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Fame is the spur, not statistics - Swann

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 28, 2013

Comments: 107 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Swann, the most successful spinner in England Test history and a driving force behind their recent Test series win in India, has said that it his sense of winning a place in cricket history, rather than setting new statistical standards, which gives him the most satisfaction in playing the game.

In an ebullient and revealing interview with Alison Mitchell, Swann made light of the fact that during the India series he surpassed Jim Laker as the leading Test wicket-taker among England offspinners of all time.

"I am more interested in history than stats, if that makes sense," he said. "People who play the game with a desperation to average 40 or desperate to score a hundred against each team, things like that, personally I feel it is a selfish way to go about it.

"I love the fact that if your name is known and you are remembered in cricket history then statistics go out of the window. Nobody can tell you anyone's average, apart from Don Bradman's because that was exceptional."

Swann jokes that his ability to surpass Laker as the most successful England offspinner in history has something in common with Dynamo Magician, the 30-year-old Bradford-born magician, Steven Frayne, who sprung to fame when he walked across the River Thames in front of the Houses of Parliament two years ago.

"It is a lot of smoke and mirrors," he said. "Everybody thinks if you are not a mystery spinner you can't take wickets, but if you look at most wickets taken in the world the ball doesn't do anything ridiculous. There might be one in ten. The batsmen just get themselves out. It's like a game of chess when you are bowling. You just try to win as many battles as you can."

Swann's ability to handle the pressure of Test cricket, he believes, also plays a part. "I can bowl at a guy in a county game and freed up from the pressure they are suddenly the best player in the world. If you are not fazed by the pressure it plays into your hands.

"I am quite subdued when I bowl. I don't say anything to the batsman. I don't try to whip up a storm of excitement around the bat. But I hope they think I am working to a plan."

Swann does become more passionate, though, when errors are made in the field off his bowling, something he often promises to control but suspects he never quite will. "It's not so much dropped catches I get angry about," he said. "I get exasperated if a catch is dropped. I get angry if players aren't watching or are in the wrong place. Bowlers mess up in the field because they are not as athletic but batsmen don't concentrate."

Swann spends most of his time at slip, where conversation with England's Test and one-day captain, Alastair Cook, often strays into farming territory. "Me and Matty Prior reckon we could have our own lambing season with all he has told us about putting his hand up sheep's bottoms," Swann said.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 30, 2013, 5:13 GMT)

@golgo_85 on (January 29 2013, 20:14 PM GMT), what you fail to consider is that, in UAE, while Panesar may have taken more wickets than Swann, Swann finished with the better average and strike rate, just as he did in India. People who claim that Panesar won the games for England in India seem to assume that England still would have won thanks to Panesar if Swann wasn't playing, but it was really only the fact that both were playing that put England ahead. They both bowled well and they both took wickets but Swann took his wickets more often and more cheaply, so exactly what criteria are you using to adjudge Panesar the better? When both were available, Strauss and Cook both seemed to prefer to bowl Monty for more overs. Maybe that was because of Swann's elbow; maybe it was because there were more right-handed batsman; maybe it was for some other reason. Regardless, the stats suggest that, if they had bowled the same number of overs, Swann would have taken more wickets for fewer runs.

Posted by cric_J on (January 30, 2013, 5:09 GMT)

Well ,whatever you do Swanny , it really works for you. And yes ,all the fuss surrounding the mystery spinners is just... well ,fuss only. Their mystery is cracked sooner or later and then they find it a mystery to bowl against the opposition batsmen and not get hit for a boundary. Better to keep it simple, good line and length and some patience.Just what Swann does.No wonder he is so successful even in seam friendly conditions. Keep going man !

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (January 29, 2013, 22:31 GMT)

@maddy20 (January 29 2013, 02:02 AM GMT) well well - what has happened here!? You have really changed your tune. Did you make New year resolution - "show respect to England team and fans....". Well done you have got as far as January 29. Keep it up we are all rooting for you..... :-) Btw this is humour of Graham Swann....

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 29, 2013, 22:24 GMT)

@golgo_85, When it comes to the crunch, Swann took more than Monty in the series, Swann finished with 20 in all. We all love Monty, and have done since he first started his England career, but Swann is, and always has been, judged the superior spinner.

England rejoice at the fact that they've got two champion spinners in their armory, produced by the excellent English county system.

What's more - This is all happening at a time when Australia's 'spin' department is comically at the lowest point in all cricket history.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 29, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

golgo_85: We're closer than you think mate. No doubt Eng would've won the first test with Monty playing, but only because the two together are so potent. Swann took a five-fer in that 1st test, and what happened there was identical to that of the ill-prepared-for UAE tour, in which England's top order found themselves Down The Rabbit Hole with Alice and a game plan in tatters. Swanny, with Anderson (who had already established himself as a flat-deck specialist by then too), had to support the entire Eng game plan because of a low first innings' score. And Swanny played injured, which is something you'd certainly never find the Aussies doing. You fail to mention too that his main competitor that series was one who most find to have a somewhat illegitimate action, to put it mildly, and cannot even be in contention here. As for the rip he gets, you really should check out the replays of him on green and flat tops in England in the last few years, not to mention his recent exploits :)

Posted by golgo_85 on (January 29, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

Front foot lunge - it's baffling how you can claim that Swann is the biggest turner of the ball since Warne???? Not even for England!!! Hands down, Panesar has been a far bigger turner, I found it laughable all these years that, ECB decided not to select him simply cause he wasn't much of a fielder??? If Panesar had played the 1st Test, England would've probably won the series 2-0 if not 3-0. Biggest turners since Warne - McGill, Murali, Saqlain, Panesar, Ajmal, Shakib. Who are you kidding when you say Swann is the best in the world?? The crown solely belongs to Saeed Ajmal. Have you seen this guy bowl? Ajmal and Swann bowled side by side, only Panesar came close to competing. Swann is more effective in the way Vettori used to be. It's bad luck that his best spinner in the world tag didn't last long, Saeed Ajmal arrived with new brand of wizardry. I don't see him standing out anymore cause of the arrival of Mendis and Narine. Again, Panesar over Swann anyday.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (January 29, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

maddy20 on (January 29 2013, 02:02 AM GMT) I like your post, Swanny often talks a bit tongue in cheek with a wee bit of mischief, people should stop being so serious and defensive, cricket is meant to be entertainment. Relax and count to ten before posting offensive and frankly childish 'responses'.Swann has not named any specific players and why do some people presume it is about Tendo, his average is way over 40 maybe he was talking about Boycs! I posted earlier that stats are not everything take Flintoff for instance- anyone who watched his when he was at his peak knows how good he was, yet he often did not get the rewards and the other bowlers did as batsmen tried to score after being strangled by Freddie and got out. His test average (bowling) is higher than Watto's but not even the most myopic Ozzie (RandyJones) would claim he is a better bowler, he is definetly a better batsman by the way.

