Gavaskar says Indians must go back to school

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Because India have some serious Test series coming up, we need to go to our National Cricket Academy where there are a lot of young players in camp," said former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar.

India's batsmen should be sent back to the national academy to learn how to deal with short-pitched bowling, former great Sunil Gavaskar said in St Lucia on Friday.


India, who lost all three of their Super Eight games and were eliminated from the ICC World Twenty20, struggled in Barbados against the aggressive bowling of Australia and West Indies.


"Because India have some serious Test series coming up in the next year and a half... in South Africa, West Indies and Australia, we need to go to our National Cricket Academy where there are a lot of young players in camp," said former captain Gavaskar.


"Some of the young fast bowlers could be asked to bowl short stuff from 16 or 18 yards or the batsmen could practice with the bowling machine."


Gavaskar, now a television commentator, was known for his ability to play pace bowling and enjoyed an average of 65 against the fearsome West Indian pace attacks of the 1970s and 80s.


The former opener said a spell in the academy would drill the right mindset into the modern generation.


"It's a matter of preparing yourself mentally and getting physically used to transferring the balance from front foot to back foot, that is what they need to practice," said Gavaskar.


"It's not an insurmountable problem, in cricket I don't think there has been a batsman born who has been totally comfortable with the short-pitched ball but it is how you face up to the next ball that is the important thing."


"While a lot of people get disconcerted and throw it away, others tend to look to stay at the wicket. Where I think it probably went pear-shaped for India was that instead of looking to bat out the frontline bowlers... that approach was not there and that was a little bit disappointing," he said, noting how many batsmen were out trying to hook or pull.


Gavaskar said England and Australia, the two form teams at the tournament, had more options than India and were stronger in the field.


"(They have) plenty of options... in terms of batting floaters up and down (the order), options in terms of bowling, that have made both these teams stand out," he said.


"I think Australia have the flexibility and both they and England have an outstanding combination in the field and have made it difficult for teams to take easy singles. They put the pressure on that way."