England in India 2012-13

India spinners 'no mystery' - Swann

Joe Fish

November 6, 2012

Comments: 187 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Swann claimed three wickets, India A v England XI, tour match, Mumbai, 1st day, October 30, 2012
Graeme Swann said he would not be surprised if England dominated with the bat in India © Getty Images

Graeme Swann does not believe that India's slow-bowling attack possesses the mystery to exploit England's recent struggles with spin on the subcontinent.

A record of just two Test victories from a possible 22 in Asia, excluding matches against Bangladesh, can largely be attributed to England's troubles against high-quality spin bowling.

These deficiencies were never more evident than in their most recent trips to Asia, where they were whitewashed 3-0 by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates at the start of the year. A drawn series against Sri Lanka in April restored some pride but did nothing to hide the fact that England were nowhere near to finding a solution to their issues against spin.

During those five Test matches at the beginning of this year, spinners accounted for 84% of England's total dismissals, with Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, who claimed 24 wickets in three Tests, the principal beneficiary. However, India's lack of a comparable, unorthodox spinner and the "more traditional" pitches - compared to the alien conditions of the UAE - give Swann confidence that there will not be a repeat of England's early 2012 woes.

"I think last winter was a bit different," Swann said. "First of all, when we played in Dubai that was not really the subcontinent, that wicket was very unique in the sense that it was very skiddy and span as well. India's wickets are more traditional, more what people are used to, so I would be very surprised if that happened again.

"Secondly, we were bowled out by a mystery spinner that batsmen could not pick. India are not really blessed with a mystery spinner like that."

Instead, the options in MS Dhoni's 15-man squad include the offspin of Ravichandran Ashwin and the recalled Harbhajan Singh and slow left-armer Pragyan Ojha.

Although Ashwin has enjoyed a promising start to his Test career, with 49 wickets at 26.63, Swann's contention that he does not fit the "mystery spinner" description may give England optimism of improving their concerning statistics against slow bowling. Swann admits that these now well-documented troubles have plagued England's subcontinent form but is expecting the Test pitches in India to turn less than the Mumbai dustbowls of old.

Discussing England's inability to play spin, Swann said: "That has been levelled at us for a few years now and justifiably so. We have had a poor record against spin bowling over there. I think that is more of a mental thing now because the wickets are not that different around the world. Certainly the wickets we played on in Sri Lanka were not really spin friendly.

"They were not any different to playing at Old Trafford or Trent Bridge. They tend to spin more on day four and five but at times like that we need to forget where we are playing and just go out and play the ball as it comes down."

Swann believes the batsmen have learnt from their struggles against Pakistan and Sri Lanka and are now better prepared tactically for the inevitable spin onslaught that will greet them when the first of four Tests begins in Ahmedabad on November 15.

"I think we went into our shells a bit in the UAE and suffered as a consequence," he said. "We have learned, certainly as batsmen, that you have to be positive and you have to be more aggressive when you bat. We have got so much talent in the squad that I would not be surprised if we went to India in the Test series and really dominated with the bat."

Not since defeating Sri Lanka in 2000-01 have England claimed an away series victory over one of the major subcontinental nations, and just twice in eight attempts have they left with a draw. Swann, however, is adamant that they are capable of ending their suffering in Alastair Cook's first series as official Test captain.

"It is probably the trickiest place in the world to go and win apart from Australia. We did it in Australia; we went over there and we won 3-1," Swann said. "Most of the current team have got experience of that tour and we need to take that to India, use that and go there with belief that we can win.

"They are exceptionally good players on their own pitches. We are going to need to play very good cricket to beat them, but I firmly believe we can do it."