Posted by slasaus on (January 29, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

Good on ya Swann! Indeed a funny guy and he seems to take himself not too serious. Best spinner ive ever seen play for Eng and imo, together with Cook and Prior, the main reason why england really got something to say in world testcricket nowadays. 200+ wickets at an average below 30 and an economy below 3 says it all how consistent he has been for the last 4 or 5 years. Also obv a really good one day player, a more than handy late order batsman and a decent slip fielder. Ok he drops a few but Eng are usually carrying their spinners once they are on the field (the likes of Monty, Such, Tufnell etc) and apparantly they dont have many really good slippers atm. So its a real bonus ur spinner gives u a decent option.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 29, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

@Al_Bundy1, Unfortunately the other bowler you mentioned has to be left out due to his action being question by many. Swann bowls as per the textbook, so naturally is, and without question, the best in the world. "Keep your arm straight, and brush your ear during delivery" - that's how bowlers are taught, in England at least. You don't see any English spinner bowling un-orthodox, which is why people say they play by the rulebook, how the game was first invented to be played. You wither throw the ball, or you bowl it. Swann, as we all know, bowls it. What's more, he's the long-established biggest turner of the ball i the world and has been since Warne. Not even RandyOz can bring himself to talk about Swann any more because of this, especially given the last five years of Ashes history.

Posted by argylep on (January 29, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

I don't buy into this theory that Swann or for that matter any other profesional cricketer isn't interested in his own or other players stats.I think that is absolute rubbish because he will know himself EXACTLY what his test match bowling average is?!. He and other cricketers may not make it obvious or publicly admit that they don't play the game for statistical excellence & track their career averages but the fact of the matter is THEY DO but if he doesn't do any of that then he shouldn't be playing the game because players ARE judged on their numbers because cricket like it or not is a stats driven sport. That's how players including Swan are selected for and keep their place(s) in their national sides!! I don't suggest for one moment that Swann is a Boycott type obsessive but I don't know who all the top international players are trying to fool when they say they don't pay attention to their own individual records but it certainly ain't me!!

Posted by JG2704 on (January 29, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

@Meety on (January 29 2013, 05:18 AM GMT) Hope all is well. Think you have the nail on the head.

@jmcilhinney on (January 29 2013, 07:27 AM GMT) I'd say Broad must at least be on level pegging with Swann on those stakes. Jimmy not that far behind either

@Shan156 on (January 28 2013, 22:22 PM GMT) Indeed. Monty did make the difference but it was the intense pressure from both ends which turned it all around. I'm not getting involved with a Swann vs Monty debate , with the impact on the series. As far as I'm concerned , if we had played 1 spinner (whether it was Swann or Monty) we would not have won the series and may even have lost it convincingly

@David Hopps on (January 28 2013, 23:17 PM GMT) You actually sound surprised about the content in response to a Swann interview.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 29, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

Good read. Now how about interviewing Monty who undoubtedly was the man who turned it around (since that crucial second innings in second test). Some times i think Eng captains (begins with Flintoff who always preferred bits and pieces player)did not trust this man enough. Otherwise he would have been the first choice in spin.

Posted by gof86 on (January 29, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

Guys please! This piece here is not about Sachin; could you please stop embarrassing the rest of us Indian cricket followers by getting into another of your 'my Sachin is bigger than yours' rants? Tendulkar does not need your defending. And not every piece in cricinfo is about Sachin.

Posted by Meety on (January 29, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

@ddlj26 on (January 29 2013, 02:02 AM GMT) - actually England have certainly produced their share of Great spinners, its just they haven't had many in the 30 years prior to Swann. I challenge you to find an Indian spinner (any with over 40 Test wickets) better than Underwood/Laker/Lock or Verity. I can confidently say that all the Pommy spinners I just noted are statistically superior to ANY Indian spinner to play Test cricket. So when you say "...england have failed to produce quality spinners in the past..." you are have shown yourself to know little about the History of cricket. IMO - if Swann continues at the level he has over his 50 tests for another 25 to 30, he will have to be regarded as a Great spin-bowler, not as Great as say Murali or Warne, but Great nonetheless.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 29, 2013, 7:41 GMT)

While it just says "spinner" in the article, the interview does actually say "off spinner". Let's not get too bent out of shape regarding Underwood anyway. Swann's SR is 59.9 to Underwood's 73.6 so I think that there's a fair chance, health permitting, that Swann will overtake Underwood's wicket tally as well. At his current SR it should take him about 20 Tests to get there, so about another 2 years. No doubt Swann will be remembered as a character, but I doubt that that will overshadow his contribution to England cricket. As he himself said, regardless of actual numbers, just being spoken of in the same breath as those who he and his forebears looked up to is an honour.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 29, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

Swann does seem to be the England cricketer that opposition fans most love to hate. He does like to speak his mind and can be a bit brash and, warranted or not, that can make him seem a bit cocky some times. Because a lot of fans are always looking for the negative in the opposition, many choose to interpret that as arrogance. I think that he's rather refreshing. I don't necessarily always agree with his opinions but at least I know that they are his opinions and not what he thinks he should be saying. Anyone who has actually watched this interview couldn't realistically claim that he's trying to over-promote himself. The fact that he uses some batting stats as an example of what he thinks is not a good way to approach cricket seems to have been taken by some as a slight against specific batsmen. That says more about those people and what they think of those batsman that it does about Swann. As for his opinion of himself, doesn't he specifically say that he's not a legend here?

