If you don't come prepared, England will murder you: Gatting

Updated: 17 August 2011 15:36 IST

Mike Gatting has seen enough of India - as a country and team - to analyse India's performance on this tour of England. Or rather, put India's demolition in true perspective.

Mumbai:

Mike Gatting has seen enough of India - as a country and team - to analyse India's performance on this tour of England. Or rather, put India's demolition in true perspective.

The 54-year-old former England captain attributes India's 0-3 loss to poor preparation. And where England are concerned, Gatting hailed the ability of Andrew Strauss' pace pack to swing the ball.

Gatting made three Test tours of India - in 1981-82, 1984-85 and 1992-93. He captained England in the 1987 World Cup where England were beaten in the final by Allan Border's Aussies after a fine win over India in the semi-finals at Mumbai.

Excerpts from an interview:

Have you seen England play better in recent years?
I have never seen them bowl or bat as a unit as well as they have done. The fact is that even when there have been injuries, we've had people who came in and performed. I suppose that started in Australia (last year) where we had Chris Tremlett come in to replace Steven Finn and then Tim Bresnan coming in to replace Tremlett. At the end of the day, England have been a very, very good side. What they have is strength in depth.

Have you seen India play so poorly in recent years?
I suppose you can say that their bowling has not been strong as it has been - more spin bowling than anything else. The batsmen have come from the West Indies which have different pitches and they have not had enough time to prepare.

When you are playing England, like you would do when you were up against Australia, you must prepare properly, else they will murder you. There is something to learn here - when you come into battle on different surfaces, you need to prepare better.

To be fair to India, they have improved their overseas record although away series wins in South Africa and Australia are yet to be accomplished...
Without doubt! The way they played in South Africa last winter was very creditable.

Therefore, isn't it a surprise to you to see them down 0-3?
I think India were not allowed to get started. As I said, they came straight from the West Indies and two or three batsmen didn't have any practice because they missed the West Indies tour. And they had only one game here to get acclimatised.

That is not enough especially when you know that you are going to get wickets which will do a bit - different ones from what you are used to and different to what you (normally) play on. The preparation aspect was very important.

Does India need to do better in terms of better tracks for fast bowlers?
You have good wickets... Chandigarh, Bangalore have some grass on them. I remember playing against Kapil Dev on a Mumbai pitch which had some life in it. You CAN produce wickets that have some grass. This is one of the things coaches and players have to look at and challenge themselves sometimes to prepare themselves for where they go to. Without a doubt, India are a phenomenal team in their own country and will always have a start when sides come over. When you go overseas, you need to do better. Likewise with us... we have not played spin well in the past. We are getting better at it now and we know we have to do it in the sub-continent.

Do you see any similarities in the current attack from the one you led in Australia during the 1986-87 Ashes series?

It is slightly different because we had two spinners (Phil Edmonds and John Emburey) all the time. We had swing bowlers, Ian Botham, Phil DeFreitas and Graham Dilley and they always bowled at decent pace. They could do something with the ball and when the wickets are flat, if you cannot swing the ball, it is difficult. To be able to swing the ball is important. Likewise here, when Broady (Stuart Broad) pitches it up, he swings it. Tim Bresnan is a little more of a seamer than a swing bowler, but he swings it too. And Jimmy Anderson is bowling very well at the moment, so things are going very well.

What is so special about James Anderson? He has been the star so far...
His consistency stands out. He swings it and gets it in the right areas more often than not. He can swing it both ways which makes it slightly difficult for batsmen. And, he is a lot more wiser and experienced now. When you swing the ball, it is a good asset to have and you get good players out. We have seen that in this series - India have one of the best batting line-ups in the world.

You have captained Stuart Broad's father, Chris. What similarities do you see in the two?
They are both very stubborn; have a lot of talent. I think Stuart will be able to use all of his talent. Unfortunately, his dad's career got cut short because of some stuff. Chris should have played a lot more for England. He would have done so had it not been for one or two people 'upstairs'. I think Stuart will be a long-serving member of the England team.

Topics : Cricket Mike Gatting India in England, 2011 England India
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