Graeme Swann was speaking at a spin masterclass organised by Rubicon - www.RubiconExotic.com/LoveCricket

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 8, 2012, 21:36 GMT)

@voice_of_reason on (November 08 2012, 10:04 AM GMT) I'm not totally confident (after UAE and SL) but I hope we can raise our game.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 8, 2012, 21:36 GMT)

@itsthewayuplay on (November 08 2012, 13:06 PM GMT) Thanks bud. Yes it does get tiresome. Even some of our guys just talk in a jingoistic/cheerleading manner. I don't think you need to agree with everyone. I've had healthy debates with some of my own England fans , but I like to think they were amicable etc. All the best

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (November 8, 2012, 21:06 GMT)

@itsthewayuplay on (November 08 2012, 13:06 PM GMT) - friend - top quality posting by you!.... I applaud you. We are all fan of cricket here. Many fan could learn much from you.

Posted by Rushikey on (November 8, 2012, 20:53 GMT)

Now its official, that Swann is best example of putting his foot in his mouth! I guess its a way to forget reality!

Posted by MrRascaL on (November 8, 2012, 19:32 GMT)

Spot on Swanny. I am predicting 2-1 or 2-0 for England against India. India's bowling comprises of medium pacers and average spinners. Should be a cake walk really. Indian batting doesn't look promising at all either. Pommies wake up! Now is the time.

Posted by imluckychamp on (November 8, 2012, 19:07 GMT)

we dont need a mystry spinner in the team because facing an school level spin bowler will be a huge task for england in sub continent

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

India never had mystery spinners but still bundled England regularly, its just an excuse that English cant play mystery spinners. The fact is they cant play spinners in spin friendly conditions.

Posted by Htc-Android on (November 8, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Collins Obuya is a better spinner than any of the indian spinners.

Posted by g.narsimha on (November 8, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

the so called mistery spinner can only take wickets at uae , out side uae just ave , cant win in SL, WI , PATHETIC IN AUS -111 ave where as IND spinners are ok even in AUS , ASWIN AVE 66 farbetter than the over hyped mystery bowler he was also helped our team in winning in SL, WI .BESIDES THE 5-0 THRASHING IN ODIS in IND TO PAMS .

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 8, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

@jmcilhinney I believe that a lot of posters you're referring to on here are Indian suporters who are struggling to come to terms that England played good hard cricket and India were just hopeless last year and then again in Australia. The humilations were and still are also symptomatic of all that is wrong with Indian cricket staring with the structure at grass roots level up. For many years, the cracks were papered over by Dravid Tendulkar Laxman Ganguly Kumble Zaheer. Now that these guys have gone or going, the problems have resurfaced. IMO based on this article Swann has said nothing to warrant some of the ill thought comments on here.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 8, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

@JG2704 as an Indian supporter I completely agree with you. England players' comments are taking out of context, many cases intentionally so, by posters who have too much time on their hands and are probably trying to impress their friends. My only suggestion is that you as England supporter should sort the wheat from the chaff but I do accept that the amount of nonsense that appears on here can be frustating and which I find embarassing.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (November 8, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

I completely agree with Swann. England might be having problems with the likes of Ajmal, Mendis and Rangana Herath. Harbajan, Aswin and the other Indian spinner are good spinners, but no way near those mystery spinners caliber.

Posted by ultimatewarrior on (November 8, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

As per Sunil Gavaskar India's team is the weakest home team in long time while the England's Team is their strongest touring team in last 25 years....so who knows results may surprise everybody.....

Posted by BlueLightning on (November 8, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

@Joe Williams - Yes i would have totally agreed with you if Yuvi was NOT a part time spinner, and had NOT taken 5/94 against your team which included supposedly two of the better players of spin in the England squad - Ian Bell & Matt Prior - and of course if he had NOT made KP his bunny yet again.

Accept it - England dont need to go looking for mystery spinner, even pie chuckers like Yuvi are a handful for them. And yes plz dont gloat over scoring 400 - remember it was made against a mediocre attack without a frontline spinner - and in the subcontinent where 400 is PAR.