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (January 29, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

I think Swann realizes he got a very late start and as much as he's been a dominating spinner worldwide for the last 3-4 years his stats won't measure up to the greats of Warne, Murli, etc. and that's a shame. Even as an England bowler he might not even get to the magical mark of 300 wickets let alone apporach Beefy's record (don't even think Jimmy will get there either). If you compare the 2 buddies' stat, Swann has more 5fer and 10fer than Jimmy and has played 27 less tests matches. Eng rarely plays in the subcontinent except occasional tours of India and Sri Lanka. I guess in some ways he's lobbying for proper recognition once his playing career is over. I think he should be recognized as one of England's greatest spinners if not the best. Time will tell where his career finishes. He'll be 34 soon and has a chronic elbow problem. I hope he can get another good 4-5 years before he calls it quits.

Posted by Shan156 on (January 29, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

@Cric-101, no one here claims that Swann is in the same league as Warne or Murali. But, hang on, how come you mention Kumble in the same breath as Warne or Murali. Is Kumble as good as either of Warne or Murali? For some who cares so much about stats, here is a stat for you - Kumble doesn't average less than 30 in any country other than India, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe. Why 30? One, because that is his career average. Well, it is 29.65, but you get the drift. The other reason is because just like 50+ avg. is the hallmark of the modern era great batsman, sub-30 average would be considered decent for the modern day spinner. For comparison, Murali averages 22+ and Warne averages 25+ overall. The former has a good average everywhere except Aus. and Ind. and the latter except Ind. So, going by your logic, Kumble cannot be as great as Warne or Murali either.

Posted by Shan156 on (January 29, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

@Nadisha Jayasinghe, No way am I suggesting that Tredwell is better than Ajmal; or Rehman for that matter. I included Tredwell along with Swann and Monty not to suggest that he is in anyway amongst the best spinners in the world but only suggested he is a decent spinner. Tredwell has just played one test but his performances in India were OK. Of course, it is too early to judge him too. Perhaps, I shouldn't have mentioned him in that post. It may have caused some confusion.

In fact, I admit that Ajmal is arguably the best spinner in the world today based on recent performances. However, he hasn't played outside the UAE for a while now. Let's see how he fares in SA and Australia in tests. Swann and Monty haven't enjoyed the best of times in Australia but they have played quite a few tests there. Ajmal has played just one test in Aus. and so we cannot read too much into his 100+ average there.

Posted by Prats6 on (January 29, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

Big fan of Swanny, he just loves to bowl and do the right things rather than try to prove someone right or wrong. From the outside, it looks like he enjoys himself on the field and that is simply amazing. Too many cricketers are so involved in the game that they forget to enjoy it. In a world where the doosras and teesras are common talk, he simply bowls conventional off spin and he is mighty good at that. I remember, Sunil G talking with disdain about Swann when compared to Bhajji. Its pretty clear he must have finally watched him bowl at us and then had to eat his words!

Posted by Meety on (January 29, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

@JG2704 on (January 28 2013, 21:58 PM GMT) - I've said it before, that I think that Swanny is one of the most interesting reads around (not the book, just interviews - lol!). I believe he is honest & his opinions come from a fairly old-fashioned place, despite his eccentrics. Obviously he wasn't slaggiing off any great or not so great player, if anything he was taking a swipe at stat-obsessed cricinfo fans which is why some of them have their panties in a bunch about what he has said!

Posted by wakaPAK on (January 29, 2013, 5:09 GMT)

Swann and Monty have made the England team the more balanced team in the world and I dont see any reason why cant they get back the No.1 spot. I think bowling stats are more often than not true especially when the player has many matches up his belt. Bowling stats usually reflect the truth; the only time they dont are when you have better bowler in the side who take wickets and leave you nothing or on the other extreme you have no wicket taking bowling so you get all the wickets albeit at a higher average. I think batting stats do not reflect the reality.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (January 29, 2013, 2:20 GMT)

@Nish US - Swanny is one of the 2 best spinners plying their trade. Saeed Ajmal being the other one. Both of them are proven match winners. They are much better than the mediocre Ashwin and untested Ojha. Just face the facts. When was the last time your so-called legend Tendulkar won a match for India?? If he is such a legend, why couldn't he save India from being white washed twice in a year?? These days even Dhoni is a better batsman than Tendulkar.

Posted by ddlj26 on (January 29, 2013, 2:02 GMT)

To all the english fans firstly i wasn't poking fun at english spinners or swann in general, all i was saying is england have failed to produce quality spinners in the past and are just joyed over the emergence of a spinner who atleast doesn't wear his shoes to wear of the new ball... So dont misquote swann is not a bad bowler in fact in the current cricketing spinning world ranks in the top 5, but what i meant was swann is nothing special compared to previous legends produced by india, australia, sri lanka and even pakistan.... So dont jump your horses yet english fans... Swann gets his wickets in this smash bat T20 and ODI minded cricketers who dont respect consistent bowling which swann is really good at and hence the average... Tell swann to keep bowling the way he is bowling during the peak time when sachin, dravid, laksman, ganguly were in their prime, he wouldnt have been that much successful... And nextly how are panesar and tredwell legendary, just by one series ???

Posted by maddy20 on (January 29, 2013, 2:02 GMT)

Well one thing you gotta like about this guy, is he doesn't mince his words. He is always honest, and if you are following his twitter feed, you will know that he has great sense of humor as well. As far as I am concerned he is currently the best English player in the England team. Having someone like him the dressing room would be a great asset.

Posted by CandidIndian on (January 29, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

Actually record obsessions overshadows the most important things like victories and team success.It shifts the attention and required focus.Swann has very good attitude ,so no wonder he did well against Aussies in Aus and against Indians in India.Him and Ajmal are the best in the world currently.

