(From left to right) Former Australia captains Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and ex-Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga at Aaj Tak's Cricket Conclave at Hotel Grand in New Delhi. Photo Courtesy: Thunder Down Under
Former players who have captained their teams in past World Cups, (from left) Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly and Arjuna Ranatunga at Aaj Tak’s Cricket Conclave in New Delhi. Photo Courtesy: Thunder Down Under


Oct 18, 2014


Clive Lloyd apologises for West Indies leaving

“I want to talk about the West Indies. I apologise for the team leaving. We have great affinity with India and its people. We have many great players starting their careers here in India. Some guys decided to stop this tour and I think it is a mistake. I do hope that the closeness between the Indians and the West Indians remain as it has been there. I did not want it to end like this, we have great love with Indian people and I don’t think there is a better place for playing cricket. It’s unfortunate we left, and I hope the damage is reparable,” said Lloyd.




Who will win the World Cup

Ponting: I am going for Australia-India final. If they clash then it will be a great match to watch. It will be a great spectacle. Batsmen vs batsmen. Warner is doing very well. Opening the batting if he goes well then he can turn around. New Zealand have a unbelievable record at home and they are winning as well.

Waugh: 5-6 genuine chances. AB de Villiers will be a key man for South Africa. David Warner and Maxwell have a huge tournament coming up. May be it is south africa’s turn. They are favourites and no one is talking about them.

Inzamam: we should not lose hopes. If the guys play well then they can do really well.

Ranatunga: this will be a very open world cup. Australia, south Africa,. Sri Lanka is also there. To tell you honestly i feel India will struggle with their batting. Pakistan is also unpredictable.

Waugh: Australia. They will beat South Africa in the final. Maxwell will turn out to be a major player.

Aamer Sohail: Australia have good side and they have batsmen who can bowl and provide excellent support.

Allan Border: Australia will be under pressure. I rate Australia for this world cup. They are a hard side to beat and it will be an Australia-south Africa final. Glenn Maxwell may have a huge impact.

Who will win the World Cup and who will  have the decisive impact?
Lloyd: A couple of teams. Australia and  India have got very good teams. They are  consistent. They will be playing in two  different countries, so those who adjust  themselves quickly.

Not West Indies?
Lloyd: (Laughs) We don’t even know who is going to play! There is Sri Lanka, there is New Zealand…

Pick a favourite.
Lloyd: Australia.


Allan Border: Yes I would really love to play the IPL.

Ponting: Coaches in today’s time will be renamed as manager. They play a big role. They play the role of managing the squad.


Ranatunga: When you take limited-overs it is about containing. When it comes to Test cricket you need to take 20 wickets. India need to see and even Sri Lanka, if they have bowlers who can take wickets. You need to create situations in the middle and still have the bowlers who can take wickets. Asian teams struggle against other teams.


Waugh: Someone like Adam Gilchrist, underrated skills but he could win matches like World Cup final, this world cup may see another one emerging. I think he is one of the best all-rounders.


Border: I think Kapil was one of the good all-rounders. There was Botham as well who balances out the team as well.


Ranatunga: Aravinda de silva was someone who could take wickets. He ended up getting a very important. Its about a batsman who can bowl or the other way round. Even someone like Jayasuriya, he played like an all-rounder.


Ponting: Lot of power hitters are there in cricket now. If Dhoni or pollard is there at the crease but if they bat till the end there is a chance of winning. IPL is also affecting the way teams are being selected. No 9 and 10 are now very capable batters or hitters. One thing that hasn’t changed is bowling at the death. The hitting skill has improved, which at times makes yorkers look ordinary.

Kapil: Wasim Akram is the best seam bowler of all times. If he can see he can beat a team in three overs he can do it.

Ponting: In my career Akram was one of the best along with Ambrose.


Waugh on losing matches providing inspiration: Yes it is important. We did lose a couple in 1999  and we had a get together. We changed a few things around. Removed the curfews. As a captain i was committed to win the tournament. We were getting ahead of us. The loss against Pakistan was the turning point for us. We had a team meeting wherein Geoff Marsh spoke. It turned around things a lot.


Sohail: [on IPL threatening Test cricket] We should be thankful cricket is being played. Authorities need to have a look at it. Every two years there is a world cup. Just enjoy the game. its all about technique and mindset. If a player has good technique he can survive in any form of the game.


Border: Not necessary to rate a player with a world cup win. But it adds more to the achievements. England feel something is missing on their CV. If you win a World Cup you really have achieved something very special.


Border: Yes, Sachin has been the most consistent. It is easy to have off period but with a busy schedule it is great to have such numbers.


Ponting: I am very proud of the fact that we were able to sustain success for long periods of time. We had two very good teams and what stood out was just how much individual senior players wanted to make himself better. Watching Waugh, Mcgrath and others who pushed themselves to get better was the reason behind the team’s better performance.


Steve Waugh: We had the attitude of not becoming complacent. We were at No 1 but the second one was always chasing us. We didn’t want to drop below the standards. We knew if we became complacent someone will replace us. We wanted to capitalise on the momentum.


Ranatunga: I think it is not about risk but also about creating new environment. When we went to Australia in 1996 we knew we have Sanath and Kaluwithrana as best openers. We didn’t have a strong bowling attack. It took us one and half years for us to plan. We didn’t have today’s technology for our use but we found out way out.


Lloyd: The qualities that Border, Ponting and Waugh is that they can manage people well. They passed on the tradition and they managed the big players well. It is important when you have a big team and have to deal with so many people.


Inzamam: I think there was no pressure on me. Anyways my tournament wasn’t going well and I think the game in the semi-final was my game. I could play fearless cricket. I had started off.


