England v India, Twenty20, Old Trafford September 1, 2011

Swann backs England to maintain drive

33

On a sunny Manchester morning, out near Old Trafford, Graeme Swann arrived wearing dark glasses. He stayed that way for a few hours, not because the area around the Trafford Sports Barn had suddenly turned tropical, but because England had celebrated their Twenty20 International victory over India a little too enthusiastically.

Swann, one of two star names at the formal launch of Streetchance, a nationwide inner-city cricket programme, may need a day to bounce back towards his usually high degrees of cheeriness, but he assured anyone listening that the England team was quite ready to launch the next phase of their ambitions.

The five-match ODI series versus India begins in Durham on Saturday, and Swann said that it would be a searching examination of England's new-found status after their 4-0 Test victory and No.1 Test ranking. "It is a great test for us - hopefully the conditions will suit us and we can pull off a victory. It's where we want to go in one-day cricket, we want to be an improving team and it's a good chance to start," the sunglassed Swann said, speaking to a handful of reporters in an indoor basketball court.

England's ascent to the world No.1 Test ranking has not been matched by a similar surge through the ICC ODI rankings. Amongst the ten Test-playing nations, England are ranked a mid-table No.5. A series victory over the current world champions India will ensure that England can both establish credentials as a more-than-competitive limited-overs team, and also ensure that they snap out of the habit of following triumphant Test series with tepid ODI performances.

England's last two Ashes victories, 2-1 at home in 2009 and 3-1 away last winter, were followed by identical 1-6 defeats in the two seven-match ODI series that followed. Victory in the ICC World T20 last year was England's first in a multi-national ICC event, after having made three of the first five World Cup finals. Swann said that the record of successful Test series tapering off into poor ODI form "was an area we need to really watch; it can often be a bit of a damp squib after a Test series and hopefully it will be a positive rather than negative end to the summer... it's not something we have discussed amongst us until now, but I'm sure we will soon. The summer has gone great for us; we are hoping to carry that on in the one-day series. It's a better feeling to be winning rather than losing."

When asked what England's ODI bug-bears of the past had been, Swann said, "I dunno... we've missed a certain X-factor in players but I think we're getting that now in Jake Dernbach and Eoin Morgan... we're starting to find those real match-winners with bat and ball."

Over the past week, Dernbach and Morgan have played key roles in England's ODI victory over Ireland and the T20I vs India in Manchester. The win over India on Wednesday night, he said, had come against "a world-class team. We are going to have to be at our absolute best to beat them and we are confident at the moment; that Twenty20 win last night has done no harm for our confidence at all."

There is much rumbling about India's performances on this tour (not least from Michael Vaughan, who predicted via Twitter a 4-1 victory for England in the ODIs) and the Twenty20 defeat came from a wobbling middle-order that couldn't score enough, despite the presence of some of India's younger and fresher batsmen.

Before he left the Manchester media, Swann was asked a few questions about local cricket and football. His preferences ran thus: City over United in football, ("I'd rather see City do it, to be honest, even if they've got gazilloons of dollars to spend, whatever") and Lancashire to win the county championship - both for the sake of history and for the sake of his former England coach Peter Moores, the man who recalled him to the fold after a seven-year international hiatus in 2007. "I wish Moorsey all the best for Lancashire and I hope they can win it for him," he said, shortly before they were routed by Worcestershire inside a day-and-a-half at New Road.

At the start of the event, Swann had been called onto stage by MC Mark Nicholas as the "representative of modern England" and took off his sun-glasses for a short instant, before revealing that he had been called Grandad on the field by the rest of the T20 squad. He is one of two players over the age of 30 in the Twenty20 team and the audience of officials, coaches, bankers, police officers, community workers, and young cricketers from six inner-city teams laughed as Swann said ruefully, "When they take their tops off, you can see they've barely started puberty."

Graeme Swann was speaking at the launch of 'StreetChance supported by Barclays Spaces for Sports' - a cricket initiative that aims to tackle youth crime and anti-social behaviour. See Streetchance.org for details

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • johnathonjosephs on September 3, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    gotta agree with longlivecricket..... no players have style these days like jayasuriya, lilee, thompson, wasim, waqar, akhtar, holding, botham, viv, and hadlee had in the old days. I wanna see some flavor and some juice

  • PaddyRasta on September 2, 2011, 22:29 GMT

    @longlivecricket I agree with you, but it's kinda sad that your stylish list does not include an Indian player e.g. Kapil Dev - I trust this was not intentional.

