England in India 2012-13

Swann cautious ahead of India return

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 27, 2012

Comments: 88 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Swann had a number of appeals turned down, England v South Africa, 3rd Investec Test, Lord's, 3rd day, August 18, 2012
Graeme Swann endured a difficult English summer but has an impressive Test record in Asia © AFP
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Graeme Swann will travel to India on the verge of becoming England's most successful offspinner in Test cricket but he has cautioned against expectations that his bowling will be the decisive factor in the tourists' attempts to win the series.

Since taking two wickets in his first over of Test cricket in Chennai four years ago, Swann has added a further 190 to the tally to leave him within one wicket of Jim Laker's mark of 193. Although Swann has taken 39 wickets in 2012, his ten victims during the English summer came at an average of 59 and he was dropped for the first time in more than three years when England opted, unsuccessfully, to play four fast bowlers against South Africa at Headingley.

A chronic elbow injury, which has required periods of rest to ameliorate the pain of floating bone fragments near to the nerve, has also dogged Swann. He acknowledges that the expectations of Indian pitches will add to his burden, as England seek to improve on a record that has seen them win just one Test match in the country since 1985, but can take confidence from an impressive record in Asia, which includes taking his second ten-wicket haul in Tests against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

"As a spinner it stands to reason that when you go to the subcontinent people are going to look to you and how you bowl," Swann told the Independent before heading off for England's training camp in Dubai. "But if we do turn up just expecting the spinner to win the series for us then we're screwed.

"The key to Test cricket is that the more you play the more confident you get and the more confident you get ergo you bowl more consistently. Having looked at the schedule I know two of the pitches might turn, in Kolkata and Mumbai. I am not sure about the other two. I have been reliably informed that Nagpur is the flattest wicket ever devised by groundsmen but that was by Cooky, who got a hundred there on his debut."

Alastair Cook, now elevated to the position of England captain, shares with Swann the experience of an impressive debut in India. But Swann was also swift to recall the result of the first Test in 2008, when Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten hundred helped India to reach a fourth-innings target of 387 with six wickets in hand.

"It all started for me there and I can't quite believe it has come round again so quickly," Swann said. "It all seems like a dream when I think about the start of it. I remember the smells that were wafting over the ground when I took the ball. It's all very romantic when I think back.

"The rose-tinted glasses are removed of course because of the fact that we had 360-odd chased down at a canter by Mr Tendulkar. But it's got fond memories for me personally because I did well. To realise that you can compete at a level that you have always had a sneaking suspicion that you weren't good enough for is one of the greatest weights ever to be lifted off your shoulders. I will be indebted to those first two Test matches for making me realise it was just another game of cricket."

Swann will return to India have long since usurped Monty Panesar as England's No. 1 spinner and, despite the protestations to the contrary, his form with the ball will almost certainly be as important to the team as the return of Kevin Pietersen to the fold. The summer rupture between members of the England squad and Pietersen was compounded by a painful series defeat to South Africa, and the loss of the No. 1 ranking, but Cook in his new role has been instrumental in seeking a fresh start.

It was during Pietersen's brief spell as England captain that Swann came into the side and he was among the players Pietersen met with during his "reintegration" process. Swann expressed relief that the situation had been resolved and, after becoming a father for the second time only a week ago, he was perhaps understandably looking forward to focusing on more important issues.

"More than anything it is a good thing it is done and dusted," said Swann. "A line has been drawn under it and the actual cricket can go back to doing the talking rather than off-field antics. I am sure it can get back to how it was. I think a lot depended on Kevin. He seems in a place now where he is happy to play again, he has committed himself to the team and that's good moving forward.

"I think that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet now. I think there has been a bit of honesty and a bit of contriteness from certain parties. I think everybody is fed up with it and that's why we just want to play cricket."

After almost a month off post-World Twenty20, England will begin playing cricket again on Tuesday, with a three-day game against India A. That will be followed by two more warm-up matches, before the first of four Tests begins in Ahmedabad on November 15.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by mrmonty on (October 29, 2012, 16:23 GMT)

Swanny, you flatter yourself. But, that's your job. You have overachieved way beyond your skills. Time to fall back to earth.

Posted by AK_25 on (October 29, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

btw..its murali n mendis....who really performed well agaist thm .....

Posted by AK_25 on (October 29, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

@krishkrish......YES these three are very very good player of spin......they hav always better spinners thn india....they get better preparation of spin bowling......bt still somhow they loose too many wickets against top opposition spinners in spin frenly wicket......look at their record against like...warne,mcgill,swan,ajmal........

