India in England 2011 April 29, 2011

Fletcher could 'come a cropper' against England - Swann

ESPNcricinfo staff

Duncan Fletcher may have coached the England team for eight years but there's still a "hell of a lot" about them that he "doesn't know at all", offspinner Graeme Swann has said. Fletcher was named India's new coach, replacing Gary Kirsten, and his first assignment is likely to be the tour of England later in the year.

Swann, who was not in Fletcher's good books when he first played for England in 2000, said any presumptions from the coach about knowing it all about England had the potential to backfire.

"Fletcher knows a few of our players better than some other coaches would," Swann told the Daily Telegraph. "But there's a hell of a lot of our team he doesn't know at all. I think that will work to our advantage, because he might be trying to double guess us a little bit and come a cropper."

Swann made his ODI debut on the tour of South Africa in 2000, when Fletcher was coach, but lost favour with the team due to his off-field behaviour. He played his first Test almost eight years later. "If I was a coach 10 years ago, I don't think I would have picked me, and I wouldn't have particularly liked me being on that tour," Swann said. "If you're my sort of character, you soon become quite irksome to the people around you if you're not backing your talk up on the field.

"I was just a young upstart tourist, and it was a good job I didn't play because I wasn't good enough. I'd probably have been found out and cast aside for good, and never been given my eventual second chance."

There are several players in the current England set-up who've either not played under Fletcher or done so only occasionally. Jonathan Trott and Steven Finn made their debuts after Fletcher left, while Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and even Swann gained prominence much later.

"It's nice for him to come back to England, because he's got a fine record with the England team," Swann said. "Now he will get a chance to pit his wits against this new England side during the summer. Technically, though, I don't think it helps him much to know a few of our players, because there's so much footage available that you can work anybody out."

Even James Anderson, who Swann believes could be the key against India, played only 16 of his 57 Tests under Fletcher. "If the ball swings like it did last year and Jimmy bowls as well again, there's no team in the world that can touch us," Swann said. "I think we will give India a very good run for their money, if not beat them."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Oz on May 1, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    @Andy,pakistan well placed to win the fourth test? They scored about 120 and 130 in their two innings. If 2009-10 oz tour was pakistan's lowest point, then what of 2004-05 oz tour and 2002 series in SL-Sharjah (both 3-0)? Fact is pakistan batting is simply not good enough. They are flat track bullies who cannot play quality bowling. Even Inzimam, hardly scored runs in Australia. And in 2006, England won 3-0.

  • venkataramana rao on May 1, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    Indian bowling of Zaheer, Ishant, Sreesanth, Munaf, Bhajji, Ojha, Mishra, Ashwin is good enuf to run thru the Engish team. There is good variety and firepower in the team and even the backups like RP Singh, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Dinda, Abhimanyu Mithun are decent 3rd/ 4th seamers. It will be a close series but India should win...

    Fletcher is still a poor choice and at best can give some tips on English conditions and England players. Why wud you hire him as a coach just for that. He is too old to be Indias coach.

  • Neeraj on May 1, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    @AndyWhatever "You may also want to ask how India is going to take 20 wickets consistently against the English. The English Test team in their own backyard are formidable." How you can say that with a straight face is beyond me. England failed to win a single test match in 2007 against India, so I think its Strauss and co. that need to scratch their heads.

  • Bobby on May 1, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    Just a bit of heads up folks. This is in line with G Swann is talking about.Tendulkar has played six test matches against James Anderson and Anderson actually nailed him 5 times in six test matches which is one of highest by any bowler. Tendulkar averages 38 with bat in those test matches which is similar to his pathetic batting average of 39 in fouth innings of a test match. That is why J Kallis is the greatest batsman of modern era as not only he averages more than Tendulya in test matches (57.5) but he also has an average of 44 in 4th innings of a test match when matches are won, lost or drawn..A real legend with 270 wickets to further confirm his legacy.

  • Ryo on May 1, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    @CricIndia208: That tour to Australia was Pakistan's lowest point. It was their nadir. Those three batsmen are quality. In 2006 when Pakistan toured England Younis and Yousuf scored centuries and double centuries for fun. They were sorely missed in the 2010 tour. One bad tour doesn't make you a bad batsman. Those scores you posted are also spread out over a decade. You've basically just hand picked scores at will, making sure you get the worst ones. If that's the case, then surely I could easily post the worst Indian batting or bowling scores??? Selective posting doesn't get you anywhere, it only backfires. You also forget that Pakistan won the third test and were well placed in the last test match when the spot fixing crisis broke. They could have ended with a drawn series.

  • Oz on May 1, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    @Andy, India's biggest threat will come from Anderson & Co. Swann is good but India are masters of spin. Taking 20 wickets is a challenge against England in their own backyard but Zak and co. are good in english conditions. pakistan batsmen are mediocre, check what happened in Australia with yousuf, younis and misbah present. pakistan batsmen are in fact terrible - look at some of their scores in oz and england (53, 54, 74, 80, 72 etc.). Indian batting is much stronger- the strongest in the world. I don't mean to belittle England's achievement though.

  • Dummy4 on May 1, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    i think india will give england bowlers a taste of indian hot spicy curry..this will be a real test for both the english & indians...waiting for the fun to begin

  • Ryo on May 1, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    @CricIndia208: Swann's been taking wickets all over the world for a good 3 years now. If you honestly believe he's only had one or two good series then you're mistaken. He's rated as the best off spinner in the world for a reason. You may also want to ask how India is going to take 20 wickets consistently against the English. The English Test team in their own backyard are formidable. People are also quick to forget that Pakistan went into that England series with a bunch of youngsters and no experienced players. When Mohammad Yousuf came back into the side Pakistan actually won the Oval Test. There was no Younis or Misbah in that series.

  • Oz on May 1, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    Indian batsmen will not have any problem negotiating Swann. Swann has made his reputation against mediocre sides like pakistan. He took a load of wickets against pakistan who do not have a single international class batsman. Whereas, ebery Indian batsman is a legend.

  • Gaurav on April 30, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    Well as an Indian fan i take the summary of this article as Swann is trying to say that it will be a great hard fought series and he is correct in thinking like that.He is not making an overconfident statement at all as he did not claim that India will be blown away by Anderson and Co. or something like that.Last time India won series in England .1-0 ,it was a hard fought series,even the series when England came to India, it was a great series too.However people who are calling Indian bowling weak should know that Indian bowlers do very well when conditions are good for bowlers overall, this is the reason they have done well overseas in last 5 years,Zaheer,RP and Sreesanth did well in England last time , especially Zaheer was awesome and there is no reason he cant do it again.In recent SA tour Indian bowlers looked very ordinary in first test but in second test they bounced back strongly on a pitch helpful to bowlers.

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