Posted by BlueLightning on (November 8, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

@Phil Wood - So u mean to say Yuvi is a bad spinner, but still other bowlers were so weak that Yuvi was made to look good? And they chose Yuvi to lose their 5 wickets to because others were not good enough? Now the question is what are gonna do when they face Ojha and Ashwin (possibly Bhajji) in tandem on rank turners? They will crumble. So again, what mystery is he talking about?

Posted by Meety on (November 8, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

@JG2704 on (November 08 2012, 09:22 AM GMT) - man I find it frustrating when posts don't go thru! BTW - not a bad hit out for England today. I have a sneaking suspicion - that India's tactics are going to backfire on them! These sides they have fielded (Mumbai & Haryana) are pretty weak & I think have given England momentum. If it wasn't for injury disruptions & the fact we are talking about your mob playing India in India, I'd almost give you guys favouritism! To put this match in some perspective - check out Haryanas last game!

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (November 8, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

This is nothing but a joke.....leave alone indian spinners......englishmen can't even play bangladeshi spinners...

Posted by voice_of_reason on (November 8, 2012, 10:04 GMT)

@JG2704 You're spot on of course. I don't think many of those who post actually read or understand the story/interview. Best to seek out the ones that actually understand it and respond to those than get wound up. At least with the Aussie contributors you can have some banter. Swann is refreshingly honest in his interviews, often throwing in a bit of humour that is very British, so it might get lost on some. I think he's got it right here. The batsmen know what to do, they just need to get their heads right.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 8, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

DEAR ESPN. Please publish this time. There is nothing at all untrue in this post. This is what happens every single time a player makes any sort of positive statement Some of these posters should be lawyers. If our players ever dare to say anything positive then they are "being arrogant" and if they are humble then it's interpreted as looking for excuses. Even if Swann wasn't that convinced that the batting will hold up he isn't exactly going to say as much is he? Esp after all the off field probs of recent months.

Posted by khurramsch on (November 8, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

the point he missed is that Rehman was also very successfull in UAE series & he is not a mystery spinner, In SL Herath was also very successfull & he is also not much mystery. so its not just mystery spin its spin itself. in UAE england went with confidence with many players who have 200s & averages vs spin very high. & in india many new faces in so will be very diffcult. & indias spinners are dangerous for them. Also pakistan batemen were also not so good whereas india has strong batting for home conditions.

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

then why so much preparation 3 practice matches for 4 test matches that shows england attitude they have crumbled and lost 0-5 to india with aswin in the team

Posted by Des_65 on (November 8, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

Mr Swann, is Yuvraj mystery spinner who took 5 wickets in the practice game? Or, did Eng gifted him wickets so that he can be selected and then hammered in the test match? I think the wicket used at Motera for the last practice game is totally opposite to the one which will be used for the test match. It will unfold in a weeks' time.

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

After bearing Ajmal... There is no mystery of Spin for England in India

Posted by kapilesh23 on (November 8, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

I think England playing so many practice matches is dangerous for India. I think Indians only played one practice match in England. But England is playing three this is dangerous for India. Even if English didn't face any quality spinner they are completely acclimatized to India Now. That will help them in real test matches.

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Even Yuvi took a 5 wicket haul against Eng during the practice match. Ashwin,ojha and bhajji will run through england like in Sri Lanka.

Posted by UchihaItachi on (November 8, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

@360 review: talking about kp, he is not a good player of spin as well. In the recent champions trophy, he got out to spin playing a very awkward shot. In the practise match, he got out to yuvraj singh. Also a very common indian tactic to get kp out when he is scoring is to bring yuvraj singh to bowl and he is responsible for a large number of kp's dismissals.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (November 8, 2012, 5:44 GMT)

Swann has missed the point...for England, "Spin" itself is a mystery ...