Posted by MunafAhmed811 on (October 29, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

landl47 @ who says Sri Lanka who are a betting batting side than India. Well you should go back to the awards ceremony after worldcup final 2011 footage and listen to opinion of Sangakkara on who he thinks is better batting team. If that is not enough. Besides the stats between SL-India stand as follows In SL venues : Played -56 SL Won-27 Lost 23 matches to India . In Neutral venues : Played -40 SL Won-14 SL Lost 23 matches to India . In India venues : Played -43 SL Won-11 Lost 29 matches to India.

Posted by   on (October 29, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

Alastair Cook's debut century was scored at the old VCA ground,this is Jamtha,so Swann has to ask someone else who has played Cricket at Jamtha.Not that he has to because the new ground which is 3-4 yrs old is not entirely different from the old one.Nagpur is still a batting paradise.

Posted by Tigg on (October 29, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

Indian pitches spin, so Indian batsmen know how to play spin.

That's the key point. An overseas spinner is unlikely to run through sides used to playing that type of bowling. For me, Englands seam attack is the key.

Posted by krishkrish on (October 29, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

@AK : Mahela , Sanga and Dilshan are good players of spin. What about rest of them ?

Posted by Selassie-I on (October 29, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

@Posted by Buckers410 on (October 27 2012, 13:05 PM GMT) - Trott is over rated? he's played for over 3 years averaging around the same as Jayawadene, Richards, Chanderpaul, Amla - are these guys 'over rated' as well? Bearing in mind he has to play half his matches in England where it's pretty widely accepted that it is difficult to average more, he's also not missed a test I believe so he's played all the top teams -Aus twice, Inida, SA twice, it will be a good test for him to perform in India of course, but I would say he's far from over rated, in fact I can't think of many other players I'd rather have comign in at 3...? Kallis probably..

Posted by CricketMaan on (October 29, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

Swann if he holds on without injury will create trouble for the middle order, despite SRT. While he has been an excellent bowler for England, a lot of them have hailed him and even ridiculed the likes of Bhajji. Harbhajan has lost his prime skill and mojo, but he plaed long enough and performed well to pick 400 Test and 250+ ODI wickets. Swann has no such longevity and that is they key difference.

Posted by AK_25 on (October 29, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

@land47.......SL are not better players of spin thn india....

Posted by Nutcutlet on (October 29, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

Swann's chronic injury (which, to be fair to him, he doesn't mention) & his interview here (where he as much as says, don't expect me to be as effective as I have been) give me cause for concern. His role in recent years when England has been successful has been to spell the quicks; this was possible because he wasn't leaking runs & was always capable of getting a wicket, or several. Part of England's game-plan will need revision if Swann is not able to get through 30+ accurate overs per day. I would expect Panesar to bowl more overs than GS which means that Cook & Flower will be exercised in their choice of the others. For me, Finn is likely to be the most effective quick & Broad & Bresnan (at least on paper) offer more with the bat than Jimmy & Onions. England's selectors have many factors to weigh up. This is a side in transition & it looks as if the choice of the final XI will have to contain 5 bowlers. Swann has put England on notice of this.

Posted by DINESHCC on (October 29, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

All our fans who expect a whitewash or series win for India are requested to visit the following link http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/60749.html which was a REVENGE SERIES against Newzealand.

Posted by   on (October 29, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

@james anderson dude on one hand you say swann is a better bowler than current indian spinners and then say he will not fare well in India. if a spinner can not do well on spinning tracks how on earth can u call him the best bowler?

Posted by yogesh.gg on (October 29, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

landl47 on (October 28 2012, 19:04 PM GMT) : Seriously ? SL a better batting side than India , this is coming after we have been mauling them since eternity ? Well , let the Indian bat talk is all i can say at the moment.Cheers!

Posted by joseyesu on (October 29, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

Ind is also in the transition phase. If Eng took Sehwag and Gambir cheaply, then Eng will have more of control. Apart from Sehwag, Ashwin, Ojha there are not many match winners in test match.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 29, 2012, 0:58 GMT)

I think Swann will have a decent tour of India. He's an off spinner in the classical mould. While the Indian batsmen will play him well enough, some of our players have a weakness while starting their innings against spin. Prime examples include Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni. So nothing can be taken lightly. I don't think he will go wicketless and will definitely play a part in some way for England. The best solution for him would be to toss his deliveries to the Indian batsmen, inviting them to drive or loft him. That approach could give England some cheap wickets. Sehwag is definitely a prime suspect in that regards. He is reckless and will not even give it a thought and BAM ! he could be out to Swann.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (October 28, 2012, 23:27 GMT)

Well the aussys certainly struggled against him, but they struggle in general, dont they?