Ranatunga: I think it is not about risk but also about creating new environment. When we went to Australia in 1996 we knew we have Sanath and Kaluwithrana as best openers. We didn’t have a strong bowling attack. It took us one and half years for us to plan. We didn’t have today’s technology for our use but we found out way out.


Ponting: It is important to play aggressive cricket. Australians have been recognised for playing that brand of cricket. We have to take the game on. The modern day players too can’t rely on others making mistakes. Sometimes you have to force yourself. You cant be passive and let the game flow.


Kapil: When amarnath took the last wicket of Holding I thought that was the moment we won the world cup. Before that I did not think much. We needed a good start, and Sandhu’s bowling was important.


Ponting: If you look back there are many stand out moments. When you think about them its about the players, how they changed the games. Sri lanka changed the way the game was played. They changed lot of things. Then we had Gilchrist and mark playing the way Lankans played. I would rate Sri Lankan team in 1996 as the best


Border: My first was in 1979, I saw a great team in the West Indies. Watched viv Richards destroy England. I want to see a match between 1979 Windies team and 2003 Australian team.


Kapil: It is difficult to pick a team. I can say West Indies because they had the players. But Australia too had the players who can win the cup. Sri Lankan team were the cherry on the cake. They were soft people, winning games after another and without big names,. Aravindra de silva, my hero of all time. Muralitharan was there. These are the names who lit up your eyes. I would rate Sri Lanka as the best team.


Ranatunga: I think the win in 1996 changed cricket in Sri Lanka. It changed the route, everyone wanted to play cricklet. I was in Under-12 when Clive won in ’75. I was part of the Lankan team when Kapil’s team won. I thought they had only Sunil and Kapil and no other big names. Pakistan and India had won it, why can’t Sri Lanka win. Border’s team was very young. Imran’s team and Kapil’s team were the best two teams of the world cup.


Aamer Sohail: It’s an honour to represent Imran Khan. We had a set back because Miandad could not travel. Waqar Younis got injured. He was not not talking to the team, he was giving confidence to individuals. Yes we lost but he and the team recovered and he started to dish out the roles and talking to the team collectively.


Kapil Dev: It took my 25 years to understand we won the World Cup. Every one said we were the better team. Now the media is saying so much, now I realise we won the World Cup. I remember picking up champagne from Clive’s room. They had many of them. When we won the tradition is that you go to the losing team’s dressing room. Windies thought they will win. We picked up we didn’t say thank you, we say it now.

Allan Border: It was a bit surreal. Playing in front of that size of crowd. We did well in the tournament, good in field, well prepared. We had specific target with the bat and the ball. We gave ourselves chances in games but turning up ad Eden Gardens as underdogs. But it felt like playing at the MCG. Fantastic feeling at the end. Most of the beer got spilled in celebration. We wasted more than what we drank.


Ponting: this is remarkable. This is just a small family. So many world cups but there are not many captains. To be here with so many world cup winning captains has not happened before.
Steve Waugh: We took a lot from the Windies. Took their blueprint. We saw the team that was unbeaten for about 15 years. Clive’s team was perhaps the best team.



Kapil Dev: India favourite for the world cup. But if you had asked me this question 15 years back my answer would be different. They are going through a lot and they need to have lot of things sorted out. But you never know. Team that plays well always win.
Azharuddin: India is ahead of Pakistan but whatever i see of Pakistan they do have lot of talent, they are going through a lot and not playing at home dents your confidence. But at the end of the day this is cricket and with experience they can make a lot of difference.
Sohail: we are going through tough time. There is only one impact player who is Mohammad Irfan. If he bowls an outstanding spell. If he takes many wickets then there can be a chance for Pakistan to win.
Ajay Jadeja: Pakistan is not winning much but i will say the pressure is on India. I am not too sure about the result of the world cup opening match.
Inzamam: there is a lot of talk about Pakistan being a good side on paper. India have a good side. The biggest advantage they have is MS Dhoni, who can take a lot of pressure. We may not be having many impact players but Dhoni’s captaincy will make the difference.


Inzamam: People do get angry when we lose to India. In 1996, I had flight to Multan but I was told that people are so angry that I was told to go alone. No one was ready to protect me. Players get a lot of pressure from outside. We don’t have any problem with each other. Either of the side loses and people start saying the tournament is over for us.


Gavaskar: The rules have changed a lot. Boundaries are shorter. The bats are so good. The cricketers too have six or eight packs like Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan. 300-350 is at par score today. India Pakistan have players who can do the good work for their sides. India-Pakistan cricket and the players have some amount of unpredictability. It is fun to watch this rivalry.


Azhar: The innings Jadeja played against Pakistan was one of the best. During the Sahara Cup in Toronto Inzamam had a fight but I want to reveal that the entire Indian team was behind him. Once Wasim akram hit me a couple of times on the body but also asked, ‘tu theek to hai’?


Inzamam: If we lose against India, even the family people do not talk properly on phone. Leave aside the people from other corners. But the point is we don’t play each other regularly. If there is a 5-6 year gap then there will be a lot of pressure on the players. The pressure won’t go away, but it will not be as much as it is today. Anyone who performs well will see his confidence going sky high.


Gavaskar: Australia-New Zealand are strong sides and there is rivalry. But i have not seen friendship as is the case between India and Pakistan players.


Gavaskar: Every Indian wants to win against Pakistan. Everywhere you go, even the room service will ask you to win the game. In matches against other countries the delivery guy of the hotel may ask for extra ticket, but against Pakistan he forgets about the ticket. All he asks for is a game to win.