Posted by Meety on (November 8, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

Big words from Swanny. I bet he genuinely believes what he said. I do believe that what England faced in the middle east was superior to what they'll face here. That said, I still can't accept an Indian side will fail on home soil - yet! India are on the decline, there will be an experience void losing VVS & Dravid. Pujarra is good (I really like him), but he isn't the Wall. The Turbanator could be the difference in this series - does he genuinely want to be a great test bowler again? I dunno - I think he does - so can he? I would say the Turbanator IN FORM, is England's biggest threat. That said - I could see Yadav playing a part - I like that fella!

Posted by Htc-Android on (November 8, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

england should test their bench strength when facing a minnow team like india.

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

He so conveniently forgot how England team struggled against left arm orthodox spinner Abdur Rehman, and Rehman is not a big turner just varies his pace and length bowler.

BTW, Pakistan batsman didn't fare that well against English bowlers either in UAE.

Posted by srinkris on (November 8, 2012, 2:53 GMT)

swann trying to outplay the fear factor.. infact the mere mention of SPIN should spin away the english batsmen.. welcome Mr Swann - u r here to talk n v r here to see what happens next..

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (November 8, 2012, 2:23 GMT)

Funny stuff, Swann. Two from Twenty Two! The only thing you're right about is that the coming English collapses won't be due to any mystery.

Posted by cricfan_aus on (November 8, 2012, 1:56 GMT)

If the pitches are turning it is better for India to go with 5 bowlers (3spin + 2 pace) considering that Ashwin and bajji can bat a little in tests.

Posted by khizercheema on (November 8, 2012, 1:50 GMT)

yes swan very well said its looking like UAE your are beter spiner then any one

Posted by __PK on (November 8, 2012, 1:44 GMT)

Since when has "span" been the past tense of "spin"? And Australia is not a hard place to play - it's just that the side there was so good for so long.

Posted by Kapil_Choudhary on (November 7, 2012, 22:45 GMT)

I have to believe here that even SWANN has better self-awareness (or own team-awareness) then his comment suggests. This comment seems not like one which he truly believes but simply one which the English love to make in the name of "gamesmanship" or "mental disintegration". It reminds me of Andrew Caddick's comment before the 2003 ind-eng WC match, where Caddick basically said that Vaughan is the best batsman in the world - ahead of others like Tendulkar.

Posted by pawaramol22 on (November 7, 2012, 22:36 GMT)

"go swim in pond swann" lol

Posted by bookie7600 on (November 7, 2012, 22:00 GMT)

LOL Swan should know there never has been a mystery spinner in India but still they keep winning 80-90% of the time in India- Reason is simple they are LETHAL in their own backyard- If its a flat pitch Ojha will be dangerous and if it spins then Ashwin. I reckon India should go in with 3 spinners and a FIT Zaheer/ Ishant.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 7, 2012, 20:06 GMT)

Its certainly our best oppurtunity to win in India since the mid-eighties. Ashwin is a good bowler but no better than most of the spinners in the County Championship, its going to come down purely to pressure. If the Indian batsmen rack up big scores and put men around the bat then it will be a tough series. The toss is going to be especially important. We dont want to be batting last on a fifth day pitch chasing a total.

Posted by 360review on (November 7, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

@CaptainCharlie, I don't agree with you or Swann. Most of the England players have not been part of IPL (KP is exception) and have no clue on how play spin well. Read it again, how to play spin well. They play spin but not well. Granted India does not mystery spinners but England does not have spin players either - again KP is an exception. I would have pro-claimed if KP was not part of England they would have been white-washed, but then again, ECB realised that and mended their relationship with KP - specifically for India tour.

Posted by Nampally on (November 7, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

It appears that Swann's definition of a "mystery spinner"is one they get out to . Ajmal of Pakistan qualified for this category because he took 24 wkts. in 3 tests. The real issue is the batting technique against spin bowling in India. Fortunately for England, the Indian Squad for the first 2 tests does not include the best Indian spinners. Ashwin is only one credible spinner with Ojha a borderliner & Harbhajan "past it". Indian pitches are quite normal - not "Turners". England has KP & Bell, both good player against spinners. But as a team England batsmen lack the technique to play spin. Swann's hope of of 3-1 win Vs. Aussies. being repeated in India is just a "pep up" reminder. With Sehwag & Tendulkar showing signs of good form, it will be tough to contain India below 400. So mystery or Not, England will struggle to get this total, if KP fails. Don't forget, England has not won a Test series in India in 30 years.First 2 tests may be drawn & last 2 India may win if right guys are in!