Posted by Chris_P on (October 28, 2012, 23:25 GMT)

@A_Vacant_Slip. Given the previous tour was a 5-0 whitewash, you don't think changes happen? We are also waiting for the next series. For the upcoming series in India, no matter how you look at it, India have to be favourites, as always in the own back yard. I do enjoy test cricket.

Posted by jb633 on (October 28, 2012, 22:56 GMT)

@ajetti- so the fact that Ghambir says "wait until you play us at home" whilst getting drubbed 4-0 in Australia is meant to show a display of heart/pride? @rahulcricket- interesting points with regards to this current Indian side. Personally I think Swann is really only effective against the lefties and I anticipate he may cause Raina and Ghambir some trouble. However because he has no ball that goes the other way I think your right handers will tackle him easily. I think if we are to do anything in this series we need to find some reverse swing as the Indian batsmen tend to struggle with the moving ball. If we are to find any reverse though Jimmy and Broad will have to add a yard of pace. They were both well short of pace in the SA series and I think it contributed to no reverse swing. @JG207- I think Swanny may struggle in this series. His bowling in big games has not instilled much confidence in recent times and I think a classy right hander will have him for breakfast.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 28, 2012, 22:04 GMT)

John Inverity made interesting comments recently re doosra, saying it should not be a part of Australian cricket. I wonder if that is a generally held view. Over here it probably is unofficially the view, but given our climate I do not think it would be easy to bowl anyway as we are too stiff limbed. But I do not see why the carrom ball should present such a problem and I would encourage its use,as it is quite easy to bowl with a dead straight arm.I would be interested to know if any English spinners are trying to develop it. Deception should be the watchword of good spinners and progressive by nature and variety adds to it.

Posted by landl47 on (October 28, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

The only concern is Swann's elbow (which he didn't use as an excuse). In his last test series in the subcontinent, against Sri Lanka who are a betting batting side than India, he took 16 wickets in 2 matches. In his last test against India, at the Oval in 2011, he took 9-208 in the match, including a six-fer in the second innings, to carry England to an innings win. Mishra, India's specialist spinner in that match, took 0-170. All those who think Swann can't bowl in the subcontinent or against Indian batsmen might want to think about those numbers.

Posted by mikey76 on (October 28, 2012, 18:33 GMT)

@IndiaNumeroUno. Swann had 192 wickets from 40 odd tests and still counting while harbhajan is at the other end of his career so obviously will have more wickets! Swann's record is exceptional for a guy that doesn't bowl a doosra. An average under 30 and a strike rate most quicks would be happy with. He's rated by the ICC not the English media. If his elbow is fine he will pose problems to India, if not then it will be a tough series for England.

Posted by   on (October 28, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

Something that no one has commented on is the lack of DRS for this series, seeing as it's in India. How will that effect Swann, and England in general?

Hope that India pick their best side and go for Yuvraj or Rohit Sharma ahead of the ridiculously over-rated Raina, who can't play the short ball to save his life. Also that England will be brave enough to go in with 5 bowlers and Matt Prior at 6, or at least just pick Monty ahead of Samit Patel.

Eng: Cook*, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow/Bresnan, Prior+, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Panesar.

Ind: Sehwag, Gambir, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni*+, Ashwin, Zaheer, Ojha, Yadav.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (October 28, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

Cricinfo comments section is incomplete with out @RandyOZ :) Glad to see you back mate. You still in England?

Posted by CricketLoversRuleTheWorld on (October 28, 2012, 17:09 GMT)

Scared of loosing .. haaaaaaaaaaaah :)

Posted by RandyOZ on (October 28, 2012, 16:40 GMT)

Indian will love batting against spin. His gun-barrel straight deliveries will pose no problem. There is more spin in his book than what he actually produces on the pitch.