  • 5wombats on September 2, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    Indias "bowlers" will not be able to control England batsmen. So the series is about how many runs indias batsmen can score against the England bowlers. It won't be many.

  • RK.Chandru on September 2, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    We saw how well Parthiv attempted that catch, how good was our running between the wickets and how well (like a 60 or 70 year old) Ashwin moved around in the field... We're pretty sure that, fortune is not going to change overnight and it's going to be 5-0 or, 4-1 in favour of England. The captain is expected to perform, set an example to others and lead from the front. Stop your blame game and contribute towards the team's cause first. It's time, India too emulates Ausie's and English's formula of 'horses for courses' principle of team selection and fields three distinct teams for the tests, ODIs and TTIs. This will avert the fatigue / overwork on the players and injuries too by giving time to rest / heal. This will also guarantee talented younger lot much needed international exposure and avenue to exhibit their talent in a much bigger stage. In the present system only a select bunch of fortunate few hog all the limelight and bag every contract and every mode of earning.

  • bumsonseats on September 2, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    india its a 1 day international not a world cup or war. teams move on players are dropped retired and injured.so u have a few missing ur the world champs and a billion people live in your country, and 1000s playing cricket. i hope u win a game as im getting sick of the excuses. dpk

  • BIG_B_army on September 2, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    what a great Ambassador of English cricket. There seems to be a great bond between the players in the England team currently.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 2, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    Mr. Swann, India will be a different force in ODIs all of a sudden. I don't know why. And don't forget, your nemesis Dravid is playing. I would watch all the ODIs for that lovely contest between you and Dravid. Hope you both face each other for one last time on this tour. It's been a privilege to watch those little but intense battles in Test Cricket. Hope you both come out on top of each other. I don't know how that is possible. But I want both of you to outsmart each other. You both deserve that. Can't wait for the battles to start!

  • Sudarshanj on September 2, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    @ Longlivecricket: I think indians are much more stylish than england mate! Just look trot n cook!

  • AlanHarrison on September 2, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Vaughan still making predictions ... did he learn nothing from Glenn McGrath in 2005?

  • on September 2, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    i think we have critissed india a lot, what if we have lost 1 series, it doesnt mean we have to hate our team, i will be with india always. for the 1st ODI my team will be-1)A Rahane 2)Sachin Tendulkar 3)Rahul Dravid 4)V Kohli 5)S Raina 6)R Sharma 7)MS Dhoni 8) P Kumar 9) V Aaron 10)RP Singh 11)A Mishra

  • johnathonjosephs on September 3, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    gotta agree with longlivecricket..... no players have style these days like jayasuriya, lilee, thompson, wasim, waqar, akhtar, holding, botham, viv, and hadlee had in the old days. I wanna see some flavor and some juice

  • PaddyRasta on September 2, 2011, 22:29 GMT

    @longlivecricket I agree with you, but it's kinda sad that your stylish list does not include an Indian player e.g. Kapil Dev - I trust this was not intentional.

  • 5wombats on September 2, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    Indias "bowlers" will not be able to control England batsmen. So the series is about how many runs indias batsmen can score against the England bowlers. It won't be many.

  • RK.Chandru on September 2, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    We saw how well Parthiv attempted that catch, how good was our running between the wickets and how well (like a 60 or 70 year old) Ashwin moved around in the field... We're pretty sure that, fortune is not going to change overnight and it's going to be 5-0 or, 4-1 in favour of England. The captain is expected to perform, set an example to others and lead from the front. Stop your blame game and contribute towards the team's cause first. It's time, India too emulates Ausie's and English's formula of 'horses for courses' principle of team selection and fields three distinct teams for the tests, ODIs and TTIs. This will avert the fatigue / overwork on the players and injuries too by giving time to rest / heal. This will also guarantee talented younger lot much needed international exposure and avenue to exhibit their talent in a much bigger stage. In the present system only a select bunch of fortunate few hog all the limelight and bag every contract and every mode of earning.

