Atul Wassan, the Delhi fast bowler is with the Indian side participating in the Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes. We talked to him on the IRC channel #cricket, during the tournament.
umcc: To get your opinion Atul - Manoj Prabhakar got a bad deal after getting hammered by Lankan hitters... Isn't it unfair to 'punish' a bowler like that?
Wassan: Definitely, I think it is very unfair... He has served the country so long and so well, just one off day...
salil: Atul: Could you tell us a little bit about how Delhi cricket is shaping up this year... The team has had its fair share of ups and downs, controversies, new captains, etc... When does Delhi next plan to win the Ranji trophy? :-)
Wassan: definitely this year, salil!
nidus: Atul: why do you think you haven't been able to keep your place in the Indian OD or Test side after such a promising start?
Wassan: well, waiting for a national selector from Delhi to get on the committee!
salil: Atul: Who would you say are the four best new ball bowlers in the country today?
Wassan: Atul Wassan, Srinath, Venky Prasad and the last one... lets see..... Kumble! (laughs)
umcc: Sudden shift of bowling department to 'South India' - comments, Atul?
Wassan: One of those things, you know! There time has come now, they have been lucky to get three to four good players at the same time!
We had Madan Lal, Sanjeev Sharma, myself and Manoj Prabhakar at one time, with Maninder as well!
umcc: Most of the 'pundits' think that Ranji Trophy is a waste of time and a bad place to look for talent... true, Atul?
Wassan: not really, if there is no Ranji Trophy, where would you find the potential Test players? Can't go looking at club nets really!
salil: Atul: Can you tell us a little about your opinion on Kuruvilla and why he hasn't even got a look in to the side even once?
Wassan: Kuruvilla has not been consistent enough and hasn't performed at the right times, in all the big matches. That's where he has gone wrong.
nidus: Atul: do you think the flat Indian pitches are hindering the developement of fast bowlers in India or is there some other reason?
Wassan: definitely, nidus, if a young bowler doesn't get much out of the wicket and gets hammered all day, he gives up bowling fast and resorts to swing and seam only.
Rohan: Atul is doing Real Audio commentary now. Any more questions? We can have them answered on RA and IRC.
salil: Atul: Do you see Prabhakar returnig to the India team ever?
Wassan: salil: it is possible, because he has made his intentions clear to play for Delhi. If he is keen to play for Delhi, then I think he has changed his mind about retirement.
salil: Atul: The best captain you have played under is...?
Wassan: salil: Imran Khan, captained the world XI in 1992 which I played for a few games. Amongst Indians, Madan Lal was a good captain.
salil: Atul: Hmm...interesting. Was that because he is a shrewd/clever captain or is it just his sheer presence? What makes him a good captain?
Wassan: salil: both of those, and always has a good reefer (joint) after the game :)
Rohan: Can you say somehting about the ball tampering?
Wassan: It does happen, but it is blown out of proportion. Do the Indians do it? Of course, we try it, we try to get away with it. We have even used bottlecaps!!
badri: ooh! Atul, have YOU used bottletops?
Wassan: badri: yes I have now and then, not recently though.
shariq-2: Atul: can you bowl reverse swing like Wasim and Waqar?
Wassan: I can reverse swing the ball, but not as consistently and as speedily as Wasim and Waqar - they are genuine greats.
nidus: Atul: apart from thos HK tournament have you been given any other representative duties lately eg. A side etc?
Wassan: Yes nidus, I have played for India A's now and then. I played when England A toured India last year.
shariq-2: Atul: what do you think about India's current bowling attack -- what is it lacking?
Wassan: shariq-2: India is lacking the 4th bowler really. An excellent attack, best in recent years with Venky [Prasad], Srinath and Kumble, all they are lacking is the fourth bowler, as we saw in England - when Kumble struggled, there was no one to fallback on.
Rohan: Atul is checking his email right now. Hold on with those questions while he checks his email please :-)
salil: I think the Indian attack is lacking an Ankola. Comments, Atul? Why do you think Ankola has been perpetually on the margin?
Wassan: Yes, he is being given a raw deal. When he has been bowling well he has been dropped, when he had totally given up he was selected again - this summer in England. He thought it was all over for him then.
Imran: Would you agree with the assessment that Pak, SA, WI & Aus occupy the top group in Test cricket, with India & Eng in the lower group ?
Wassan: Imran: definitely, but I wouldn't like to put RSA in that top bracket just yet, and neither the WI now. Only Australia and Pakistan now.
shariq-2: Atul: what do you think about Aaqib Javed's performance? Did pak made a mistake not taking him?
Wassan: shariq: very difficult to keep up with Wasim and Waqar, and I think bowlers suffer because of that. They probably wanted to give youngsters a chance, so Aaqib is the only one to go out.
shariq-2: Atul: what is your opinion about India's new captain -- is it too early for Tendy. He is a great player but!
Wassan: I think Sachin is a good captain, and will be the greatest captain India ever had. Very sensible, very mature, and what better man to lead by example?
ddyte: High praise for a Bombayite from a Delhi man!
Date-stamped : 07 Oct1998 - 04:33