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (October 28, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

@phoenixsteve, how did you think ENG bowlers are classy in all conditions? Leave the away or sub-continent conditions but give me two good home series ENG won against good in-form team recently? If opposite team is in good form then ENG will definitely stumble even in their own den. Go back to ENG home series history with India, AUS and SA.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 28, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

At some stage Swann will have to get his arm sorted out as he cannot go on bowling through the pain barrier barrier forever. I keep thinking too that the selectors might have liked Dernbach around for this series in case the pitches really do do nothing. At the moment there are a lot of imponderables which will become clearer as time goes on.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (October 28, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

@jonesy2 on (October 28 2012, 08:03 AM GMT) COMEDY BOY.... There is not much quality in English cricket (according to you...) - but there was still more than enough to beat Australia in Australia with 3 Inning defeat last time around. BTW - how was that series for you...? Can't wait for next year....

Posted by grizzle on (October 28, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

I am calling England favourites for this upcoming series, which they should win on current form, barring the kind of batting collapses that defined their UAE tour. With a weak top order, a callow middle order, and a pitiful excuse for a bowling attack, we (India) are going to get one hell of a hiding. The best thing about the Indian team is the tail! (Ashwin and Bhajji, should he play, are neither of them mugs with the bat.)

Posted by Cricketfan101 on (October 28, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

Kp will cause more problems to Indian batsmen with his spin than swann

Posted by Mike_Tyson on (October 28, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Should be a good series. I think previously when Eng have struggled in tests in India, it has been against Kumble and a better Bhajji. I don't think Ashwin and Ojha are that good yet. Zak has struggled a lot recently and there aren't many good back up bowlers. I like Yadav, can be expensive but he's young and has pace, he needs to be taken care of and hopefully won't go the same way Sharma (Ishant) did. England have got bowlers who can pose the Ind batting problems. Many people saying Warne and Murali struggled in Ind, while this is true, it was against much better players of spin at their peak. Ganguly, VVS, Dravid and when Sachin was red hot. At the moment the openers and Sachin are struggling. Re Sachin, many people are saying that he's been very poor in Eng and Aus, if anyone watches the clips he started well on both tours and his reflexes didn't look very slow to me, it will be interesting to see how he gets on. I think the Eng batsman esp Pieterson, Trott and Cook will score well

Posted by Meety on (October 28, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

@JG2704 on (October 28 2012, 09:00 AM GMT) - IMO - India have quite a few holes that need to be plugged to win this series. I actually think SRT will do okay here, as the pitches will be that bit duller & the reflexes should be better equipped against the pacers. Kohli is the dangerman, providing he stops whinging!

Posted by AK_25 on (October 28, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

i think toss is most important factor when plating in india.....if its a turner thn eng must win the toss to aviod batting in 4th innings....who ever win toss batting first n post a good total ll hav the edge....n for a spinner to success in india is difficult...so dont expect much from swan....if he succeed thn he ll be most happiest man....

Posted by JG2704 on (October 28, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

@IndiaNumeroUno on (October 28 2012, 07:46 AM GMT) No - rated by the ICC which English media has nothing to do with , Although I guess you only like the ICC rankings when Indian players and teams are rated highly? Or maybe we should all accept your balanced/impartial views as gospel

Posted by JG2704 on (October 28, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

@lvli on (October 28 2012, 03:40 AM GMT) Personally , I don't think the Indian order is weakened that much. As an England fan - judging by what I've seen of Sachin in Australia and England (not sure how he did in the inbetween series) I think he could actually be the weak link in this one although that may come back to haunt me. I'm not sure what younger players India will play but Kohli is immense and as an England fan I think I'd prefer VVS/RD to still be there as I don't think India would have had it in them to drop either man and neither were the same players of yesteryear on the Australia tour (VVS on the Eng tour too)

Posted by JG2704 on (October 28, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

@MadhavY on (October 27 2012, 22:48 PM GMT) There's no law against going in with 5 bowlers although you might think our selectors would believe that.Even if they go 6/1/4 they could I suppose go in with Patel as a batsman/containing spinner although I'd prefer us to show a more attacking intent and go for 3 pacers and Swann and Monty.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 28, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

@captainpermod on (October 27 2012, 18:12 PM GMT) Sorry , but how do you work out Swann is "afraid". If he was in as much fear as you intimate he'd surely be staying at home @Masking_Tape on (October 27 2012, 20:13 PM GMT) He was thee best spinner in the world according to ICC who Swann has nothing to do with. I'm sure Swann will want to do as well as he can and I'm sure he has his own standards he wants to achieve. Don't think he'd be so bothered if he's a failure in your eyes - which it seems he is already anyway.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 28, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