  • bumsonseats on September 2, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    india its a 1 day international not a world cup or war. teams move on players are dropped retired and injured.so u have a few missing ur the world champs and a billion people live in your country, and 1000s playing cricket. i hope u win a game as im getting sick of the excuses. dpk

  • BIG_B_army on September 2, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    what a great Ambassador of English cricket. There seems to be a great bond between the players in the England team currently.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 2, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    Mr. Swann, India will be a different force in ODIs all of a sudden. I don't know why. And don't forget, your nemesis Dravid is playing. I would watch all the ODIs for that lovely contest between you and Dravid. Hope you both face each other for one last time on this tour. It's been a privilege to watch those little but intense battles in Test Cricket. Hope you both come out on top of each other. I don't know how that is possible. But I want both of you to outsmart each other. You both deserve that. Can't wait for the battles to start!

  • Sudarshanj on September 2, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    @ Longlivecricket: I think indians are much more stylish than england mate! Just look trot n cook!

  • AlanHarrison on September 2, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Vaughan still making predictions ... did he learn nothing from Glenn McGrath in 2005?

  • on September 2, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    i think we have critissed india a lot, what if we have lost 1 series, it doesnt mean we have to hate our team, i will be with india always. for the 1st ODI my team will be-1)A Rahane 2)Sachin Tendulkar 3)Rahul Dravid 4)V Kohli 5)S Raina 6)R Sharma 7)MS Dhoni 8) P Kumar 9) V Aaron 10)RP Singh 11)A Mishra

  • puneet_usa on September 2, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    I am looking forward to India handing a one sided ODI thrashing to the Brits....Its time to prove that Current World Champions still got it in them to settle the scores even- I personally feel that this series have been over hyped-over rated by media- i bet People Enjoyed the most recent South African Tour even if the Indian Team did lost but the pitch conditions over in SA were way more tougher and that series was truly competitive and conssistedof so many twists and turns without any big names from Indian Side- Point proved that India does have the bench strength if they can thrash Dale Steyn,Morkel and Co to all around the park- Its just a matter of time- " They are gonno bleed blue" again....Watch out.....One step at a time....thrashing in test series 4-0...england after recently crowned World No.1 test team scrambled to win the T-20, the real test starts tomorrow- Just wait and watch- the comments after the first ODI won't stop on cricinfo..its gonno be a good one...Cheers...!!!!

  • Silverbails on September 2, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    I personally didn't much like Swann's reaction to Raina's dismissal in the last Test match. Surely, with England winning so comfortably, there's no need for ANY sledging or mouthing off in that sort of situation!! I know Test cricket is hard yakka, but there REALLY was NO NEED in my opinion for such crass and overblown on - field behaviour, Mr. Swann!! So, for fair play, Swann scores a BIG FAT ZERO in my opinion, despite being rated the world's No. 1 spinner at the moment....No point discussing this really useless Indian cricket team, in ALL forms of the game, it seems to me. 5 - 0 in England's favour in the ODI's?!?!? Distinct possibility, I would have thought!!!

  • kiwiviktor81 on September 2, 2011, 11:11 GMT

    I think India have an excellent chance of redeeming themselves in the ODI format, especially if they pick Varun Aaron who seems just like what India need: an all-out paceman to balance their otherwise mediocre bowling attack. The cricket simulator at www.odicricsim.com is picking a 3-2 India series win if Aaron is played.

  • Herbet on September 2, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    I think given that India are without Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Zaheer and Harbahjan England should be looking to win comfortably and give these young Indian's confidence a big dent. Re England, I thought Kieswetter's wicket keeping in the T20i looked well below International standards and I would rather have Prior in the side, or Davies, Foster or Mustard for that matter! My picks would be Cook, Bell, Trott, Taylor, Morgan, Prior, Patel, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson. Tough on Dernbach who I might be persuaded to pick over Bresnan. I'd rather pick a fitter batsmen/spinner than Patel but Borthwick isn't up to it just yet. Also, I'd like to squeeze Steven Finn in somwhere in both the test and ODI side as he looks top class, but competition is incredible at the moment.

  • on September 2, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    Yes batting wise when i saw the match i understood that 180 was needed to be ther if 180 was there then match was ours.but what happened is that after 18 overs india were 162 then they should have reached that target of 180 which they didn't i think MSD captaincy was good in this match and not so bad his batting he need to concentrate more.i think if Ashwin would have bowled to his potential india could have won the match

  • on September 2, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    India are still a strong ODI team and possibly start as favorites. That said they really have to win the first game in order to break their losing streak.