Posted by Nish_US on (January 29, 2013, 0:05 GMT)

@JG2704

Definitely agree that Monty would have fared just like Swann or may be only marginally better if he alone bowled in the first test - but having watched the test series, Panesar asked lot of questions to indian batsmen in his probing spell in the first innings of the second test - which made them doubt their own ability to play quality spin....

For everyone so opposed to stats, you are actually ranking the 20 wickets of Swann way higher than the 17 Panesar got....

Posted by Aragoth on (January 28, 2013, 23:47 GMT)

Swan is full of himself and a really bad role-model for anybody.

Posted by gdevilliars on (January 28, 2013, 23:17 GMT)

Lets do away with stats. Lets do away with scorecards. Lets let every cricketer be a great whether good or bad or simply average. No thanks i like the world where Bradman, Sobers and Kallis are more than just mere men. Our children should know this place to.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2013, 23:17 GMT)

Graeme Swann gave a relaxed and open interview, a delightful change from the usual safety-first responses which is the stuff of too many modern-day sports quotes. His reward is for some people on this thread to criticise him for things he has not even said, misinterpreting and exaggerating his views presumably without even watching the video. That is regrettable and is a prime reason (not trusting journalists being another) why sportsmen and women are so cagey about talking honestly and entertainingly tfor the benefit of those who watch them. As for the headline, headlines have to convey the most interesting aspect of a story in about 26 letters. This is rarely a perfect science and while it is important the headline is fair, opinions cannot be gathered from headlines alone. Why so much anger?

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 28, 2013, 22:59 GMT)

@Nish_US: Swann's average for the India series - 20 wickets @ 24. Monty took fewer wickets than Swann. Keep checking those facts Nish, there's a wonderful website here at your disposal with all the information you need. :)

Posted by   on (January 28, 2013, 22:55 GMT)

@Shan156, I think I'm misinterpreting what you're saying, but please tell me you are not implying that James Tredwell is more of a quality spinner than Ajmal. Cause, although a spinner with potential, he has a long way to go to reach Ajmal yet.

Posted by Cric-101 on (January 28, 2013, 22:54 GMT)

Swan's excuse for the averages is his desperate effort to be different or to portray the rebel image that the media has created for him. He knows his records in being England's highest wicket taker as a spinner isn't a great one. In-fact its miles apart from Warne, Murali or Kumble. A great man once said "When you don't have the facts on your side, just pound the table". Swan is doing just that !!!!

Posted by Shan156 on (January 28, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

@kh1902, fair enough. In test cricket, bowlers win you games. Batsmen set the platform for the bowlers by creating scoreboard pressure. However, Swann is not attacking batsmen with great stats. He is saying more important is the memorable knocks. For eg, Laxman averages in the mid-40s but his 281 would remain the greatest knock by an Indian batsman for years to come. That was made against the greatest bowling attack in the modern era, with his team following-on 274 runs in arrears and down 0-1 in the three match series. Such was the impact of his innings that the Aussies never fully recovered and eventually surrendered the series 1-2. Now, if you consider that only batsmen with 50+ averages are worthy, then Laxman won't fit the bill but to me that knock was very very special and sufficient to remember Laxman forever.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (January 28, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

Why do people keep comparing Monty and Swann? THERE IS NO COMPARISON! Please use statguru, it's free, easy to use, can do comparative analysis. On top of having the better bowling stat, Swann is a decent lower order batsman and a slip fielder. THERE IS NO COMPARISON! Swann is the #1 Eng spinner across all format...END OF STORY! But now suddenly Eng has 3 world class spinners...ENGLAND of all places! NOW that's UNBELIEVABLE!

Posted by kh1902 on (January 28, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

It's much easier for a bowler to appear like he's making an impact. If he bowls well and gets a swag of wickets a game can be won. A batsman can score a hundred and still be part of a losing effort. Swann's talk about batsman striving to score hundreds or better their average doesn't make any sense. If a batsman scores a hundred but his bowlers don't bowl effectively does he deserve to be criticised for scoring a hundred. Should he fail so that noone can criticise him for scoring runs for the sake of records?

Posted by Shan156 on (January 28, 2013, 22:24 GMT)

and @ddlj26, how many quality spinners do India possess currently? Ojha is good but unproven outside the sub-continent. Ashwin has been exposed as a mediocre spinner who took most of his wickets against NZ and WI at home. Amit Mishra and Piyush Chawla have been proved as below average. Rahul Sharma is unknown. Probably, Jadeja is India's best spinner now.

Posted by Shan156 on (January 28, 2013, 22:22 GMT)

@JG2704, amen. People tend to think that Monty made all the difference only because he came in and England started winning. As you said, who knows how Monty would have fared if he didn't have Swann at the other end. Monty was crucial and so was Swann. In fact, Swann made a lot of crucial breakthroughs. He was the first Eng. bowler to take Pujara's wicket in the series which was in the 2nd test after the batsmen had scored a double, a ton, and a 40+. He removed Sehwag in the 2nd innings of the Kolkata test when the Delhi dasher was threatening to take the game away from Eng. and precipitated the collapse. While Monty took the prized wicket of Sachin twice in Mumbai, both Swann and Anderson took his wicket twice as well in the following tests. You just have to look at Eng's record when Monty was the lone spinner to when Swann was the lone spinner. And, deservedly, Swann finished the series with a better average and SR than Monty. Both of them were instrumental in the series win.

Posted by Shan156 on (January 28, 2013, 22:15 GMT)

@Nish_US,

"Look at the kind of batting that Swann bowled to and at what time of their career"

Kindly explain. Is it Swann's choice having to bowl to batsmen past their prime? He could only bowl to those who are picked by the opposition to play. If India or whoever don't think this is their best XI, they wouldn't have picked those players, surely? Perhaps, it is the quality of the bowling that caused them to go out of form? Have you ever pondered that?

You could say that about all bowlers. Kumble picked up a lot of wickets only because he bowled to poor batsmen or out of form batsmen or batsmen past their prime. So, he is not good. Warne got a lot of wickets against Eng. and SA batsmen who are suspect against spin. So, he is no good either. Fair enough?