Re Swann I don't think the pressure is on him so much this time. He had a poor English summer in tests and surely the expectancy isn't so much on him this time. In fact I'd say there isn't a huge expectancy on any England player , due to the poor 2012 we've had. Apart from the obvious one that is

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (October 28, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

Me thinks KP is better option than swan in Spin. Dhonis rainas, are more than good enough for swan (or any Fast bowlers in subcontinent)

Posted by jonesy2 on (October 28, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

the fact that he is almost englands most successful offie speaks volumes of the quality (lack thereof) of english cricket. swann is ok but this insurance policy he has put out here makes me think failure for him and england on this tour is inevitable

Posted by Engfasttrackwimp on (October 28, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

@JG2704 " he is still rated above ANY Indian spinner" LOL!! rated by who? english media?! Typical isn't it.. that rating again is within the island. Swann has only 192 wickets while Bhajji has more than double those!! Even Harmison has 226 wickets :)

Posted by calcu on (October 28, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

What does he mean by saying that eng cannot except him to win the series?? Eng will definetly except him to win their 1st ODI series in india since 1985!!! In fact only KP and swann can make a impact on the series( otherwise india will do another whitewash). I dont think that english fast bowlers will have a good outing on these rank turners!!!!!!!!

Posted by Vasi-Koosi on (October 28, 2012, 6:47 GMT)

I cannot believe that that the doosra is been talked about a lot. Ask, Venkat, Bedi, Prasanna and they will tell you that flight, loop and bounce is all that is needed, turn is a bonus not a requirement. That is the absolute fact. The amount of rotations you can give on the ball matters, it does not matter if the ball turns or not. With this said, the doosra becomes irrelevant. As for Swann, I think he has been a bit lucky; If the alter-egos of within the Indian Team are controlled, India should have a cake walk. If not, England will give a fight and still lose. Cook is fine, but Strauss would have been just awesome, England could have forced the issue. He is unassumingly calm, composed and clear in leadership - very much like MSD

Posted by   on (October 28, 2012, 6:08 GMT)

ROFL......... Swann will not be considered as an off spinner in india ... Reason is Swann never did well in india.. Also swann is not a classic spinner, he is just a energetic bowler with good line..... not spin!!!! ... Facing the likes of sachin , sehwag , kohli , pujara , gautham , raina , dhoni ....... Swann is nowhere in the screen ... Common guys.. feel the heat at highest level in this tour to india ... warm welcome to u and team ...

Posted by   on (October 28, 2012, 4:35 GMT)

Best thing England done was bring Mushtaq Ahmed in to coaching team. Since hes been there Swanny has risen to the top. He made a good bowler into a great bowler. Shame swan's action doesn't allow him to bowl 'the other one'. Mushy would have made him into a legend.

Posted by amemberoftheelect23 on (October 28, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

i did know swann could use the term "...we are screwed" to the media.

Posted by lvli on (October 28, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

When India travelled to Australia in the recent times...there was a talk that this will be the best chance to beat Aussies at their home turf because of weakened Australian team...but what happened, it's there for all of us to see...I would just like to say that may be English fans must be thinking the same as we have a depleted middle order and also a new look No. 3 batsman..but let me tell you as the great performance on the helpful conditions coupled with brilliant work by Aussie fast bowlers(Pattinson,Starc etc.) brought them on to the international picture, same thing will happen with the replacements of Dravid and Laxman, Pujara may announce himself on the scene with great display and Yuvraj hasnt been given long run and with the determination(as he is back 4m fighting cancer)...So these two guys will make places for themselves...rest England will put up grt fight...good luck English team..expect to watch a fighting series...

Posted by Alexk400 on (October 28, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

for me swann is not better bowler more of confident "self belief" bowler. You need that in bowler when you get carted sometimes. England can win india. India have dhoni vs sehwag power struggle going on. i am not sure it sorted out.

Posted by Meety on (October 28, 2012, 2:35 GMT)

Good luck Swanny, I think this series will be a close one. I think England are damaged goods at the moment, & I think that India are on a downward curve.Hard one to call although I can't imagine India losing the series at home, but then again - I did not think they'd get whitewashed in Eng & Oz either! (Or for that matter win a Test in Sth Africa!) I think India have not looked all that good against NZ, so they'll have to step up. As I have said before, I am expecting Kohli to have a break out series. Ashwin will need to play well - as I have not rated him yet, despite good overall stats, I have a question mark over the quality of his wickets. A lot will depend on Zaheer v the England top 4 with the new ball. I'd like to see Yadav kick on. For England - can Bell get the ugly stain off his career (re: spin in spin conditions)? Will Cook manage Mr P successfully? Will the likes of Root & compton get a cap? I hope the pitches have a little bit of life in them over the first 2 days.