Sohail: The game had high expectations. There was so much going on in the Pakistan dressing room. Jadeja’s innings had shook us in the 1996 game. No one can understand the pressure we go through. I was trying to hit the ball but one good delivery was needed to end my stay at the crease.


Kapil Dev: Pressure builds from the amount of expectations. Who wants to lose? Which side wants to lose? But when a ball is delivered at 150 kmph you are not thinking of pressure but to save yourself. This is where the A game comes ahead.


Azharuddin: India-Pakistan matches are always nice. We have always won those games and whatever experience i had, the match in the 1996 world cup was the most tough game of my life. I thought a huge burden was lifted above me. When in 1999, in Manchester, we won and when i returned to the dressing room, the management guys told me it is enough for them as a World Cup win.


Kapil Dev: I think people were tolerant earlier. Pakistan were good side those days. But in the last 10-15 years India have improved immensely. When there is surety the pressure is not as much as it is earlier. You don’t need to fear from anything.


Ajay Jadeja: Its a sport. Fortune is like that because we understand each other a lot. we know each other’s problems very well. We [India and Pakistan] don’t need to sledge each other. That is not needed.


Inzamam: I saw Jadeja and it reminded me of an incident when we were sitting together and he said it is fine that we are losing in Sharjah because our fans are used to it. I say the same thing. Indians are not used to liose to Pakistan in world cup match. India-pakistan match is more tense than India-Australia.


Inzamam: What Imran Khan has taught none of the Pakistan captains picked it up. It is too late for Pakistan to change a captain. It will get difficult for the man who is named the skipper. Whatever Misbah is as captain, he should continue. He must be having his own plans. There is not much time left for the World Cup. PCB cannot make such changes now.


Kapil Dev: We expect South Africa and New Zealand to win sometime. In subcontinent we won it, Pakistan and Sri Lanka won it. Their achievement was huge. They came out well in 1996 and defeating Australia was a big thing.

Kapil Dev: The best thing about 1983 World Cup was that it ended one team domination. Every tournament we have different new contenders all together.


Ricky Ponting: India one of the favourites in the 2015 world cup. It will be interesting to see how both India and Australia manage to keep their players fit and fresh for the tournament after the big series. Playing in those conditions and understanding the opponents wont be an easy thing. The squad might be different for the tri-series. We went to the Caribbean and people say we were not good enough. But we did well. If you look at India’s record under MS Dhoni, I’m sure they would back themselves to win.


Kapil Dev: When world cup comes to you, always start a new chapter. It is important to think about winning. This world cup will be different. We didn’t have so many resources. Today teams have a lot of amenities. Whoever plays well those 20 days can win the tournament. You don’t need big names, but you need big commitment.


Kapil Dev: I have started seeing this Indian team closely of late. They do have the potential. But they also need to have the right team. Mindset is very important. They need to pick the right players for the tournament and remain focused. You have to be good on that very day. You have to think about playing well.


Inzamam: In 1992 we lost to India, but won the cup. I hope it happens the same this time around. I don’t think India will continue to win always. We will win someday in the world cup.


Inzamam-ul-Haq: Pakistan is suffering because of no international cricket. Also, the PCB is not stable. There is lot of action going around. Coaches are also being changed very often. We need to get things stable. Misbah has been the captain, he did well. So did Hafeez in the T20 version. Shahryar khan understands cricket. I see that cricket in Pakistan can improve a lot. It has a lot of talent. It has been one of the best sides in international cricket. We have a very good bowling attack. Players do get down, but they can bounce back.


Ricky Ponting: India and Australia always had great rivalry. Harbhajan and I have mended our ways. England, South Afirca and New Zealand all love playing against Australia. I saw India and cricket growing and becoming the powerhouse, the money it is generating. Even IPL is promoting lot of talent. In fact, take a look how many double centuries have been scored in ODIs.


Ponting on 2003 World Cup final:  I was worried about the rain washing out the remaining day in the final. I thought about how we will be able to lift ourselves after such a good show in the first half of the match. But we were quick through our overs and we did very well to finish the game that day itself.


Lloyd on payment issues: Yes we didn’t get any money during that time. But it is good to see things happening now. Players can get good living. It is good to see the money coming in.


Clive Lloyd: We didn’t not take India lightly in 1983 World Cup final. We just didn’t play good cricket on that day. There were up to the mark and played well. We did not do the things right.


Kapil Dev: We were a light group of people. We didn’t think we will reach to that stage. There were 14 players and one manager. When you have too many people lot of players do not talk and prefer to remain quiet. In 1983 we weren’t believing but later on we thought we can beat anyone.


Inzamam: Captain needs to have lot of confidence. In 1992 we were above Zimbabwe. But Imran believed we will win. I got out on five versus New Zealand, I was not scoring. I was sitting with Imran and he told me that he thought the boundary that I had hit was the sign of my form coming back. The captains in all these World Cups were very strong. They carried the team together. A captain can give a lot of confidence to the players. All great players have a lot of self belief. Imran said the captains should come in front.


Ricky Ponting:  When I took over the captaincy in 2003 we had a strong side. People said my job is easy. But I had everything to lose. All sorts of things would have been said about me if we lost. We had adversities in the start of the World Cup in 2003, but we had good people coming through. We know what happened in the final. I think as a team they were pressurised and we could sense that. Because of the experience we had the edge and that made our job easier.


Clive Lloyd: West Indies weren’t the best side in 1975. Australia were on top of the game and we were only coming through. We came together in 1974 and that I think was the start. The win did a lot to us. We were five million people spread out. We were not one culture. Working together and playing together is tough. Any Windies captain will say he will find it tough.


