Dravid urges positive approach
Rahul Dravid believes counter-attack may be the best method against Graeme Swann.
Last Updated: 12/07/11 12:33pm
Rahul Dravid believes counter-attack may be the best method of keeping England's world number one spin bowler Graeme Swann at bay this summer.
India arrived in England this morning for a four-match npower Test series, starting at Lord's next week, in which they will be out to protect their own number one status against hosts who are currently third in the International Cricket Council rankings.
Lynchpin batsman Dravid, nicknamed 'The Wall' for his determination at the crease, averages more than 60 in Test cricket in this country and was part of the team that beat England 1-0 on India's last tour four years ago.
But he has identified Swann and England's pace spearhead James Anderson as significant threats.
"James Anderson has bowled really well. He's been the trump card," the veteran middle-order batsman told The Cricketer magazine.
"Obviously Graeme Swann is a top-class spinner. We first saw him in England bowling here last time, and the boys rated him.
"He's come on leaps and bounds from then and has become one of their lead bowlers.
"Swann and Anderson are the key."
Off-spinner Swann is the leading slow bowler in the ICC's rankings for both one-day international and Test cricket.
Dravid is an admirer, but believes India may have the right batsmen to deal with him.
"He's an attacking bowler, and that's one of the things that is different.
"He's not just looking to contain; he's looking to take wickets. He's not scared to toss the ball up and gets turn with good sideways spin.
"It will be a good contest against batsmen who are good players against spin, who will not be scared to take him on."
Dravid, 38, is proud of India's achievement in rising to the top of world cricket, and staying there - and he is well aware of England's ambition to usurp them.
"All series are important series," he said.
"But this one is important because it's a series between two teams that have had good recent records, which gives it a bit more context.
"We won in England last time, so from that point of view England will want to do better this time.
"It's a hard one to call. England are playing at home, so they have that advantage.
"We're a good side, a settled side, and we've been playing good cricket over the last couple of years.
"If we can keep our fast bowlers fit, then we'll be very competitive."