Posted by Shan156 on (January 28, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

@Nish_US, I am not suggesting that you claim that a country with more legends is better. But, I am just trying to clear some confusion about Swann's comments. He claims that stats are not as important as fame which could also mean match-winning efforts. You could score a 50 every game with less or no match-winning or match-saving efforts and end up with a great average (assuming 50+ average is the gold standard for great batsmen these days) or you could contribute quite a few match-winning efforts despite having a not so flattering average. Yeah, that would mean you are more inconsistent than the one with the one who scores 50s every game but I personally prefer the latter. You are absolutely correct about legends having great stats and also a lot of highlights in their career. Of course, it is better to have both but Swann is merely stating his preference. He would rather be remembered as someone who contributed to a lot of Eng. wins rather than someone with a sub-25 bowling average.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 28, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

PS Re stats etc. Are they the be all and end all. A player by the name of Michael Hussey recently retired from test cricket. A modern great , respected by all - fair to say? Never scored a double hundred - does that make him less of a player?

Posted by JG2704 on (January 28, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

I see we have the usual brand of junk filtering it's way through whenever there is an article on Swann. To be fair , I can see where Swann is coming from but I also see the merits of selfism. Re the Tendulkar's and Kallis's who seem to have gone on a gocompare site with Lara - All 3 are superb batsmen/players. Why do we need to compare when this article is nothing to do with batting? Also is it not others who talk about stats and not the players themselves? Re Swann, because he has come on so late he'll not statistically emulate others but I think what he's saying is that he wants to be remembered as an impact player in years to come. He's good enough for me at any rate

Posted by JG2704 on (January 28, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

@Nish_US on (January 28 2013, 21:07 PM GMT) Truth is that even in the 1st test Swann took a 5 for in the Indian inns. It's just that he had very little threat at the other end as Eng chose to play only one spinner on a spin friendly pitch. Monty came in and made a huge difference. Truth is that if Monty had been the sole spinner in the 1st test he'd likely have had no better figures than Swann and if Swann came in for the 2nd test to partner Monty he'd have grabbed the headlines for making the difference.

Posted by subbass on (January 28, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

Had to laugh at the comment about England been a country with no spinning talent ! Yes with Swann, Panesar and Tredwell we clearly have no spinning talent ! What next ? It never rains in England ? Or India produces hundreds of international class 145kph/90mph fast bowlers ? :D Keep the funny comments coming guys it is amusing to read such - ahem,- clever statements !

Posted by Shan156 on (January 28, 2013, 21:54 GMT)

@ddlj26, You claim that England is a country with no spinning talent - we have three quality spinners in Swann, Monty, and Tredwell. How many does Aus. have? 0, SA? 0, Pak. have Ajmal and Rehman, fair enough but they haven't proved themselves all around the world while Swann and Monty have played in all countries. Swann, esply, has done way better than Harbhajan in Australia which is a graveyard for offspinners (check Murali's record there). He has 5-fers in all countries. You claim that he bowled poorly in the 1st test. Well, he took a 5-fer there, so I don't know what you are talking about. You claim he was hammered in UAE but he took a lot of wickets at a mid-20s average which is pretty good. The only series he failed was the home series against SA; every bowler goes through one bad series. Tell me, if India is such a great place for spin bowlers, why did Warne fail there? Of course, I am not suggesting Swann is anywhere as good as Warne but let's give some credit where it is due.

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 21:50 GMT)

@trav29

If you are pointing to me.. I am NOT saying PANESAR single handedly won the series for ENG. All I am saying is, he is the difference between Victory and defeat/draw for Eng.

Cricket is a team game, and if one player could DO it all single handed, then India and West Indies should be at the top for at least two decades.

Lara, for such a great batsman he is, could not get a worldcup or see his team at the Test number 1 in all his years.

Posted by shillingsworth on (January 28, 2013, 21:37 GMT)

@Nish US - So the 'scalping tailenders' claim is conveniently forgotten is it? Or are Yuvraj and Pujara tailenders? Really inconvenient of someone to use the overall series stats wasn't it, you much prefer making it up as you go along. And what about the interview you got so upset about - have you actually listened to it yet?

Posted by JG2704 on (January 28, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

@gsingh7 on (January 28 2013, 18:15 PM GMT) You speak your own form of fact which is basically BS. What happened in the test series in which Swann played and what happened in the T20 match after the last ODI series?

Posted by trav29 on (January 28, 2013, 21:30 GMT)

its still grasping at straws to suggest swann played second fiddle to panesar when he took more wickets at a lower average and a lower strike rate

panesar did a good job but all these people suggesting he single-handledly won the test series and no-one else played a part are deluding themselves

panesar bowled more due to the fact there were more right handers in the indian line up and cook wanted him bowling rather than an offie. swann still had better overall figures but he played "second fiddle". give me a break.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 28, 2013, 21:22 GMT)

@gsingh7 on (January 28 2013, 14:48 PM GMT) Please refrain from the pathetic coms for once. Your comments are really embarrassing and totally untrue. Swann was rested by the selectors and you might remember he was one of the main reasons England won the test series. You know , the format which you kept saying Swann and Monty would get thrashed all over the place.

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 21:17 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge

I do not need to get a DVD - I watched every single ball of the test series... Was confident of India pulling it through, until I saw Panesar bowl...

and I can still recall how tensed I was every ball when the Indian batsmen were facing Panesar.... his big eyes sensing opportunity in every ball he bowled...

Sure Swann did his part, once Panesar turned the wave around, Swann did make justice to his role as the lead spinner but to me PANESAR was the difference between victory and defeat for ENG in the test series (not taking anything away from Anderson, Cook and co).

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 21:07 GMT)

@ trav29

there you are, using the over-all series stats, than what actually caused the turn around.

Until Panesar starting his incisive bowling in the first innings of second test, the series was quite ordinary for ENG.