Posted by JG2704 on (November 7, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

@Kalpesh Mashru on (November 07 2012, 10:42 AM GMT) Swann is comparing spinners and not spin to pace

Posted by kevnssuresh on (November 7, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

Being an Indian and support Indian Team wholeheartedly, am sure this not going to be 4-0 or 0-4 as this is not possible unless one team plays really badly. I am hoping this going to be a close contest. And also playing on rank turners is difficult for both the team and ofcourse it is even more difficult for England so odds of winning this series playing on rank turners supports Team India but again India doesn't have a quality batsman who can play spin very well on rank turners like Vengi, Azhar, Jadeja, Gavaskar, Laxman, The Wall, Ganguly and several other legends so its going to be difficult for India as well since England has also good spin options in Swann, Patel, Panesar, etc. Gauti, SRT, Viru and Kohli can play welll against spin. SRT was good earlier but wil have to see now against spin on (concerns only) rank turners . Any ways being an Indian I wanted India to win comfortably but excepting to have a close contest. Good luck England and very very good luck to Team India.

Posted by Htc-Android on (November 7, 2012, 19:22 GMT)

@indian fans. So wat else do u expect from swan to say. "we are so scared of indian spinners. please cancel this tour." is that what you expect from him to say? huh.

Posted by ultrasnow on (November 7, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

Indian fan here. My fellow Indian fans on this board need to be a little less arrongant and never never under estimate the opposition. This Indian team is a little different from the ones of earlier years. With lax and the Wall no longer there, Viru-Gauti out of sorts and the little master slowly riding into the sunset...well anything could happen. England team you guys need to learn to be more liked and popular. Losing to a team with KP would just be a little less painful, so happy he made the touring party.

Posted by Big3BOSS on (November 7, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

None of Indian spinners since 1985 have been magical. They have been just regular spinners. England still has not managed to cope with them over last 25 odd years to win a series. Moment any spinner bowls on a track that offers even 25% spin ,the English batters head go into spin and they dance around. Ojha and Ashwin may not be magicians for other teams but for English they are still a mystery

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

The only team that has better record in india against india in tests is pakistan .All other teams has sufferred excluding saffers as they have done well too . 4-0 sore line cant be achieved in india by either teams but odds favor team india more . Watch out factor will be sachins form cos if he failed this time he ll retire .

Posted by PanGlupek on (November 7, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

Hahaha, Bit rich coming from Swann, he's not exactly a mystery spinner himself! Saying that, the headline suggests he'd been disrespectful of India's bowlers when his only quote on the matter is really just saying India's spinners are orthodox, not Ajmals or Muralis or Narines (and it's true what lots of people have said, you don't have to have a doosra to get wickets).

They could have gone with "Swann: We must be positive against spinners" or "Our problems with spin are just mental" or "Swann believes England have learnt lessons from UAE", but I suppose it doesn't matter as long as you read the article...

Posted by voice_of_reason on (November 7, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

If you actually read the article and see what Swann has said, he admits to England's shortcomings against spin in recent years. But what he recognises is that it is essentially a mental/tactical deficiency. The batsmen have the techniques to cope with playing spin but they have failed to cope mentally and tactically with playing spin, particularly when going overseas. Add in the supreme skills of Ajmal and there was always likely to be a train crash in the UAE. Ashwin, whilst a high quality spinner, does not possess the same amount of mystery as Ajmal and Swann believes the team has learnt from their failings over the past few years.

