The Web


World Cup 2003
Match Reports
Graphical Analysis
WC Format
Fantasy Cricket
Discussion Groups

Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

India will win, says Miandad

Faisal Shariff in Johannesburg | March 01, 2003 02:38 IST

Javed Miandad, the man who stood between India and victory on several occasions in the 1980s and early 1990s, makes his predictions for the big game between the old rivals at Centurion Park.

India and Pakistan play each other after almost three years. How do you view the game between the two arch-rivals?

It will be a very good game, a pressure game. India is in a good position compared to Pakistan because they have qualified for the Super Sixes. So the pressure will be on Pakistan, who have forgotten how to bat. If they lose to India they will have to face the fury of the people back home and also face an early knockout from the tournament.

What is your prediction for the match?

The Indian morale is high so they won't mind losing because they are through. If this was a do-or-die situation their legs would have been shaking right now. But I still think India will win.

What is going wrong with Pakistan?

Their batting is just not clicking. Inzamam-ul Haq, who is the key player, is going through the worst form of his life. I have known him ever since he was an upcoming player. I used to give him a lot of practice in the nets. Now he is a much improved batsman. We rely a lot on bowling, but the batsmen are just not giving them any runs to defend.

Do you agree that Waqar Younis is the weak link in the bowling? Should he stand down for Saturday's game?

It is too late now to make that change, even if I agree with it. Mohammad Sami has not played for a long time and it will be unfair to ask him to play against India without match practice. Forget Waqar, the whole team is not doing well.

If you were coach of the side, what would you suggest to them?

I have always maintained that a good start is important. Inzamam or Yousuf Youhana have to take the responsibility of scoring heavily. We must look at the game first instead of the opposition. The wickets in South Africa are different from the ones back home. I don't understand why there are so many reshuffles in the batting order. None of the batsmen has confidence.

What would your side be for the game against India?

I would drop Saeed Anwar because his confidence is shaken. Things are not going well for him. He is not timing the ball the way he used to. Nothing is sure about his batting. I would open with Saleem Elahi and Taufiq Umar, then bring in Abdul Razzaq at number three and follow with Inzamam, Youhana, Younis Khan and Rashid Latif followed by the bowlers. Shahid Afridi would be my twelfth man.

I believe that when you play you must assess the bowler, not his reputation, and play on the merit of the ball. You have to be confident and play according to the situation.

Isn't it a pity that India and Pakistan don't play as much?

Hamare politicians ne saara panga kar rakha hai (our politicians have created this mess). They have brought politics into sports. It is their nature to bring up negative things and gain publicity. There is no problem between the people of the two countries. Despite threats in 1998-99 we came to India and found that we were so well received. People were happy to see us. I missed the fact that we did not play in Bombay. I feel bad for the poor people that they could not see their idols play their main rivals in the cricket-loving city of Bombay.

What do you suggest should be done?

The tension that has been created is because the two countries are playing after such a long time. We should play more regularly. The better side will always win, but so will the sport. We will be able to produce better cricketers playing each other. India will learn the art of producing fast bowlers while we could learn the art of batting. We should have regular under-15 and under-19 tours. The travelling would cost less, the confidence and experience of playing across the borders would be great.

I wish India comes to play in Sharjah again. With India not playing there who is affected? The former cricketers who played at a time when there was not so much money. The benefit matches give them a chance to get financial benefits for their contribution to the game. The reason India has given for not coming to Sharjah is ridiculous. Match-fixing happens everywhere. Those who want to do it will do it anyway. And India is the main place for match-fixing anyway.

What is your reaction to Shoaib Akhtar breaking the 100mph barrier?

Good for him. But I prefer that he wins games for Pakistan instead of promoting himself. Look at Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie. They don't touch 95mph, and yet look at their record. The world remembers you for your performances, not your 100mph speed. Why is Sachin Tendulkar the greatest batsman? Simply because of his performance. I played for so many years because of my performance.

Can you relive the run-in with Kiran More in the 1992 World Cup?

It was so long ago. So many things were happening that night. The pressure was building on me to get some runs and he was appealing like mad. So I jumped like he had and then asked him why he begs the umpire instead of just appealing.  I was suffering from a virus infection in my stomach and that was making batting more difficult. But I still jumped to mock him. It was funny.

Article Tools

Email this Article

Printer-Friendly Format

Letter to the Editor

Related Stories

'Inzi is a big, big worry'

Shoaib, Wasim have to do it for Pak

Akram on verge of 500

People Who Read This Also Read

Lanka beat West Indies by 6 runs

Stunning win at Supersport Park

We want to win the Cup: Ganguly

Copyright © 2003 rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.