Fall of wickets in 2nd test -

1-4; Gambhir - Anderson *** 2-52: Sehwag - Panesar *** 3-60: Tendulkar - Panesar *** 4-118: Kohli - Panesar *** 5-119: Yuvraj - SWANN *** 6-169: Dhoni - Panesar *** 7-280: Ashwin - Panesar *** 8-315: Harbhajan - SWANN *** 9-316: Pujara - SWANN *** 10-327: Zaheer - SWANN ***

I must be BLIND to see not see that it is SWANN who turned it around for ENG.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 28, 2013, 20:34 GMT)

@Nish_US, Yet again you're defeated by the facts. Go and read the stats on Swann. Get DVD's of his recent performances if you have to. I'm not the only one saying that: check out most of the comments here saying the same thing. You're stuck in a bubblesphere mate :)

Posted by ddlj26 on (January 28, 2013, 20:32 GMT)

@Nish US Agreed on your latest comment on the England - India series... i noticed he was exactly below average in the first test against India... Once panesar started creating less scoring opportunities in the mumbai test with accurrate and penetrative bowling that is when india decided ok lets try to attack swann from the other end ... and my friends on turning tracks even ashley giles would have got wickets in desperation to attack a few... So according to me swann is pretty ordinary spinner who can spin the ball a touch, there is nothing special about him, as i mentioned before he was exposed in most series apart from the last series against india... which of course he should be thanking anderson and panesar as it clearly took 3 to tango here as can be seen from people who watched that series and not from people who are claiming bias towards their own countries spinning hero... i can see why england is so hyped up about swann.. afterall they are a country with no spinning talent

Posted by trav29 on (January 28, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

@nish

i would suggest actually knowing what you are talking about with regards to swann's performances in the recent test series, he took more wickets at a lower average than panesar and a significantly better strike rate. also trying to suggest he just "scalped tail-enders" is a crock, 16 of his 20 wickets were top 7 players.

Posted by shillingsworth on (January 28, 2013, 19:44 GMT)

@Nish US - The impression given by the headline is inevitably misleading. The passage you object to is a single sentence from a 30 minute interview. You have to listen to the interview to put it in context. Why are you even commenting on something you haven't listened to? If you have nothing against Swann, what is with all the 'sour grapes' nonsense?

Posted by MIRAJ_huq on (January 28, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

yes exactly mr. swann. needless to say sachin could have retired 10 years back. the world wouldnt have changed a bit at all.cheers.

Posted by shillingsworth on (January 28, 2013, 19:37 GMT)

@ddlj26 - How exactly was Swann 'exposed' in the away series against Pakistan (13 wickets at 25, strike rate 53)? He is not comparing himself to anyone, let alone 'legendary spinners', he leaves that to others. Try listening to the interview properly. Looks like it is you who is 'way ahead of yourself'.

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

@Shan156

My point is not which team is best or which team has the most present/past legends....

My issue is with calling the Legends - as SELFISH and someone DESPERATE to pile up stats.

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

@clarke501

1. I am at work and so did not get to watch the interivew..... 2. I have nothing against Swann - except admiration for the way he competes to be one of the better spinners of the day without experimenting/deviating much from the traditional art of off-spin bowling 3. My whole issue is with the comment published in text where it says he said "People who play the game with a desperation to average 40 or desperate to score a hundred against each team, things like that, personally I feel it is a selfish way to go about it"

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 19:05 GMT)

@ itsthewayuplay

What I was saying is - if at all he needs to speak about SELFISH people trying to pile up STATUS... as a bowler.. he should be saying

"People who play the game with a desperation to average UNDER 20 or desperate to get a 5/10 WICKET HAUL against each team, things like that, personally I feel it is a selfish way to go about it"

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 28, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

getting grieve from Aussie and Indian fans about spinners given their current lack of talent makes me laugh.Lyon can't bowl and the Indian bowlers got handled by English batsmen who allegedly can't bat against spin. For my take on it Swann is both funny and irreverent.Those are not bad qualities

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge

Firstly nothing against Swann - the player - but definitely a lot against his remarks calling Legends selfish

For that matter all Swann could achieve is save an innings defeat in the first test - Things turned around with PANESAR playing in the second test - for the most part of which Swann played second fiddle, scalping tail-enders....

Do you really think Swann could have won a single test of the series otherwise for ENG?

For someone who saw the entire test series it is Panesar who troubled the batsmen and definitely the best ENG spinner in the series.

Posted by luvcricket_new_gen on (January 28, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

You don't get fame without the stats that drive the fame. Or else get fame with notorious doings. Stats never lie

Posted by ddlj26 on (January 28, 2013, 18:35 GMT)

Swann might be england's best spinner because englands spinners before swann were ridiculously below average worst off than even zimbabwe, that is why they struggled to win test or odi matches outside of england till 2009.... so to compare swann to legendary spinners is way out of place , in fact swann cannot be even compared to harbhajan during his prime years.... the only reason swann did well in the recent india series was because indian batsmen were woefully out of form and a rebuilding team.... swann was exposed woefully during the SA series at home last year and the away series against Pak, I think he is strictly average and is way ahead of himself when he says he wants to achieve greatness, that my friend is a joke

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 28, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

@ ffl -- i speak facts , swann lost 10 in a row on indian tours so no need further proving , he played all 10 , also stats come from great careers like murli or kumble had , swann need 600 plus if he is to surpass kumble, even overrated bhajji have 400 plus wickets

Posted by Shan156 on (January 28, 2013, 18:04 GMT)

@Nish_US, who cares if we have legends or not? England may not have a single legendary player for a long time now but we have a better test team than some of the teams which boast of quite a few legends. Swann has a better average than any Indian spinner since the 90s despite playing most of his cricket in seam friendly conditions. Cook may not have the greatest technique and may not be pleasing to watch but he is going to shatter a few records by the time he calls time on his career. We cannot care less if they are considered legends or not as long as they help Eng. win more tests. Check the records for yourself, Eng's test record is superior to Ind's. If you want to consider only the records since 2000, the golden age of Ind. cricket with legends like SRT, RD, VVS, VS, SG, AK, HS, ZK (of course, not all of these players are legends but Ind. fans keep telling us they are, so), Eng. still has a superior test record to India.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (January 28, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

@Nish_US don't understand why Swann should concentrate on averaging in the low 20s or picking up 5/10 wicket hauls against each team particularly as (a) Swann said that the only stat anyone remembers is The Don's and (b) The idea is to make sure your efforts whatever the final stats are contribute to winning the match.

