'Younger ones must learn from Dravid'

Lloyd says India suffered due to lack of preparation

'Younger ones must learn from Dravid'

Rahul Dravid was the lone Indian batsman to come away unscathed from the Test series against England. APWhat did you make of India’s whitewash against England?

It was disappointing to see India’s performance because they are better than that. England is a difficult place to play cricket. It swings and seams and you have to have the right attitude to succeed here. Rahul Dravid showed them how exactly to play. He was late on the back foot and put a premium on his wicket. A young player should have watched and learned from him. And I hope they have.

Did you expect India to be beaten in this fashion and what do you think is the reason?

I don’t think anybody expected India to be beaten 4-0. I think it’s because of the preparation. I have said this over and over that you can’t come to any country, play one warm-up game and get into Tests. Playing in these sort of conditions where one day it’s nice and the next day, in the afternoon, it’s swinging... You have to play enough games to deal with these challenges.

For young players, they are much better off playing three or four games before the Test matches and have two games in between. If you are out of form, you have games to get back into form. You can’t get into form in the nets. When I played in the olden days, the (Colin) Cowdreys and the (Ken) Barringtons, if they didn’t make any runs in the Test matches, they came back to county cricket.

What are your impressions of India’s attack?

I must say, in all these years that I have seen, this must be the weakest spin attack India have had. You always had great spinners going back to (Subhash) Gupte... Then you had (EAS) Prasanna, (Bishan Singh) Bedi, and (BS) Chandrashekar. You would have loved to have Chandra here, wound’t you? I am sure he would have caused some problems. I think that guy (Ishant) Sharma is pretty good. He got injured, didn’t he? How many overs did he bowl -- 700 odd? Anybody would break down if you have that kind of workload. Someone like him should be used sparingly and not as often and that is because he didn’t have the support. Your spinners usually bowl for long periods.

As captain of the great West Indian side, how do you assess MS Dhoni’s captaincy?

I think Dhoni has been good for India in the past but it always looks bad when you lose. It’s all about how they regroup from here. They have to take everything in their stride and come out of it. He can’t do much if your batsmen are putting up a 300 total. And injuries...Yuvraj played one game and he got injured. Gautam Gambhir kept getting injured. I don’t know if Sehwag played any game before he came here. You are not going to run into form in a Test match straightaway. You’ve got to play games before that... you’ve got to get your timing right, foot movement going and picking the ball properly. He came just straightaway, that doesn’t happen. I don’t care how good you are.

What do you have to say about Sachin Tendulkar’s struggles?

Again, it’s all about preparation. The last game he looked like getting in but it was too late by then. A lot of them didn’t go to the West Indies and the guys who went there did well... Dravid, for example. You need games behind you, especially if you are old.
You need to train harder and you need to play more to get your timing right. And as far as 100 centuries are concerned, he should get there soon. That would be one of the greatest achievements for any cricketer. That’s going be a huge number... He is a batting God!

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