England news April 27, 2013

Elbow has 'never felt better' - Swann

ESPNcricinfo staff

Graeme Swann is itching to return to action after declaring that his elbow has "never felt better" following the surgery he had after being ruled out of the Test series in New Zealand.

He is set play his first match of the season for Nottinghamshire against Durham in the County Championship next week, his last chance for first-class cricket with his county before the opening Test of the season against New Zealand at Lord's on May 16. But there is the England Lions game against New Zealand if the selectors feel he needs more overs.

Swann has been bowling in the nets during Nottinghamshire's current match against Derbyshire and is feeling no ill effects after having "13 or 14" pieces of bone removed from his right elbow during the operation in the USA, significantly fewer than came out during the first surgery in 2009 when 29 fragments were found.

"The elbow feels great," Swann said while speaking at a Chance to Shine event to mark the two millionth child to be included in the scheme. "I've been bowling with it over the last two days in the nets and it has never felt better. The aim was always for me to come back on Monday against Durham and that is what is going to happen. I was just bored with stupid bowling in the nets and wanted to get back in the game."

"I was actually hoping to play this week against Derby but it just swelled up a little bit and I was told to get back in my box. I'm very happy now but this is the last time in my career I will have elbow surgery."

When Swann was ruled out of the New Zealand series in March, on the opening day of the first Test, he was optimistic that the surgery would be a success but admitted the occasional doubt.

"You go through a mixture of emotions," he said. "You have the panic, then the optimism, then the odd pessimistic day pops its head out of nowhere. But the surgery wasn't as serious as last time and my rehab has gone perfectly."

England missed both Swann's bowling and his on-field spark in New Zealand as the attack laboured to take 20 wickets. With Australia's likely line-up for the Ashes potentially including four left handers in the top order he could be in for a bumper season while he is also a crucial cog in the one-day team which has a Champions Trophy to aim for.

Swann's recovery is a piece of positive news for England in a week where Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out until at least the Ashes with his bruised knee taking longer to heel than expected.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shanmugam on May 1, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    @JG2704, I meant to say the same thing. In a 2 man spin attack, I will play Swann and Monty; if it is going to be 1 spinner, then it will be Swann, if not available, JT, if not available, Monty would be my preference.

  • John on May 1, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    @Meety - Would definitely give him a go. I think Eng have gone too far the other way with 2 of their policies.

    1 - . Re selection -While we don't want a revolving door situation - we don't want it bolted shut 2- Re resting players. I think we're overdoing that to an extent where our players are more likely to be undercooked than get injured. I think the Sky team were saying that players of yesteryear may have gone on for longer if their workloads were managed better which maybe true. However , I seem to recall their were often weeks where Counties (inc England players) were playing 2 x 3 day games and a JPL game on a Sunday , so the big improvements in rest periods for county players alone has already increased the likelihood of longevity without further rest

    @Shan156 - Would still play Monty ahead of JT in a 2 man spin attack but would go for JT if Swann was injured. I've noticed Monty has not really been among the wickets this season so far either

  • Andrew on April 30, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    @JG2704 on (April 29, 2013, 17:56 GMT) - mate, no idea if Woakes is a pace version of Swanny, but as I have said heaps of times before, the bits I see of Woakes - he's all class. I'd have him @ 6 or #7 in the England Test team straight away, just on batting alone, with his bowling as a bonus. I have always felt that Bresnan's Test batting average was above the odds, but with Woakes he looks like a batsmen & I can see him averaging around 40 in Tests with the bat & low 30s with the ball assuming a decent run - sort of what Watson SHOULD of been doing, but with (fingers crossed) less injury concerns!!!!

    @ landl47 on (April 29, 2013, 20:52 GMT) - I think we'll leave it at how you said earlier "...England are slight favorites..." - with me confident that the gap between teams is minimal. Otherwise we'll be talking to the cows come home about better pacers vs worse batsmen etc & the form guide is a bit sketchy for bost both sides. Not inc Indian tours I'd have Oz way ahead, but now.....

  • Shanmugam on April 29, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    @JG2704, I don't think we will field 2 spinners in any of the summer tests. But, if Swann is unavailable, then Tredwell should take his place. As well as Monty performed in the SC, I don't think he will cause much damage elsewhere including, and especially, at home. I know Tredwell has not played tests yet but I think he will do well against NZ. I also think we should play Onions ahead of Broad against NZ. We could be brave and even rest Jimmy but the way NZ performed against our 1st choice pace attack in NZ, we would want our best XI.