Posted by   on (October 28, 2012, 2:30 GMT)

Shane Warne did not fare well in India although he was overrated he is a gutty guy who could scare a batter. i could remember thr ball he got gating out with the first ball he bowled at him. poor gating did not play that ball well it pitched just outside leg stump and turned enough to clip the off stump. If he could pad it it was not out. Another ball which brought him fame was the simple straight ball to Richardson of West Indies. Later described as skidder flipper and what not. These 2 innocent balls instilled fear in other batsman. I could recall another ball which bowled the unorthodox Chander paul he did not play a ball that turned a lot and hit is stump that was poor cricket from a good bat who could have played that on any day.

Posted by aby_prasad on (October 28, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

Finally a comments page full of sensible matured criticism/support for both teams. Luv the way most of you commented here, keep it up ,most of u nywy. Personally, i dont kno whats best,england winning the series so that our test selectors finally take some tough calls(if they havent already,i dont know what will other than a home series loss!)or a handsome win for india to salvage some recently lost pride! Cant believe i wont be hearing or seeing dravids bat banging on the ground or laxmans wrist work :( . Miss both of u.

Posted by   on (October 27, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

Swann is a good bowler, better than current Indian spinners. It is sad that he cant bowl the DOOSARA.I think an offspinner to bowl the Doosara, then he must have a slightly crooked action. I am sure he will do well in Indian conditions. It is worth looking out for S Finn if Indians are brave enough to provide England with some green tops.This guy can bowl fast. Elysse Perry is faster than most Indian fast bowlers.It will be a good contest now England has THE KP. Go England go.

Posted by MadhavY on (October 27, 2012, 22:48 GMT)

I don't really think England are going to play with 2 spinners, that means just 2 fast bowlers, that's exactly what Indians will be hoping for. Another problem is England should pick Finn no matter what, if they do that then their tail (Swann, Anderson, Finn, Monty) will be so weak. It's a tough choice but i think Broad, Anderson, Finn and Swann should be the first choice bowlers for first test.

Posted by CorneredTiger92-09 on (October 27, 2012, 22:12 GMT)

Sounds like someone is feeling the pressure of not being able to bowl in spinner friendly conditions

Posted by   on (October 27, 2012, 21:40 GMT)

india has the edge its all matter of making the right decision , england have their head , conditions favour india, england is good on chart good on ground but england get ready coz english frenz its time to return something back just like all time you people visit us , it has been an exhibition , enjoy yous tour, make some purchases, give your best but series belongs to india

Posted by dr.thirsty on (October 27, 2012, 20:52 GMT)

For those suggesting that Swannie is getting his excuses in early or that he's afraid, it might be worth casting your minds back a few years to Swanns debut series. Granted it was only 2 tests, so his experience is limited, but it was in India. Swann took 8 wickets (including 2 in his first ever over). Not a bad return for an orthodox offie finding his way. So he must have knocked over some rank tailenders who were throwing their wickets away looking for quick runs right? Well, no actually. He had Gambhir (3 times), Dravid (twice), Sehwag, Laxman & Tendulkar. The whole top order. I realise that Dravid & Laxman have gone, but are their replacements really better than these gentlemen?

Posted by Chris_P on (October 27, 2012, 20:25 GMT)

I used to have my doubts about Swann, but to any knowledgeable cricket follower, this guy has produced the goods to be rated highly so you have to acknowledge he is a quality bowler. I don't know why people put him down when he has performed on the world stage. One thing from an Aussie pov, he is a really annoying batsman the way he hangs in (btw, that was a compliment).

Posted by Masking_Tape on (October 27, 2012, 20:13 GMT)

LOL, so he's given up already? Self-proclaimed "Number One Spinner" in the world. Act like one and play like one. If he doesn't picked up at least 15-20 wickets in this tour, than it's a failure in my eyes

Posted by Xtacy on (October 27, 2012, 19:16 GMT)

That is why Swaan can never be Saqlain nor Warne nor Murali or not even Ajmal !!! He is a mere orthodox off spinner who will always be lower than such elite spinning class!