And why is it arrogant to say that you believe your side will win? When he was quoted in an article as saying he shouldn't be seen as a match winner, people here panned him for getting in his excuses for losing.

Posted by sweetspot on (November 7, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Swann is right, the two "Mistry"s that played in India played a long time ago! There is no Mistry in the Indian team now, but there is enough Mastery to beat the Poms.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

lest will see swaniiee...

Posted by gkautish on (November 7, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

for such a big mouth he should check his own record against india... he struggles badly...very annoying personality he is

Posted by CaptainCharlie on (November 7, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

I agree with Swan, Indian tracks, spinners, crowd, food, atmosphere are mysteries of 20th century. Top side like England are well equipped to handle the kind spinners India has to offer. Everybody is talking about revenge and to beat England 4-0, I don't understand, why would any team look for any other result than 4-0. As England won 4-0 last summer, doesn't mean they now are not looking for 4-0 result again in their favour. By talking of revenge, Indians are putting undue pressure on themselves. take one match at a time. 4-0 in our favour looks far far away, with the out of form opening batsmen, 2 new faces in the middle order, half fit attack bowler and not so great spin talent. I put my money on 1-1 result.

Posted by sharidas on (November 7, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

The usual hype before the start of a series. It is no secret that India does not have a fearsome spin attack. For that matter, we do not have a good bowling attack. Still, if England cannot win in India, it will only show their usual weakness when touring the sub continent.

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 7, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

Also, Swanny doesn't mention that there will be no DRS, I believe that over half of Ajmal's wickets were from referrals, without those, England would probably have been a bit better off. He's defo right baout it being mental, as most bad form is. When you suddenly start thinking of your technique all the time, you stop focussing on the ball you're actually playing!

Posted by cricroop on (November 7, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

Doesnt matter spin or fast bowling.. end of the day beating england 4-0 would matter. I know its a tough task but india should aim to do innings defeats to make it even better:)

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 7, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

@Posted by Nampally on (November 07 2012, 14:06 PM GMT) I think only the very, very best batsmen(Bradman, Hutton etc) play the ball off the pitch against test class bowlers, most of the mortals have to read out the hand. I'm still not so confident about us playing spin but it's a lot more than just an instinct learned at school, i doubt many school age players could come out and play Murali, Warne or Amjal at all! Likewise with seam bowling, if you're not reading the short ball on release then you're going to get out to it(or hurt by it!)

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

Its like saying to yourself - "You're strong, he is nothing" just to make yourself believe that the giant before you is just a niggle. Good to believe and speak, but unfortunately, the Englishmen have nothing behind themselves to back it up. And then again, Mr Swann must have forgotten that the 'mystery' might be lacking, but the 'mystery' at his own backyard is not. Its the batsmen's duty to make them look 'un-mysterious'. This comment would have sounded better from someone belligerent like KP, but then, he has been pounded and rubbed...

Posted by sk12 on (November 7, 2012, 15:46 GMT)

One can call it tactics, "non-sportsmanship", whatever, but our mgmt's plan of not selecting any decent spinner in the warmup games clearly shows we are afraid of them and not confident enough on our main spinners. That is half the battle lost there. We might now take the series 2-0 or 2-1, but this is not the way to do it. Its a put-off for me.

Posted by Mr.AB on (November 7, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

@phil.. You are certainly right when you said "weakness of the rest of India A's bowling". It was positive. But going by swan's interview and his talk of "mystery" spinner, it only proves England don't really need a "mystery" spinner to be bowled out. Normal spin bowling is enough.