  • John on April 29, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    @Meety: I, on the other hand, would be quite happy to see Anderson, Finn and Broad less successful than Swann, because it means that the one area where Aus has a good side, the seam bowlers, would be equally struggling- and Lyon isn't in Swann's class, especially against the England right-handers.

    @Lliam Flynn: no, Swann isn't in Warne or Murali's class. But then, he's not going to be bowling to Hayden, Langer, Ponting. Martyn, the Waughs and Gilchrist, is he? He averages more than 4 wickets a game, historically a very good record, and if he gets a pitch that does a bit he usually takes wickets. In the 2009 Ashes, he only bowled one over in the first innings at Lord's, because the seamers bundled Aus out for 215, but he took 4-91 in the 2nd inns. At the Oval, which usually does take spin, he took 8-158 in the match. Which were the two games England won? Lord's and the Oval. If, and it's a big if, he gets turning wickets, I think England wins those games.

  • John on April 29, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    @Meety - If he's playing the next CC match I reckon Eng/the surgeons are pretty confident he'll be ok - they rarely risk players like that. Obviously the CT is a way off so we''ll have to see how he goes.

    Actually Landl reminded me of something I thought but maybe didn't post.

    Re Woakes , in the recent Somerset game , I thought he looked particularly good in the 1st inns vs Trescothick and was unlucky not to take his wicket. I wonder if he is like a pace version of Swann in that he is particularly good vs left handers and if so I think they were saying that Aus are likely to have 4 LHs in their top 6. Food for thought

  • Andrew on April 29, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @JG2704 on (April 28, 2013, 8:46 GMT) - if Swann can't play the CT, it would nearly be a miracle for England to win the event (on the back of no KP). I think he really risks re-injuring himself he rushes back which could make him a non-starter.

    @landl47 on (April 29, 2013, 0:04 GMT) - I am sort of happy if Swann is taking wickets during the Ashes, as it SHOULD mean, that Anderson, Finn & Broad are NOT! LOL! The left hand factor will make things very interesting for Swann. Regarding the pitches, I would be bemused if the pitches are noticably spin-friendly, but I actually think it would be better for Oz if it were that way. Why? - because the Oz problem against spin is fairly specific to Indian conditions. There is more variable bounce & uneven pace in India which is what makes Oz batsmen indecisive against spin. Those factors shouldn't effect Oz in England (although I do recall what happenned on the Oz A-tour of England last year!)

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    I am trying to understand the euphoria over Swann. For starters, his average is 29.10. This means he is a reasonably good bowler but definitely not in the league of Warne or Murali. Going into Statsguru he averages 30.55 at home, 40.13 vs Australia (from 2009 so no killer side back then), and his best figures come vs Bangladesh/Sri Lanka/India/Pakistan in Asia which isn't too surprising. About the only ray of light is his average of 26.01 versus lefties, but if you take out lefties in the helpful conditions in Asia he comes back to pretty much his base av of 29. Final conclusion - solid but not a great in English conditions and talk of the Aussies trembling before this colossus of spin is giving him a little too much credit. Would be interesting to see if some curators spice up the pitches a little for him.

  • John on April 29, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    @Jayzuz: your 5 bowlers are all talented, but remember that they are: Patto (broke down against SA, currently recovering from abdominal surgery); Starc (recovering from foot surgery); Harris (latest injury of many, achilles troubles); Faulkner (never played a test) and Bird (recovering from stress fractures in his back). It's a bit dodgy, isn't it?

    Warner, Hughes and Watson also have talent, but 8 tons in 84 combined matches means they don't come good very often. For England, Cook has 24 in 90, Trott 9 in 41, Pietersen 22 in 94 and Bell 17 in 86. Clarke is of course as good as or better than any of them, with 23 in 92, but there's a big drop-off in consistency after him.

    I don't take Aus lightly and neither I'm sure do the England players. If Aus's bowlers are fit and the batsmen get on a roll, they could easily win. However, going into the series, you'd have to say that the numbers favour England.

  • John on April 29, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    @Meety: I think Hauritz got a raw deal, but the fact is that when Swann is given a wicket with a bit of help he's pretty good, especially against left-handers. One of the reasons I think England are slight favorites is that Aus has so many L/Hs; if any of the 5 wickets are turners, then I think England wins those tests. I don't dismiss Lyon, but he too, as an offspinner, would be more troublesome to left-handers and England only has one (Cook) against at least 4 (maybe as many as 6) Aussies in the top 7 plus Starc and Patto.