  • on September 2, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    India's batting lineup is better than the english batting lineup. We saw glimpses of Ajinkya Rahane in T20. Rahul Dravid is in very good form. Rohit and Kohli had a bad T20 game they have the ability to do well. Raina played the short ball well in the T20 game. Don't forget Sachin Tendulkar. Good that Sehwag, Gambhir are not in the ODI team . This team can field better. My only worry is the bowling department. Munaf and praveen are good but Vinay and Ashwin were not upto mark. The fifth bowler is a problem but Kohli did well and Raina, Rohit too can bowl. My prediction is 3-2 series victory for India. 4-1 is also not a distinct possibility.

  • landl47 on September 2, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    India have all kinds of problems. I notice the fans selecting teams are picking 4 bowlers and hoping to get 10 overs out of Kohli/Sharma/Raina. That might work if the 4 bowlers were world-beaters, but they aren't. Even with the extra batsman, India were bowled out in under 20 overs in the T20I. The longer the format, the more often the better team wins; I thought India's best chance was in the T20I, but since they didn't win that I don't give them much hope in the ODIs. Heck, the test team got a top score of 300 and that was with all the time in the world. Surely Mishra must play instead of Ashwin, who didn't turn a ball in the T20I and didn't make any runs either. I am looking forward to seeing Rahane, who looked a very exciting talent. I'm guessing, though, that it won't take England very long to work out how to bowl to him. Full and outside the off stump will do it, I fancy.

  • jaggi.jagan on September 2, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    @ longlivecricket: Stylish as Border? Have you seen him bat?

  • on September 2, 2011, 2:02 GMT

    gambhir,sehwag,yuvraj all played and failed and zaheer khan isnt dangerous on english conditions . Gambhir scored 2 ducks in a row and played in the 3rd and 4th match. Gambhir played in 2 matches too. Yuvraj played in 1 match i guess . all disapppointed . Harbhajan played 2 matches and got hammered too. stop with your excuses . Indian team was powerful but not powerful enough to fight england on english conditions

  • longlivecricket on September 1, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    This is the clumsiest indian cricket team ever. In this entire tour they have looked nothing but a bunch of clowns. It is not just the result, a player should also be a treat to watch. Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Munaf Patel, Suresh Raina, Ashwin, Dhoni himself - Cricket was never so 'unstylish'. Bring back the Lillies, Holdings, Richards, Imrans, Bothams, Hadlees, Borders and Jayasurias.

  • on September 1, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    1. rahane / patel 2. sachin 3. dravid 4. kohli 5. raina 6. sharma 7. dhoni 8. mishra / ashwin 9. praveen 10. aaron / sreesanth 11. munaf patel

  • hakapuu on September 1, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    Ya England can beat the ODI champions. This second string team without gambhir, sehwag, yuvraj (man of the series in worldcup), Zaheer, Harbhajan and ishant seem failry beatable!

  • bigwonder on September 1, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    England has smelled and tasted the blood. They know they got the test series against a very depleted Indian team and now they see similar depleted one-day team, so why not go for all-out.

  • on September 1, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    Indian team is not a bad ODI team.once start tasting the victory then will carry that one. I personally believe this ODI series could be 3-2(either team)

  • on September 1, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    India need to leave out vinay kumar. Just doesnt look international class. Play aaron for all 5 games

  • Nampally on September 1, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    Indian performance in T-20 caused more humiliation for the Indian cricket fans. New comer dubutante Rahane & Dravid batted so well that rest of the team apart from Raina should be ashamed of their irresponsible batting.Dhoni says India was 20 runs short. What did Dhoni+ Kohli +Sharma contribute between them - 13 runs.How can you win 4 out of 7 batsmen do not show up, MSD?.To make matters worse Dhoni's captaincy & tactics were attrocious. I hope Dhoni improves his captaincy & batting in the ODI's. Accountability from each player is the key to success.Ashwin needs to focus his brain & body on the game - bone headed Run Out & long hops to KP.The limited over cricket is about keeping your opposition within your total by the best defence & tactics you can put up.If you get 150, restrict your opposition to 149 & win.All champions do it without any excuses. England are happy after each game because they do just that. Let your skills on the field do the talking after the match, Not Excuses.

  • From-Toronto on September 1, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    Problem with Indian Team at the moment is "mental" rather than their ability to win in England which will cause them to loose the ODI series if they wont start the series with win. Otherwise 5-0 is on the cards! what do you guys think?

  • NairUSA on September 1, 2011, 19:38 GMT

    I believe what this dude has said. Team India needs to ramp up several notches to beat the Englanders. If Team India do not show the intensity and passion during the upcoming ODIs, it will take much more greater effort to get back to winning ways.