Kapil Dev: It happened when we beat West Indies in west indies. We hadn’t done so well before that. The first match in the tournament gave us the necessary boost. It was good for us to start rolling better. I don’t think India was the best side in 1983. It was about how well you played in those 20-25 days. We got confident as the time passed and we had good players. Once you start winning and that changes everything. First couple of matches we won and the thought process changed. This is not only because of 1983 and 2011. We are a lot better than that. There is a lot coming out from India for cricket.


Yuvraj: [On what made him fight with Andrew Flintoff] when you are playing for your country and Flintoff didn’t like being hit for two consecutive fours. He didn’t like it. So we had an exchange of words.


Piyush: I bowled the penultimate over in the England match. After being hit for a six i stopped thinking. But i learned a lot from that one over.


Harbhajan: The India-Pakistan semi final was biuggest in all aspects. Big people had come to watch the match and Shoaib Akhtar asked me before the match if there were tickets. Shoaib said, ‘yaha ke kar de Bombay ke kar lunga’. I asked, ‘Bombay kyo ja rahe ho?’ I did not sleep well but recovered before the start of the final. The team meeting before the final of the tournament was for only 2 minutes. And no one spoke apart from Mike Horn.


Yuvraj: The win against Australia was special. After losing to South Africa we as a team decided that such thing wont be repeated. We cut down the distractions. We stayed close as a unit.


Piyush: We started off with discussing world cup and then in the tournament we used to take one game at a time. End goal was to win. But in mind we wanted to take one game at a time.


Harbhajan: It depends a lot on how you get together. We had a brilliant atmosphere and unity in the team. We played well in Australia. We won the ODI series and drew in tests. Lot of positive things happened like mike horn coming in. If anyone decides to do anything there is no stopping him. We had 16 in squad and 5 in support. The entire country was behind us. All of India wanted to win. The wishes were with the team. We were playing well. We did lose here and there but people knew we had to make it big in the World Cup.


Yuvraj: After 2011, anyways, my story is different. My body took a long time to get back in shape. Want to get back to action. I am trying and will keep trying. If i am not named in the World Cup squad the life wont stop.


Harbhajan: Dhoni had taken a ‘mannat’ that if he wins it he will shave his head. We were sitting and suddenly he disappeared. He shaved his head himself.


Harbhajan: On the field you have to be serious, but if the fun element dies then there is no use of playing the game. You play to enjoy and by taking pressure you spoil a lot of things. I get angry now as well. But i had good seniors who taught me a lot. From by debut till date, whenever there is a chance to have fun i enjoy and when i get serious i do a lot.


What happened to Dhoni’s hair?

Piyush: I don’t know. I don’t have any idea what Dhoni did, because I don’t remember what I did myself.

Harbhajan: Dhoni had vowed to shave his head. After we won he vanished for 10 minutes. When he came back we could not recognise him and asked him to leave. Then we realised who it was.


What were you doing during the chase?

Harbhajan: We never moved from our places. When the winning stroke was hit I jumped over Sacin and Sehwag. It was heartening to see those happy faces… people coming up to tell me that I had made them, the sport proud…

Piyush: I was thirsty, but Bhajji never let me leave my seat. I told I was thirsty, Bhajji said “nothing will happen if you wait”.

Yuvraj: The Trophy slept on my bed. I do not remember where I slept.


Was it true that you were not willing to hand over the Trophy after winning to everyone? You were not even willing to put it down during shoots!

Yuvraj: It was very hard-earned. I had no intention of putting it down. We had watched the Cup from our childhoods. We desperately wanted to win.
Also, if you win something like that you should not place it on the ground; you should place it somewhere very, very high


How did you feel winning match after match through the tournament, playing alongside the tournament? 

Piyush: The seniors were very supportive. The World Cup was my first ODI series in India! I had a bad match, and the entire team supported me, helping me make a comeback.


Bhajji: Cricket is more of a team game. In 2007 we never played upto our fullest potential. The team spirit increased with Kirsten’s arrival. When we took field in 2011 we did it with the mentality to win, not just participate. I remember Yuvi and I were at Wankhede 2-3 months before the Final. Yuvi told me “just think, 2-3 months from now we will lift the World Cup.”
2011 was special in the sense that it was more of a cool team than a cool captain.


Piyush: They always call me laddoo. They always tend to pull my leg.


What was different in 2011? Yuvraj: Kirsten. His presence made a lot of difference. He understood us. Then Mike Horn came and shared his experiences. His experiences motivated us a lot.


The guests and the audience return after a 30-minute recess. Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla join Yuvraj Singh in the discussion.






Gavaskar: Weather conditions are always going to be a factor. But it can be extremely hot in Adelaide and Brisbane as well. How you begin a tour is most important. Players tend to think if they have done well at the start can do well later as well. The bowlers are not used to bowl 20-25 overs a day. The bowlers do not play domestic cricket. By the time you could turn to the third test the bowler starts looking exhausted.


Waugh: India have won a lot under ms Dhoni. He will be having enough confidence ahead of the Australia tour. India will need their team to have some kind of momentum going their way. Australia i think, have a chance but this is a very open tournament.


Waugh: India not only need bowlers but also need to stop the bad session. Test can be taken away from you in couple of sessions and this is where they need to work on and India will have to learn to hang in there. We loved the fact that when crowd was quiet overseas it meant we were on top.


Gavaskar: To win down under you need bowlers who can take 20 wickets consistently over 3-4 Tests. Unless India don’t have that, they cannot win.


