can't bowl for nuts. Money,and too much of ...

Posted by L.Y.Rao.

Sub: confidence urgent requirement for India

After New Zealand trip India lost its enoromous skill, fighting with great struggle to small countries, like Holland and crushed by the Australia, we cant ...

Posted by sundar

Sub: Got to do away with Duckworth-Lewis

The Duckworth-Lewis system is totally meaningless in a game like cricket where anything can happen any moment. The tide of a whole match can be ...

Posted by Vivek Chowdhary


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