Posted by captainpermod on (October 27, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

Swann is afraid of the ultimate test of a spinner. that is to perform well against Indian batsmen in Indian conditions. Although Indian batting is bit thinner than it used to be in the past but still it possess enough to blow any bowling attack in home conditions. Go India Go.

Posted by bijusportsfan on (October 27, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Well, I agree the best spinners from the visiting side have struggled in India to make an impact and that list includes Warne. BUT, India had a "once in a life time" strong middle order and a dashing opener to dominate and negate those brilliant spinners. Now, the Indian batters are a shadow of the past. They dont have enough "test class" batsmen in form and so this is a new challenge . So Swann always have a chance to do well and even win test matches for his team

Posted by JG2704 on (October 27, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

@IndiaNumeroUno on (October 27 2012, 16:17 PM GMT) re "Maybe by english standards he might be a top class spinner" - Being that he is still rated above ANY Indian spinner after having such a bad series vs SA it seems by current Indian standards too,

Posted by wolf777 on (October 27, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

I think Graeme Swann is a good bowler. He is better spinner than anyone India has in their ranks at the moment. The real pressure is on English batsmen to produce against good but not as much experienced Ashwin. If England loses the series, it would be inability of their batsmen to play spin bowling. India has recently won series in England; however, it's been a while since England has won in India.

Posted by   on (October 27, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

The biggest he can expect of bowling figures after each innings 40-5-170-1.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (October 27, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

The England bowling unit is a pretty consistent and classy weapon. They seem to perform in all conditions and have much to do with England's success in recent years. The key to England winning is their batting and of course the toss is vital too! If England can bat first and post scores over 500 they shouldn't be losing many games. The Indian attack by comparison is weaker and the relainace tends to lean towards spin. Spin is regarded as England's weakness and to be successful the batters will have to grasp the nettle. I'm hoping for a return to sharp catching and thus a successful tour of India? You can't give the likes of Kohli, Tendulkar and Sehwag more than one life - or they'll make you pay. Cooke's captaincy will be tested but if KP, Bell and (I expect) Prior deliver quick scoring tons we should be on top once again? Here;s hoping for a great series and good luck to both teams! Test cricket rules! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by yorkshirematt on (October 27, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

@sobersfan So if they play themselves down then they're giving excuses and if they're making a positive statement like Finn in the other story they're being arrogant and over confident.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (October 27, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

i think raina will be a bunny of swann . swann dismissed him 6 times in eng tour .

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (October 27, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

all those indian fans who r talking that indians plays spinners very well & even warne & murali struggled against them should realise the fact that india at that time has some world 's best spin players in middle order . dravid , sachin , ganguly , laxman . now only sachin is there . i think swann will be handy in india ( especially at kolkata) .

Posted by JESHIPL on (October 27, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

The most succesfull man of the tour is gone to be Ravichandran Ashwin no doubt about it why swanny is wasting his time giving useless interviews.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (October 27, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

Spinners in India have always historically struggled. It is very hard to do well against the Indians by spinning in their own backyard. Even Warne and Murali were put to the sword (though Murali did do well against them outside India and was not hammered as much as Warne). The English fast bowlers should have more responsibility in this series

Posted by Engfasttrackwimp on (October 27, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

Setting expectations already!!.. frankly he is an average bowler... can't even call him a proper spinner to be honest as the ball should spin a bit to be called a spinner! Maybe by english standards he might be a top class spinner.. but then again they have no clue about spinning the ball :)

Posted by   on (October 27, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Get ready England for a spin attack!!

Posted by   on (October 27, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

This will be a lovely battle.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 27, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

Mostly he will have Monty there to do his bit so it won't have to be just him. There's also KP. I think they have to blend more into a proper partnership though.

Posted by smjr on (October 27, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

I think Eng bowlers than batsman face huge task for dismissing Indian batting line up twice in order to win test match. For the last ten years or so Indian batting rarely failed at home test centers. The England bowlers need a plan for each indian batman rather bowling with same plan to all batsman. England has 50:50 chance of winning series in india as indian team is in rebuilding process i.e No Kumble, Harbajan, Dravid, Laxman. Zaheer, Tendulkar and Sehwag are towards the end of their distinguished test careers and are not at their peak form now. If England plays to their potential, play attacking cricket and give 100% then this is perhaps their best opportunity to beat india in india since 1985. England should play with two specialist spinners Swann and Monty Panesar. Playing Samit Patil as alrounder at No 6 and omitting Monty is going to be a defensive approach.