Waugh: Australia has always supported great sportspeople. Sachin Tendulkar is loved as much as the Australian fans love their sporting heroes. Merv Hughes was a great example. Once you get the fans on your side then you can do well. As soon as you are friends with them they will also appreciate.


Waugh: Australians hated the team surrendering the game on the third or fourth day. If India can fight they will earn the respect. England lost badly and they were rolled over. Australians will embrace the ones who fight for themselves. India have had pretty ordinary run in Test cricket. They need to fight more in the second third and fourth Test


Sunil Gavaskar: It is always terrific playing in Australia. They will let you know what they think about the game. Once you do good and they accept you, they will praise you and they will be honest. That’s the way they have been brought up — being upfront. Once this system comes into play, you can do well.





Waugh: I toured India first in 1986 and had heard a lot about many things. I spent a lot of time with Mike Whitney who will pack his bags and go out for exploration.


Sunil Gavaskar: Off the field stuff is very important. Steve made Australians realise that it is important to try and understand the culture because they have to spend about two-three months in the country,


Waugh: I may not hook or score century off 30-40 balls. When I started playing i was making runs for the others. I decided to stop it and play as long as I could in the middle. When i played against ambrose and walsh and i saw that I don’t need to play the hook shot more than being there in the middle.


Steve Waugh: Sledging is [an] Australian way, its the way we have been brought up. I always think Test is tough and mentally, physically and socially you need to be fit,. There are times when you need to be patient. Important to keep the spirits up. There was certainly lot of talk. Harbhajan and Waqar always had something to say. All teams have some characters that like to talk.


Steve Waugh: I played against him first in 1986. It was a different experience playing in those conditions. The conditions were tough, the crowd was lot. It was a big change for us. Not much grass in the outfield. It was like playing in a place we never could imagine. 2001 was my last. At Eden gardens there were 90,000 people and it was magnificent. People love the cricket here.


Sunil Gavaskar and Steve Waugh join the discussion on the dias now.


Yuvraj: [ On winning the World Cup]. I remember Dhoni hitting that six. best moment of my life. I didn’t know what to do. Something that will remain with me. It is hard to explain what it meant to be the World Cup winners.


Yuvraj: I remember losing the first three games in table tennis and i was struggling after winning the next three. I have always been myself, fun-loving, happy with friends and family. I never wanted to lose myself to cancer. I had heard people losing themselves.





Yuvraj: There were toughest moments. Biopsy, chemo makes you weaker and weaker. The injections. I think i had the best support with my friends and mother and the wishes of my country. The will to survive in tough conditions. Reading lance armstrongs book. There was lot of motivation.


Yuvraj: You thought life is over. First was, is the career over? I don’t know, i will have to see. Family friends, mom was there but it was me who fought out the toughest battle. Used to watch my videos while i had no hair on my head. I remember Kumble coming over and saying no more watching cricket and need to concentrate on health. That was tough.


Yuvraj: Doctor made him sit down many times. I wasn’t listening. As sportsmen you don’t want to listen to this. People don’t accept things happening to them. You understand and you be with it and you don’t have a choice now.


Yuvraj: I think the condition worsened in IPL after world cup and when i got the scans done the reports said i might have and i might not have cancer. I got properly diagnosed, still running away from me. Doctor made me sit down and told me that i have cancer and i cannot keep running around. I had to go to treatment and survive. I wanted to go to Australia and BCCI was not ready.


Yuvraj: You are standing on the top and the next moment you are there in the ditch. There was motivation to comeback. Its hard to accept but i am thankful to almighty for living again and breathe.


Yuvraj: All i know that i have no regrets. It can happen to anyone and im glad that it happened to me. I pushed through it. I made it in time in America. Missed out on the best years of cricket due to this.


Yuvraj: I remember having sleeping issues. I had neck issues. Told physio that whatever happens, i want the world cup for India. I don’t care if the god takes my life, i want the world cup. You see players winning it for their country and for the next 3-4 years they are called world champions. Bieing a world champion was what i wanted to achieve the next day.


Yuvraj: As a sportsman you tend to grow up because mind feels stronger than the body. The body will crack, but the mind won’t.


Yuvraj: We were playing in Chennai and i thought i was dehydrated and i was throwing up. Hadn’t scored a century in a world cup and i got a chance to bat at No 4 because Virender Sehwag wasn’t there.


Yuvraj: Coughing blood is serious and i chose to ignore it. First priority is to play cricket and there is a thought how many world cups do you get? I was playing in my third and that too was in India.


Yuvraj: There were health issues and didn’t think it will be bad. I scored 59 which was not a bad start. Scoring three back to back fifties and wickers gave me confidence to do well.


Yuvraj: A year before world cup i had 3-4 fractures and lot of issues were there. Kept on working hard and believing myself. I think that got me through. I knew it was matter of one innings which will change my confidence with the bat.


Yuvraj Singh: When you are an athelete, train and eat well you don’t think otherwise. You tend to ignore and concentrate on game. Not the right thing to do, i would say. Health is most important.


Yuvraj Singh: Playing for India is always pressurising. There was a time i was coughing blood but i put the team and country in front to make sure i do the best because the world cup was coming. This was before the world cup camp during a game versus south Africa and i carried on. I ignored my health and concentrated on cricket





Yuvraj Singh arrives at the venue in style. A video  featuring Yuvraj’s battle against cancer as well his charitable work towards charitable patients is played at the time of his arrival.







Border: Yes India can win in Australia.