With regard to Kumble, he's 3rd on the list of wicket-takers. If you take a separate list with bowlers with legal bowling action, he moves up to 2 after Warne.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 28, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

In an age where Australia are fielding seamers to perform the spinners role, for England to have such an outstanding spinner like Swann is a joy to watch. And doesn't it drive the critics mad! Well played Swanny, keep up the good work for the Ashes this year :)

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 28, 2013, 17:30 GMT)

@Nish_US, I enjoyed your logic. It must have been difficult to see Swann out-bowl the best India could field. Difficult too it must have been to watch critics like yourself get crunched by the best spinner in the world and made to eat their own words. Swanny's fans enjoyed that greatly, and I'm one of them.

Posted by Harlequin. on (January 28, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs - no, I don't think he is trying to imply anything. The beauty about Swann is that he is straight up when he talks and doesn't try and put hidden meanings into anything. It has got him in trouble in the past, and certainly it means some people like Nish_US here start extrapolating all sorts of opinions from him. He is simply saying that he would rather be remembered for his mark on history than for amazing stats, and I personally will remember his name for a long while - he is one of the key reasons England achieved world no.1, won the ashes and won in India. This is the most successful era in English cricket since I have been alive, so for my age group, names like Vaughan, Trescothick, Strauss, Cook, Pietersen, Flintoff and indeed Swann will always bring back some great memories - and that I believe is what he plays for.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (January 28, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

Swann doesn't have to be a mystery spinner because he can turn the ball big and at pace and that's enough for most batsmen and something most spinners with a legal bowling action can't do. The encouraging thing for England is that with Panesar outbowling him in India they don't have to rely solely on the Swann. And with Tredwell having bowled really well in the recent ODIs and a few youngsters such as Scotty Borthwick in the background, England spin bowling stock is growing in quantity as well as quality. Don't agree entirely with Swan when he says most batsmen get themselves out. A lot of wickets do fall to poor shots but on the whole it evens out with batsmen who play and miss, get inside edges past the stumps, dropped catches, wrong decisions etc.

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

This makes sense coming from a batsman -- "People who play the game with a desperation to average 40 or desperate to score a hundred against each team,"

SWANN you should probably talk about/concentrate on averaging in the low 20s or picking up 5/10 wicket hauls against each team

unless you are dreaming about playing for ENG basing just on your batting - like Shane Watson for AUS.

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

@clarke501

Denigrate.... Any true cricket fan would never denigrate any player's cricketing ability. But if one tries to belittle someone more accomplished... yes you have the right to retaliate...

I do admire Swann's effort, for someone who is not gifted as some of the others, but works hard within his own limitations and gets the best out of himself.... similar to what Kumble has done in the past for India....

Kumble in my opinion is a true legend for India, but I do not think would stand in the same league as Warne & Murali

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

So are we talking about

1. best bowler in the world -- all time --- NO 2. best bowler in the world -- present/decade --- NO 3. the best spinner in the world - all time --- NO 4. Best spinner in the world - present/decade --- NO 5. Best off spinner in the world -- all time -- NO 6. Best off spinner in the world - present/decade --- NO 7. Best bowler from Eng --- all time --- NO 8. Best bowler from Eng --- present /decade --- NO/May be 9. Best spinner from Eng -- all time -- May be 10. Best spinner from Eng - present/decade -- May be

Out of 10,you got one point from (10) and then two halfs from (8) and (9) and if you see how much it weighs against the criteria above... that truly shows where HE stands.

I truly admire his great work ethic and the effort he puts in and definitely wish him good luck making a name for himself in the history of the game......but sorry you still have a long way to go.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 28, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

randyoz it must be hard to know lyon is on par with Patel,and that swanny monty and tredwell would all walk into the present aussie side. as for the book deal i have seen you post the same on this site since the ashes series.change the record your put down topics maybe funny to some the 1st time but only you must find it still funny.

Posted by John-Price on (January 28, 2013, 15:54 GMT)

SF Barnes considered himself a spinner. He was quite useful.

Posted by shillingsworth on (January 28, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

Hilarious comments from the usual suspects who can't stand the fact that, for all their desperate attempts to denigrate his cricketing ability, Swann keeps proving them wrong. I always like it when the phrase 'sour grapes' is given it's usual airing. It invariably says more about the writer than the intended target.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (January 28, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

Is he really serious? You need good stats to be remembered. Is he indirectly saying he is in the league of Murali/Warne/Kumble? In 10 years after he retires, who will remember Swann's name just because of "fame"?

Posted by whatawicket on (January 28, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

RogB im with you you cannot put a piece with the 1st line that swan is the best english spinner of all time. jim laker aside underwood must run him close, he ended just short of 300 wickets which i understand was his choice to go on so called outlawed tour but the guy had ability and if he had played international for say another 6/7years he would have ended close to 500 test wickets. swan has has the benefit of the drs which if unders had, well the skys would have been the limit. that said swann for a finger spinner without the dosra is very good.

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

@ Front-Foot-Lunge

A purple patch and you start considering yourself the best in the world....good that you did not add "all time"

Look at the kind of batting that Swann bowled to and at what time of their career...the kind of oppositions and at what kind of form they are

And you are comparing with LEGENDS who battled the best of the attacks for a couple of generations

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

There are

entertainers stars super stars magicians specials walls wizards masters blasters

and then there are LEGENDS

Posted by tickcric on (January 28, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

I liked the interview. Swann speaks up his mind and that makes him edgy at times. Nothing wrong with that. I rather think it's a welcome change to listen to him rather than listening to some of the politically correct players ever mindful of their endorsement concerns.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 28, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

@RandyOz, I understand things with Australian cricket haven't been going well recently. In fact, I'm still trying to understand how you haven't left any comments on the Australian boards for a while, yet you continue to navigate towards the English one. Have you become and England fan? Good choice if you have. The 'Wade' Saga, just one in a long of Sagas that has afflicted Australian cricket in recent years, must have been tough to negotiate, yet you've put that all behind now and it's good to see you back again in time for the back-to-back Ashes series...:)

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 28, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

@ gsingh7, There's no need to be so jealous. Just because Swann out-bowled every Indian spinner in the recent series and ran riot over your Indian bastman, there no need for over-the-top envy. Just celebrate the fact that the best spinner in the world is still going strong, if you can.

