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Strauss is respected by all: David Lloyd
- I’d pay and watch Sachin every day of the week, says former England Coach

Johannesburg: Former England batsman and coach David Lloyd, now 62, spoke to The Telegraph at the Wanderers on Saturday.

Lloyd, a left-hander who scored an unbeaten double hundred against India during the 1974 Test series, is in South Africa on a commentary assignment.

The following are excerpts

England’s performance in the Champions Trophy

Oh, I didn’t expect us to make the semi-final... My semi-finalists had been Australia and India (edging out Pakistan) from Group A; South Africa and Sri Lanka from Group B... Well, three of my teams didn’t make it.

Andrew Strauss and Co. losing to Australia

We lost because of our batting... Despite an excellent wicket at Centurion, we didn’t have enough on the board (just 257)... Look at the way Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson batted... There was nothing even close to that in our innings.

Strauss as captain

He’s good, is a fine player himself and, so, it’s easy for him to lead from the front... He works well with the support staff and is highly respected by all.

Having picked India ahead of Pakistan

That’s because Pakistan are slow starters and, given their history, I’d thought they would be out by the time they warmed up enough... I was proved wrong and India disappointed me.

India having to do without Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan

Yes, but England also missed players — no Andrew Flintoff and no Kevin Pietersen...

Whether the ongoing edition of the Champions Trophy has made the case for 50-over cricket stronger

(Smiles) Has neither made it stronger nor weaker... Of course, the 50 overs versus the T20 debate is going to rage... In the Sixties, the need for a shorter game was felt and the 65-over Gillette Cup was introduced... Today, in a way, we’re back to the Sixties... The need for T20 to grow at the expense of the ODIs is being talked about rather vigorously... We’ve got to be clear about the way cricket has to evolve.

His choice

I used to be a fan of the 50-over game, but I find the middle overs quite boring... Right now, then, I’d go for T20. I would be for all three forms if something is done about the middle overs... Actually, I wouldn’t mind short tournaments like this Champions Trophy, where one bad day could prove costly.

Batsmen of the present times he’d pay to watch

Quite a few, quite a few... I’d pay and watch Sachin Tendulkar every day of the week... Ponting, who is such a class act... Pietersen, a real maverick... I love watching him... Chris Gayle, the Mr Cool... In limited overs cricket only, I’d pay and watch Yuvraj, who has a presence and arrogance similar to Pietersen’s, and Shahid Afridi... With Afridi, though, you never know... He could be out on the first ball or score 50 off only 10!

Whether too much has been made of Flintoff not signing the “incremental contract” offered by the ECB

Don’t think so... Everyone is wary of his fitness. I don’t know when he’ll be fit (for ODIs, T20 Internationals).

England’s Ashes win this summer

It was great, but fresh challenges lie ahead.

Finally, the one England player to watch

I’d say (21-year-old leggie) Adil Rashid.

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