Ponting on KP Controversy: I don’t believe Australia is tougher than any opponent. It is harder for us as well. Kevin voicing his opinion is there. We knew what was happening in England dressing room. Against him, it always felt he was not a part of the English dressing room. He was always fielding on the boundary. Never really seemed like a fully accepted member of the team. He can be playing right now but he has to be up there among the performers. England could have handled it better, he is a strong character. Steve had to deal with biggest egos that we have seen in cricket. England did not have strong enough to keep him.


Steve On KP controversy: You don’t sell books by being nice. Kevin has been controversial. He has won games for England and has won matches. He was always a high-maintenance player. He was no longer the top 10 batsmen when he went to Australia. The form was also a part of the failure. The controversy and hype will be over in a few months.


Ponting: When India play in India, they rely on spin. MS is able to make the best use of his guys. He waits for the ball to get reverse swing and he brings on the fast bowlers. Cannot win outside India with that mentality. What India might have to look into is to have good bowlers. Australia have been successful because of having three good fast bowlers.





Border: We like to play positive aggressive game. No apologies but that is the way we play. It goes over the top at times but something that we will not do much about.


Ponting: Teams that have excelled in Australia had good tall fast bowlers. The wickets will be bouncy and pacy and it will be good test. England and South Africa have the players to win the matches. Ishant has done well, has bowled good to me. But if they don’t have someone like him then it will be tough for India to take 20 wickets in all four tests.


Ponting: [Adam] Gilchrist being someone who doesn’t think on batting. All he keeps thinking is wicketkeeping and that innings was one of the all time great one day world cup innings. I didn’t know about it. Neither did the players in the team.


Waugh: Didn’t know we were in the finals. Someone told me and i said, really? I never really asked Border in 1987 for anything and batted like a No 11 player. But he said, it is good conditions and we can win as well.





Ponting: The tied semifinal in 1999 was the match. A lot of players were running around in the field but we didn’t know what it really meant. If you look history, we have always found the ways to peak at the right times. But stand out for me was the uncertainty. Australia did not know after the tied match that they were through to the final.


Border: We were favourites in 1992. We finished Test match in Perth and in 10 days we were in New Zealand, before we realise, we had already lost the game. The preparations were poor. I think preparations for India and England will be key as they will be playing good hard cricket.


India’s greatest strength and weakness?” Sohail: Overconfidence, and the fact that India has never had quality fast bowlers. We have always had them, and Imran had always thrust them into cricket early and nurtured them. Talents like Zaheer and Nehra had arrived, so the problem lies in mindset. If you have fast bowlers, why cannot you groom them?


Border: MS Dhoni seems to be a strong character. What i have noticed in limited overs cricket he tries to be proactive. In test he lets the game drift too much. But he cant take all responsibility. Test cricket you need seniors to keep helping out. Good for India to be playing tests in Australia. They will be playing really hard cricket and it will be good for them.


Waugh: I was at lords when India won. It was a historic win but they disintegrated. Leadership needs to step up and arrest the slide. I think there is a question mark over Dhoni’s skills in Test cricket, but he is a man under immense pressure. In Tests he looks jaded, he has played for far too long. May be it is time for someone else to take charge. May be Virat Kohli.


Ponting: I don;t know much about Dhoni. He seems to be a very good leader, but he should not be the only one responsible. Test match cricket is different and five day cricket can expose everything. They need to play five hard days of cricket away to win. Other challenge will be to get success through finger spinners. India are reliant on the spinners.


Border: India have got the talent but they need to show the toughness. Against Mitchell Johnson and everyone. I agree with ricky that bowling has to be spot on. Bowlers will need to pull up. Ishant will be key for India in Australia. It is all about attitude. We have seen their skills. If they excel in those pitches then India can be a good team.


Ponting: India have got the potential. When India plays people talk about their batsmen, but i look at their bowlers. It is also about the skills. Will they be able to cope with the Australian bowlers as well? It was evident in England. i really think bowling will be issue for India in Australia.





Steve Waugh: I think India can compete anywhere. It is about attitude. They know the opposition well. It was a different game 25 years ago. India was a totally new world for us. Food, crowd, hotel everything is new. India have not won in Australia. There is no reason why they cannot do. In my last series they nearly won. Pitches in Australia have slowed down. They have lost heavily and that has gone in the mindset.


Border: I had hopes with the Australian cricketers. There was system, and we started playing well. We came to India in 86 and 87 we got some momentum. Young players responded well and they were coming through the system. There was hope that the system will keep throwing good players.


Ponting: As a leader and experienced player you want to step up. I was lucky that we went off to get a good start, India were nervous. The team was not looking fine. I had time to settle down. I got fifty in about 70 balls. After the 35 overs we spoke about going for the attack and hit boundaries. Ended up being not out and shared a brilliant of partnership with Damien Martyn. It was a tough total but we had to bowl well.


Ricky Ponting: it wasn just 2003 or 2007. We lost matches from positions where we could have esily win. We had same and experienced players. It was a pivotal moment for the opponents but it was same for us. The carry from 1999-03 and to have Shane Warne not there and Jason Gillespie going down after match one was tough. But the team responded very well. It was always the experienced guys in the pressure situations and through the tournament and in the final I played a crucial knock. We are proud of the ways we have played. We don’t play a lot of games in Australia and it is always pressurising.


Steve on semi-final 1999: I was clueless. Pretended to stay nice cool and calm. I was nervous as anyone. I went to fleming and he said let’s see. He executed the ball well. Everyone was in immense pressure. Big mistake what SA did was theyre was no communication. They did not communicate well. We had chances to win the match earlier. It was not a choke from SA.