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 15:09 GMT)

You do not get past 500+ wickets or 10K runs in test, without havnig hundreds of such memorable moments for which you will be remembered in history..

There will be hundreds of Swanns, but only few legends in the history of cricket.

Best of luck to Swann on becoming the first ever legend from Eng - long after.....

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

Legends -

It takes one to recognize one in the making And it takes one in the making to truly appreciate the skill, the love, the effort, the dedication, the pain, the emotion, the commitment, the sacrifice and the satisfaction getting there..

You know the two who I am talking about. I guess Swann is definitely not one of them... not yet anyway.

Best of luck Swann.

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 28, 2013, 14:48 GMT)

swann skipped india tour as last two tours he went for 52 average with 0-10 win loss ratio , so he took smart option along with jimmy, but derek underwood is the best spinner from england but kumble murli warne have bigger wicket hauls which are difficult to surpass

Posted by Nish_US on (January 28, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

Sour grapes huh Swann.. I will wait for the day when you go past 500 test wickets and say the same thing.

Only then you will know what it takes to get there... whether it is desperation or the love of the game

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (January 28, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

Romanticstud: Did you even read this article or did you just want to pump out a few stats? Swann is a bang on those obsessed with stats see everything in a very 2 dimensional way, take the excellent point made on Viv, comparing Warne and Murali for instance is pointless as Warne played half of his games on Australian wickets which offer little for spinners.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 28, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

Swanny sure has slammed a few critics silent recently, what a joy to watch. The long-established biggest turner of the ball in world cricket went through a bad patch for a few months, but only beause he played whilst injured, which every other bowler, Australian especially, would have just sat out. Yet again, as shown in India, he's back to his best. The best spinner in the world by far, none others are worth a mention, certainly not those whose bowling actions are highly suspicious. Yet again you drive your critics mad Swanny, well done mate.

Posted by kh1902 on (January 28, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

Amazed that some people make this about Sachin Tendulkar. In 50 years time noone will remember Graeme Swann but most will know who Sachin Tendulkar is, regardless of the snide comments people make about his stats. Only people who don't understand the game talk about Tendulkar in terms of stats alone. Swann talks about one's name being known. The irony is that his won't be - if he thinks taking wickets against a poor Indian team on wickets which assist his bowling is memorable, then he's not in touch with reality.

Posted by KanAloshFozter on (January 28, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

I'm a gr8 fan of Swann.Because he plays for his team,he's a classical off spinner depending on turn,flight & pace variation rather than the carrom ball or anything.He succeeded in the pace friendly English wickets.His cricketing brain is sound and is a handy batsman and a fielder. He's the one who inspires the English team with his passion and hunger.

Posted by Romanticstud on (January 28, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

Just because you're English doesn't mean that one will remember you ... People remember Murali and Warne even if they had not broken records ... people also remember Tendulkar and Kallis ... Tendulkar has been known since the late 80s as a class batsman ... Kallis as an allrounder since the late 90's ... So to be in the same shoes at Laker takes a lot of doing as he took 19 wickets in a match ... Has Swann ever done that ... Sure Swann is a good spin bowler but not yet a great one ... Records also speak volumes as Lara scored 400 in an innings ... Tendulkar has 100 international 100s but over a long period of time ... Murali took 800 wickets and Warne 708 wickets concurrently with McGrath's 563 wickets ... So Swann needs to do a lot before he becomes a great ...

Posted by Lara4life501 on (January 28, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

@Rally_Windies-Your a man after my own heart, couldnt have said it better particularly 'LARA is rated by MANY above Tendulkar'

Posted by Rally_Windies on (January 28, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

there is a REASON why LARA is rated by MANY above Tendulkar and WHY VIV is considered the next best batsman after Bradmon ,,,,

and Swann has hit the nail on the HEAD...

Swann would prefer to be like Lara and Viv , than Tendulkar and Kallis .....

Stats don't win memorable matches ....

Dravid and Gangauly''s remarkable 200+ run match winning, turning or saving partnerships are all better than any of Sacchin's 50, 100's

Posted by RandyOZ on (January 28, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

Well they certainly wouldn't want to compare Swann's stats because anyone who releases a book before 150 test wickets knows his stats aren;t that good in the first place.

Posted by FieryFerg on (January 28, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

Never heard of Derek Underwood!?! Swann is England's highest wicket taker as an OFF-SPINNER but he's roughly 90 wickets behind Underwood so long way to go to be the best ever. I think he'll also find that a lot of people look at averages as well. He may end up being remembered more for his mouth than anything!

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (January 28, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

People who play the game with a desperation to average 40 or desperate to score a hundred against each team, things like that, personally I feel it is a selfish way to go about it - i hope Tendulkar is listening.

Posted by RogB on (January 28, 2013, 13:03 GMT)

But surely Derek Underwood is Englan's most successful test spin bowler ever.

Posted by class9ryan on (January 28, 2013, 12:59 GMT)

Graeme Swann is one of the finest spin bowlers u will see ... More over he is no joke with the bat and a excellent slip fielder & along with a good cricketing brain has a real solid attitude ... What more can a spin bowler offer in the green tops in England ... He said very rightly - its not about about having every ting in the game but doing what u are good at .... He will go down as England's finest spinners ever - who knows may be the best ever

Posted by BragBoy on (January 28, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

Good. Swann should enjoy it while his good times last. I guess this should be the peak of his career - being instrumental in winning a series against India in India.

Posted by Harlequin. on (January 28, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

As the saying goes, 'there are 3 types of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics' - statistics are only good as a safety net and having to fall back on them is an indicator of insecurity. The fact Swann doesn't rely on them shows the confidence of the man, and as we all know, confidence as a spinner is vital.

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 28, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

Cricinfo Editor got the right pic for Swanny's message :)

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