Balwinder Singh Sandhu reminisces about the 1982-83 Pak tour and
warns Indians that the Pakistanis will do anything to win. He also
said that Miandad is a bad loser and should be ignored at all costs.
'Expect no mercy; show no mercy'
Balwinder Singh Sandhu | March 10, 2004 17:34 IST
The media hype was missing for the India-Pakistan series in 1982/83,
but the overall environment was very similar. When we went out there,
the people were very hospitable. The hostility between India and
Pakistan is because of politicians; the normal Indians and Pakistanis
are the same.
I was lucky to get a chance to make my debut in the fourth Test of the
1982/83 series. Before the toss, Madan Lal reported unfit and it was
only then that I realized my time had come.
Imran Khan, at his peak, was bowling in-***s that had the
top-order batsmen in trouble at all times. Most of the batsmen, with
the exception of Mohinder Amarnath, were playing him on the back foot.
When I came in to bat, India were already seven wickets down at 72.
But I steeled myself to survive in the middle.
"Wrist toot jaye; Jo bhi ho jaye, Imran ko wicket nahi deni. He can
hurt me but he cannot get me out," [Sandhu top-scored for India with
71 off 88 balls, including 9 fours and 2 sixes]
Mohinder was batting well at the other end and he was a great help.
Every now and then he would come and speak a few encouraging words. He
inspired me. He was always like that: very supportive of the younger
players, making them comfortable and always helping whenever possible.
The wickets in Pakistan are flat and do not encourage bowlers. Added
to that, we had to get the Pakistani batsmen out caught in the slips
or bowled, because none of the close decisions went our way. The
umpiring was very biased.
I was batting with Mohinder, when I saw that Sarfaraz Nawaz was
over-stepping the crease by almost a foot. I brought this to the
umpire's attention by drawing a line with my bat.
So the next time, Sarfaraz over stepped, the umpire called out to him
and said, "Sarfi yaar ball todhi peeche se dal, tu no-ball dal raha
hai [Sarfaraz, you are bowling no-balls, bowl from a little behind]."
"Tu apna kaam kar [You do your work]," said a clearly annoyed Sarfaraz
To which the umpire retorted, "Main to kar raha hoon, par Sandhu dekh
raha hai [I am doing my job, but Sandhu is watching]."
During those days Imran did a great job of keeping the team together.
I saw the true picture of Pakistan cricket when Imran went off the
field to get some treatment on his shins. There were four former
captains in the side, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Abdul Qadir, Wasim Bari and
Javed Miandad. As soon as Imran was off the field, all of them started
trying to set the field. This went on for five minutes and so
frustrated was the umpire that he loudly said, "Yaar, ek captain bano
na bhai [Friends, let's have one captain]."
This is not the case today, as Inzamam-ul-Haq is a nice chap and a
very good cricketer too.
If there is one regret I have, then it is that we could not be as
aggressive as we should have been. That's because everyone was talking
about it being a goodwill tour and how it is important not to ruffle
My advice to our cricketers who will be going to Pakistan later this
month: Expect no mercy; show no mercy.
The Pakistanis will do anything to win. They will try all methods; by
hook or by crook they will want to win. Woh kuch bhi kar sakte hai
[they are capable of doing anything] because this series means a lot
The matches will be interesting to watch and if India get on top, then
we must not allow Pakistan even a sniff of a chance. Even more
important: once on top, ignore Miandad. If they lose, he will get very
tough on the team. He is a bad loser and will start mouthing a lot of
stuff. Ignore him. The madder he gets, the better for us.
The Indian team should go and wish the man sitting next to Miandad,
but not wish him. He was a great cricketer, but if we wish to win we
must ignore him on and off the field.
There has been talk about naming the series after Kapil Dev and Imran. P.S.: Can we find a man more hated by Indians than Miandad? You won't
But to me, personally, Kapil will always be the greater cricketer of
the two. Simply because he never tampered with the ball; he always
Balwinder Singh Sandhu, a member of India's 1983 World Cup-winning
team, spoke to Ashish Magotra.
find a single Indian who has a kind word to say about him.
P.S.: Can we find a man more hated by Indians than Miandad? You won't