Steve on 1999: I had the Hershcelle Gibbs moment in 1987 world cup. I was on the fence and gatting was batting. I took the catch but it was six. I did not exactly say that. I think it was somewhere close to that. He played well, got a hundred. We had to win the match, we worked our way back in the game. Herschelle caught but celebrated too early. The mistake he made was to switch his place. It happens in cricket. He was a fantastic player. I feel sorry for him being asked the same question.


Border on 1987 World Cup: It was a great venue. We had lot of support from Indian fans at eden gardens. England were playing very well. Gatting was batting well, and steve said to make a change. I was relenting. I had a strong on side field and off side was inside the circle. Wanted to bowl tight to gatting. Perhaps bowl alongside pads. Gatting somwhow decided to go for the sweep and he was out at a crucial time. I feel for him because he got a lot of stick for that. It was crucial moment.


Former Australian captains Allan Border, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh to speak in the third session.


End of session 2




Murali Kartik: i don’t think it is possible with this side. Good players are being made to sit out. There is no consistency in thought process. There are many good players but selectors are not taking the right players. You need match winners. Players are down. Yuvraj and Harbhajan are match winners. If you back the right players then it works.


Jadeja: there needs to be one man who thinks and plans. I think Dhoni wants to run the team his way. World cup is a place where you need results. Now you cannot be selecting players.



Sohail: selection committee and captain have different jobs. Selectors need to have plan and strategies, then they discuss with the captain. If it matches then there is coordination. If there is major difference but at the end of the day the captain is responsible for the entire show.


Ganguly: Lot of players are getting chances. We have to stop this somewhere.


Jadeja: Dhoni is running his side CSK. Lot of players are in the Indian side. The Indian captains and selectors are not on the same side. KKR have players but they do not play properly. There are too many brains working on the same thing. We need one leader.


Ajay Jadeja: Problem is we don’t know who will play. Only Dhoni is sure. You don’t know what team will play in the tournament. This side doesn’t have skills to win. In 1992 world cup India were destroyed. Senior players were there for a very long time. There was no proper mindset. How do you go about the task up to the tournament from now will define a lot.


Ajay Jadeja has arrived at the venue and speaks on India’s chances in the upcoming World Cup.


Ganguly: wrong to say there are only few match winning players. Every player in former Australian sides were match winners. Every team doesn’t have resources. And those who don’t have, they struggled. India did well in 2011. India were consistent in the last world cup. Not right to think India were below Australia. And also cannot underestimate India.


Madan Lal: when you play against team and you are confident, then you can win. You can beat Australia in Australia and have done that as well. If you analyse then there are different match winners.


Sohail: Let’s be honest. Pakistan are not good enough. Pakistan don’t have a chance. Same players comeback when they are not good enough and have made changes.


Sohail: South Africa and Australia are at par. SA never used to use spinners well. They have tahir now. Conditions are favourable for them. I will give advantage to Australia. And India at number three. India can do well if they have good bowlers. Australia won three in a row, because they have good bowlers and use them well. Depends on how Dhoni thinks.





Ganguly: I am surprised looking at Dhoni today. He has grey hair all over. Musharraf asked him to not cut them. But they aren’t there. Haven’t seen anyone loose hair as quickly as Sehwag did.


Madan lal : Jadeja and Ashwin have done well together. They have been playing together since long and i don’t think Dhoni will change that.


Ganguly: Pressure should be there in sports. It makes players think. Pressure is something when you get used to it, and when you keep playing Test and ODIs for India it is tough. We went through lot of pressure. Every player has his zone. If anyone gets into that then good for India.



Ganguly: Shami, Yadav are young. Need to give them time. One day cricket has changed. The rules have changed. Tough for the bowlers. The batting standards have gone up. Tough for bowlers in Indian conditions. All the great bowlers have been there but cricket has changed. Apart from Malinga, there is no one consistent. There are issues in all teams. India weren’t a strong bowling side ever! Depends on how we bat in the World Cup.


Ganguly: kohli has struggled. Kohli started playing with bigger players. Now the pressure is completely on him. But whatever i have seen of him he has done well. Scored 20 tons. He has won matches for India everywhere. He will be a mainstay. If Kohli plays well, India will do good in ICC World Cup 2015.


Madan Lal: Indian spinners can build pressures in Australia. Movement is important and the likes of Umesh Yadav are doing well. Bhuvneshwar is there too, he can move the ball both ways. I think we have good bowlers. Need to adapt soon and plan out a strategy. Bounce will be there in Australia, need to settle down soon.




Sohail: India can get over-confident. Wasim and Waqar were raw and they took time to settle in. India are getting the bowlers. There were Zaheer and Nehra. India lack in changing the mindset. This is India’s weakness. Not changing the mindset is damaging India. India need to think we have to win. We have to create situations. When chasing, you have to set your own targets. Even while batting first.


Ganguly: Australian pitches have different bounce. You cannot change much wickets down there. We saw in Champions Trophy 2013 how much it has changed. But you cannot do that. But India have match winners.


Ganguly: India have x-factor players. Dhawan scores and India wins. Kohli, Dhoni and raina have won matches for India. Raina has picked up well in the next six months. Australia will be a test for him. But this side has players which can win matches. Sohail spoke about bowlers, but we have won through the batsmen. That is our strength. Important for India to believe in themselves.


Madan Lal: Dhoni has done well in limited overs cricket. He commands respects and he calls the shots in the Indian team. Players know how to go ahead. He knows how to make the players ready and take them forward. Dhoni is a match winner. He bats low diown the order in pressure situations. Dhoni has lot of qualities.


