Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes

Interview with Mohinder Amarnath

Mohinder Amarnath was in Hong Kong to cover the Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes Tournament. We got him to talk to the cricket fans on IRC undernet channel #cricket.

Rohan: And now with us is Mohinder Amarnath, so please fire away with your questions!

badri: Mr. Amarnath: Do you still believe the selectors are jokers? the current bunch, that is retiring now?

Mohinder: badri: Yes, I do! Unless they change the entire [selection] policy this will not change.

salil: Mohinder: A question for the man who called the selectors a bunch of jokers :) Do you see yourself being a selector if called upon to do so?

Mohinder: salil: I will never accept this job, it is a thankless job.

badri: can you point out one or two colossal blunders by the current selection committee?

Mohinder: badri: I think the selection committee needs to be ex-test cricketers. There are three who have not played, and invariably one or two good players get left out.

Imran: Mohinder: do you think that India's current obsession with one-dayers is contributing to India's slipping status as a Test side ?

Mohinder: No, I think everybody is playing one day cricket, but our planning has not been too good in one day cricket. I think we need more bowlers to bowl out sides in Test cricket.

The problem with Indian cricket is that we always rely on spinners. When it comes to International cricket we have to produce more fast bowlers.

ddyte: Mohinder: you have some notoriety as one of the few, or possibly the only person given out Handled Ball in an ODI. I saw that dimissal and I swear you left the field with a smile on your face. Is this right? Did you find it more funny than tragic?

Mohinder: ddyte: I am not the only one. Mohsin Khan and Desmond Haynes also. I was not pleased, I was feeling sorry for myself.

CommonMan: M. Amarnath: Do you think the current [Indian] batting line up is the best the country can put up?

Mohinder: CommonMan: I am sure there must be some good players who are not in the squad - I have not seen many of the youngsters, but we are playing so much one day cricket, it is difficult to test people out in 3/5 days. The real talent will show through only in the 5 day game, not in the one days.

Shash: Mohinder: how would your Indian side differ from the current squad?

Mohinder: Shash: in my time we had a few experienced all rounders, this is what the Indian side is lacking at the moment.

I think you have to look for all rounders, they are important to the game as they help in both the departments. I think Sunil Joshi is a very good find. We need one more guy in the middle order who can do a similar job. Then we will have a good side.

salil: Mohinder: If people like you and vengsarkar and others who think alike can get together to persuade the board in this regard, maybe there might be changes... ? (regarding the selection committee)

Mohinder: salil: yes I think it should be like that. You have to have cricketers with expereince. You don't even need 5, maybe 3 can do a better job. We have a zonal system and until that changes I don't think things will really improve.

Imran: with respect to improving bowling talent, what would you think of adjusting 1-day rules to give more incentive to bowlers, eg- 5 runs for taking a wicket.

Mohinder: Imran: I would say a wicket is more important than runs in one day cricket.

salil: Mohinder: People on irc often have arguments about who was the "best" Inbdian batsman, Amarnath or Gavaskar... how do you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses?

Mohinder: salil: I would say Gavaskar definitely was a complete player. The other great thing about him was that he always made maximum use of any opportunity - that is a great sign of any good player. He never gave away his wicket.

My strength was my own performance, weakness was the selectors.

CommonMan: Mohinder: We have batsmen who seem to be suspect against pace. This has been the case for quite a while. Is there an effort to get them ready for the job?

Mohinder: CommonMan: I think it is the nature of the wickets in India. Somehow they have some problems with short rising deliveries, That's why our performance is not as good.

salil: Question for the come-back expert. What does Prabhakar need to do to return to the India side? Will he? Can he?

Mohinder: salil: Making a comeback is not easy. He has to do very well in the domestic cricket. There is a chance.

vishal: Mohinder: Who gave you the idea of the square on (with the toes pointing at each other) which turned out so succesful?

Mohinder: vishal: I used to try a lot of things on my own, whenever I felt comfortable I would carry on with that. When you play against genuine pace, a slightly open stance is always better.

CommonMan: Mohinder: Allan Lamb was known to make extensive use of the bowling machine. Have you ever used it? Is it used by anyone in India?

Mohinder: CM: I dont think it makes any difference, to be very honest. I would rather ask someone to bowl from a shorter distance. Gavaskar never used it [bowling machine]. None of the Indian batsmen ever have.

salil: mohinder: Who are the pace bowlers you think will tour with India to South Africa and the WI?

Mohinder: salil: they will only announce the team for RSA - they will stick to Prasad and Srinath, they will try out guys in the triangular with Aus and RSA I think. There are some useful medium fast pacers in India.

nidus: Mohinder: it is said that Indian batsman don't get a chance to learn to play the genuine quicks because there are none in the Indian domestic cricket... where did the likes of you and Gavaskar learn the art?

Mohinder: nidus: You learn in your childhood playing on matting - a lot of bounce is there compared with the average turf wicket. That gave me practice. Sunil played with a lot of tennis ball cricket, that gave him a good idea for short rising deliveries.

CommonMan: Amarnath: What is the emphasis on fitness these days in the Indian cricket team? Has it improved? Do you think more can be done?

Mohinder: CM: more can be done, we are still lagging behind.

vishal: Mohinder: do you think the Sidhu decision was right, too harsh or too lenient? [the 50 day ban]

Mohinder: vishal: I don't think it was harsh at all.

salil: Mohinder: Do you think that a cricket supremo (like Illingworth) policy may solve India's problems? especially in regards to regionalism in selection etc.?

Mohinder: salil: we have a cricketing manager, I am sure if we stick to one person we will solve our problems.
Date-stamped : 07 Oct1998 - 04:33