  • KrazyCricketKid on September 1, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane. Sachin Tendulkar. Rahul Dravid. Virat Kohli. Rohit Sharma. Suresh Raina. MS Dhoni. Ravichandran Ashwin. Praveen Kumar. Vinay Kumar. Munaf Patel

  • Praxis on September 1, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    Swann is a pretty cool guy, both on & off the field. @landl47, I think Dernbach will play the first one for sure.

  • Sri_chicago on September 1, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    Nice piece, Sharda - as always.

  • landl47 on September 1, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    Swann is always good value at these functions. I hope he becomes a TV/radio commentator when his cricketing days are over (not for a few more years yet, though). England are going to have some selection issues for the ODIs. Do they go with four seamers plus Swann and leave Patel out? If they drop a seamer, who will it be? Might they take a chance and play four seamers plus Swann and Patel and leave Bopara out? England's top 5 batsmen seem set and Bresnan and Swann are definites. Broad was left out of the final match against SL, but since then he's looked very good. Anderson is not only leader of the attack but is a brilliant fielder, very important in ODIs. Dernbach has bowled well whenever he's had the chance and he's especially good at the death, as he proved again on Wednesday. Anyway, England's problem of who to leave out of the team is a lot better than India's. India has to try and find someone to put in!

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  • landl47 on September 1, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    Swann is always good value at these functions. I hope he becomes a TV/radio commentator when his cricketing days are over (not for a few more years yet, though). England are going to have some selection issues for the ODIs. Do they go with four seamers plus Swann and leave Patel out? If they drop a seamer, who will it be? Might they take a chance and play four seamers plus Swann and Patel and leave Bopara out? England's top 5 batsmen seem set and Bresnan and Swann are definites. Broad was left out of the final match against SL, but since then he's looked very good. Anderson is not only leader of the attack but is a brilliant fielder, very important in ODIs. Dernbach has bowled well whenever he's had the chance and he's especially good at the death, as he proved again on Wednesday. Anyway, England's problem of who to leave out of the team is a lot better than India's. India has to try and find someone to put in!

  • Sri_chicago on September 1, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    Nice piece, Sharda - as always.

  • Praxis on September 1, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    Swann is a pretty cool guy, both on & off the field. @landl47, I think Dernbach will play the first one for sure.

  • KrazyCricketKid on September 1, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane. Sachin Tendulkar. Rahul Dravid. Virat Kohli. Rohit Sharma. Suresh Raina. MS Dhoni. Ravichandran Ashwin. Praveen Kumar. Vinay Kumar. Munaf Patel

  • NairUSA on September 1, 2011, 19:38 GMT

    I believe what this dude has said. Team India needs to ramp up several notches to beat the Englanders. If Team India do not show the intensity and passion during the upcoming ODIs, it will take much more greater effort to get back to winning ways.

  • From-Toronto on September 1, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    Problem with Indian Team at the moment is "mental" rather than their ability to win in England which will cause them to loose the ODI series if they wont start the series with win. Otherwise 5-0 is on the cards! what do you guys think?

  • Nampally on September 1, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    Indian performance in T-20 caused more humiliation for the Indian cricket fans. New comer dubutante Rahane & Dravid batted so well that rest of the team apart from Raina should be ashamed of their irresponsible batting.Dhoni says India was 20 runs short. What did Dhoni+ Kohli +Sharma contribute between them - 13 runs.How can you win 4 out of 7 batsmen do not show up, MSD?.To make matters worse Dhoni's captaincy & tactics were attrocious. I hope Dhoni improves his captaincy & batting in the ODI's. Accountability from each player is the key to success.Ashwin needs to focus his brain & body on the game - bone headed Run Out & long hops to KP.The limited over cricket is about keeping your opposition within your total by the best defence & tactics you can put up.If you get 150, restrict your opposition to 149 & win.All champions do it without any excuses. England are happy after each game because they do just that. Let your skills on the field do the talking after the match, Not Excuses.

  • on September 1, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    India need to leave out vinay kumar. Just doesnt look international class. Play aaron for all 5 games

  • on September 1, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    Indian team is not a bad ODI team.once start tasting the victory then will carry that one. I personally believe this ODI series could be 3-2(either team)

  • bigwonder on September 1, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    England has smelled and tasted the blood. They know they got the test series against a very depleted Indian team and now they see similar depleted one-day team, so why not go for all-out.