Posted by AMAZINGFAN on (October 27, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

LOL LOOKS LIKE SWANN IS SCARED OF IND BATSMEN,HE MIGHT RETIRE FROM TEST CRICKET AFTER THIS SERIES......GREAT SPINNERS LIKE MURALI AND WARNE STRUGGLED AGAINST IND BATSMEN SWANN WILL BE NO DIFFERENT.......HE IS ALREADY GIVING EXCUSES......

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (October 27, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

I don't imagine the spinners on either side will run through the opposing batting lineups at will & expect it will come down to which set of batsmen can be more patient. Can see a couple of draws and a couple of close finishes on the 5th day. 1-1 maybe? Also expect that Mr Tendulkar might call stumps on his Test career after this series as well.

Posted by BreakingNews on (October 27, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

Ready with excuse before the real battle.

Posted by mughal29173 on (October 27, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

i think he will have to create some pressure to bog down the batsman. Saqlain was able to do that and so did Murli. It is all about the frame of mind of the players. Gautam is the one vulnerable opener who can be his bunny. no laxman, dravid and ganguly. i think indian bats are ready for T20 and not the longer version

Posted by FRRR on (October 27, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

He is right ,,,, He should not be put under too much pressure ,,, He is no Ajmal. I think if England has to win, everyone must pitch in.

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (October 27, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

After Cook & Finn, it's Swann's turn now for some level headed comments. No bold predictions or arrogance like Mcgrath used to. Our entire approach and team comments have been respectful and humble towards India. The preparation has been low key, but positive. This England team seems quietly but surely making the right moves, since Cook took over.. Comments from Kohli, Gambhir, etc. on the other hand seem to indicate the opposite, and the BCCI's decision to eliminate spinners in the warm ups shows desperation. But that's the hosts prerogative. Also feel that the ECB has done well to schedule the tests before the ODIs.

Posted by TurningSquare on (October 27, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

We just need a couple more years out of Swanny before we can bring in the up and coming Simon Kerrigan, who will hopefully be a test quality bowler by then.

The England set-up need to start bringing in young talented spinners into the set-up instead of wasting potential test careers by letting them 'mature' in county cricket for 6 billion years and then only getting 4-5 years max out of them. Especially when you look at how much Swann's bowling has developed and improved with exposure the the highest level of the game.

Posted by ajetti on (October 27, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

Singing from a hymn sheet is hardly going to help England. They will as usual be badly behaved tourists who will lock themselves away in their hotel rooms, eat beans from a tin, find fault with everything Indian and won't show up on the field. They will get soundly beaten but will behave like its water off a duck's back because only the Ashes matter. Losing in the subcontinent is expected and the players will move on without any pride. Because KP comes from SA he will show more spirit and will actually step on the field wanting to do some damage. Swann has already started his excuses. And after every match Cook will say "We have learnt a lot" etc. without a hint of sincerity. It is a joke that this team has been world no. 1 recently. Being an Indian I want India to win but will feel sorry for the humiliation that is going to be meted out to this team of no-hopers. All the English fans at work will go on and on about how India were whitewashed last year (I live in the UK). Ho hum!

Posted by   on (October 27, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

After Ajmal, Swann is the Best offie in Test Cricket !

Posted by Buckers410 on (October 27, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

To be honest, Swann is so overrated. I would class him as the most overrated players, to ever play test cricket for England. Trott would come a close second amongst Englishmen.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (October 27, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

Even Indian domestic players can smash bowlers like swan

Posted by whatawicket on (October 27, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

to expect him to be the leading wicket taker for england in india is still a big ask, better bowlers than him have failed to take the amount of wickets expected, Warne the greatest spinner of all time struggled there, with others inc Murili similar. but the great batters of india are all gone bar ST who has passed his sell by date, thats not to say he we not score runs, but these days bowlers fancy their chances against him these days. looking at the T20 championship in SA his fielding was looking shaky to say the least. the indian captain has gone on record telling all what wickets he wants. so spinners look as if they will hold sway. i still fancy our pace bowlers to get enough out of the conditions. but if the english captain calls the toss right it could be beneficial to the outcome, so i expect monty to do a job if selected. so i expect, india wins a toss india wins the game, eng wins the toss i expect the only way they will win a test or draw. 3 - 1 to india looks on the card.

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