Sohail: if the team goes for such a long tour, there is a chance of burn out. When we went there, we had no idea about team combination. To prove the worth, we were making more efforts. The first few matches showed we were not ready. But we picked up and played as a unit. India have the risk of flopping and with their media, it might get a little tough for them. They need to pick the 17 players and stick with them.


Aamer Sohail: Sehwag has been out of sorts. A great player but the Indian team is settled. The opposing captain, India don’t have players to set the game. There are stroke makers. Need someone to hold the fort in tough situations. Rohit is a good choice.


Ganguly: I think any player can make it. Rahane, Dhawan, Rayudu, Rohit will play. If India don’t flop in Australia tour, I think tough for Yuvraj. I don’t think there is room for Virender Sehwag as well. Dhoni has taken this side ahead. He wont change the team close to the tournament. Sehwag has been one of the greatest. Yuvraj has been excellent in 2003, 2007 and 2011. He is down with poor form. Tough for him to get back into the side.


Ganguly: after the tri-series players will get back home for sometime. It is a long tour but the players will have to make it right mentally. India need to be home for sometime.


Madan Lal: we have won one-day cricket there. Batsmen need to score runs because that is our strength. India has the advantage of going much before the tournament. When we went in 1993 we had played in the Caribbean. If we score run then we can do good and the team wont be let down. Bowlers need to find the right line and length. Cannot bowl only to stop runs. There are more teams that can win the tournament.





Aamir Sohail: in Australia the subcontinent players were not used to the bounce and conditions. But when you know your potential, you can do well. If you talk about India;s chances in the world cup, we will have to see the impact players. How many players are utility players? Dhoni will have to understand that. Bowling is weak. Many good bowlers get carried away looking at favourable. India can win if their bowlers get it right.

Ganguly: India’s test performance not good. But in overseas they can win the matches in one-day cricket. I don’t think India can win but they will be a very strong side. Indian team has surprised us in the past. They won in England. cannot underestimate. Australia, SA Sri Lanka and New Zealand are the favourites.
Aamir Sohail, Ganguly and Madan Lal session on “Can india win world cup 15”. Azhar not in yet.

Steve Waugh: I don’t know. It was a great series back in 2001. The press got a good reason to talk about but i don’t think there is an issue. I am friends with Sourav.


Ganguly: You make mistakes in life. It was one of them (removing the shirt at lords’). Frustrated to have lost finals before that. The best mistake in my life was when i got married.


Ranatunga: We were lucky in the semi against India. We planned to bat second. We were successful in chasing. India crumbled when they lost quick wickets. we thought we can win if we get Sachin out. The wicket was not prepared. India struggled against our spinners. We were not in pressure. There were about only 15 sri Lankans. There were more Sri Lankans in the final at Lahore. We coped up well (1996 world cup).


Ranatunga: It is all about how you cope that day. When you take thw 1996 team i knew aravinda will perform. He was keen to excel. We knew that time it was our last chance. The next tournament was in England and we knew we will not last till then. We had enough experience. We played better than Australia in the final.they were the better side. But we played well.


Ranatunga: Sri Lankans are not as crazy as India. People are expecting us to win after the World T20 win. But i think those who can absorb pressure can win the tournament. That is the key factor. India was not good enough vs australia in 2003. I don’t get nightmares. We have won couple. You win some you lose some.

Rajdeep asked Ganguly about making Waugh wait. Ganguly  mentions the couldn’t find the blazer. Waugh laughs. Ganguly says he doesn’t remember after all these years.

Arjuna mentioned that nobody had expected them to do well. They were not expected to go to the semi-final. When asked about his cool on-field demeanour he smiles and tells that his colleagues won’t agree.


Border on pressure on the Indian team: I remember talking to Azharuddin. We spoke about expectations and he said, Allan, tried being a Muslim and captain an Indian side. It got me the perspective and understand lot about the pressure.

Lloyd: i think when you look at our situation because cricket is the only sport which has been successful over the year. We have different islands with different cultures. We are spread out. Tough to get people together and work in one direction.


“Pressure is probably more on host country.” – Allan Border. This was said when Rajdeep asked whether playing in India is more difficult than elsewhere because there’s little cheer for the visitors.He mentions extensive training camps in Chennai that helped his side get accustomed.


Lloyd, Arjuna, Border, Ganguly tee it off. When asked by anchor Rajdeep Sardesai on what pressure is, Lloyd said the most pressure West Indies was under was during the 1975 World Cup against Pakistan.


During that last wicket Lloyd drank 15 pale ales. Batting that there was not much pressure in those two World Cups. When asked what he drank after the World Cup he just said it was ‘stronger stuff’.

Clive Lloyd: “Lot of guys played county cricket. Pressure was on in 1975. The game versus pakistan there was pressure”.


Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s coverage of ‘Salaam Cricket‘, a cricket programme to be aired on the Hindi news channel Aaj Tak. The channel is organising a conclave ahead of the ICC World Cup 2015, which will be attended by as many as seven World Cup winning captains, several other skippers and international cricketers from India to debate on the upcoming mega tournament, on October 18. The theme of the discussion is handling pressure

The conclave – named ‘Kaise Jeetenge World Cup’ – will be attended by the likes of Clive Lloyd, Kapil Dev, Allan Border, Imran Khan, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Arjuna Ranatunga, who are among the captains who led their teams to World Cup wins. Among the other skippers will be Sunil Gavaskar, Sourav Ganguly, Ajay Jadeja, Mohammad Azharuddin, Bishan Singh Bedi, Inzamam-ul-Haq, and Aamer Sohail. Indian cricketers, who were also a part of their last World Cup winning campaign back in 2011, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, and Ashish Nehra will also be a part of the function.