Posted by dariuscorny on (November 7, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

fake self confidence,if im correct the test wickets wud be turning square,and Ashwin ,ojha are not ordinary on those wickets,neither Swann is world class nor he is threatening here.Ind needs to bat well ,the series will be India's from there,cheers

Posted by SamRoy on (November 7, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

First of, India won't win 4-0 because of mentality and pitches. India takes it casual once they are 1-0 or 2-0 up. I expect anything except a 4-0 from India (of course England won't win 3-0 or 4-0; not possible). Anyway, I agree with @Nampally (as I more often than not do), if Indian spinners bowl accurately and pitches turn enough India should win easily (1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 or if everything falls into place and England are pathetic against spin in all matches then 3-0). A drawn series is possible. An England series victory is very remotely possible though extremely unlikely.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 7, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

As an Indian supporter, I agree with Swann. Indian spinners, while good talent and skill wise, are no 'mystery' as in the case of Ajmal, Narine and Mendis. Ashwin will bowl orthodox off-breaks with his 'carrom' ball variation which is really easy to pick. Ojha is your typical slow left armer with subtle variations in speeds. Unless the pitches spin considerably, England could only be in trouble if they WANT to be intimidated by the situation of playing India IN India. The tour games so far has given me a fair indication that England are planning to be conservative in their approach which is NOT good. This series is likely to be a drawn affair and IF that happens, England will be the ones who will be mightily disappointed. The Indians on the other hand won't be too sad but neither will they be happy. As fans and neutrals, we can only hope to see a close and compelling series. This series could also DEFINE whether test cricket has an extended lifespan in India or NOT.

Posted by jango_moh on (November 7, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

everybody is getting on this bandwagon of "mystery spinners".... there have been bowlers like ajmal, murali for quite a while, its no new thing!!! and eng r weak against good quality spin bowling, not necessarily mystery spin... this article doesnt even make sense!!!

Posted by S-A-M-1994 on (November 7, 2012, 15:18 GMT)


Posted by vallavarayar on (November 7, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

A bunch of paper tigers against a bunch of poor travellers. Should make for bland viewing.

Posted by S-A-M-1994 on (November 7, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

Spot On Swanny ,indian Spinners(club level bowlers ) r joke nothing else.Even ray Price is better than these 4th class bowlers

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

England bowlling attack will take lot of advantage in indian pitches.because,they are already whitewash india 4-0 in 2011..Indian batting order looking not good recently..and they bowling not great..

Posted by Roger_Allott on (November 7, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

Despite what Swann says, this series will be decided by how disciplined the Indian spinners are and how the English batsmen play them. I agree with him though that India have only conventional spin in their armoury, but that's often enough to bamboozle our chaps! Abdur Rehman has no mystery about him whatsoever, but still got 19 wickets at 16.73 against us in the UAE. The Indian spinners just have to focus on consistent line and length, and not try anything fancy just because they go for a few runs. I suspect that Yuvraj is going to have a good series with the ball, but a mediocre one with the bat. It'll be nice if SRT can get a ton in the 4th test, as I'm sure he'll be retiring from international cricket straight afterwards.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

I don't know why people are perpetuating the fallacy that white cricketing nations don't play spin as well as the subcontinental players, hav 'nt he Pakistanis Struggled against the likes of Nathan Hauritz and Marcus North. These two have never taken five wicket hauls in first class cricket, Hauritz's only two five fors of his career are against Pakistan.And India too have struggled against Mendis, no one has struggled against Mendis. Michael Clark is another one India has struggled against and India could'nt get Nathan lyon and Xavier Doherty away in Australia and wait did'nt India struggle against Swann at the Oval in 2011.Why do players of the subcontinent think they are better against spin than their non -subcontinental counterparts. Reason why sub continental teams dont struggle is because they dont face their own spinners .I think India will struggle against Swann in the forthcoming series against England if the ball turns.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

Swan is just an average bowler in Indian eyes, I wouldn't be surprised if he falls with management like KP did in South Africa. Beware England you are going to get abuse on the field, just like the abuse in the ODI series. India has the advantage, the indian spinners don't need to be a "Mystery" to bowl English Bastmen out.English Batsmen make the Indian spinners a Mystery in their minds, FOR ALL YOU FOLKS OUT THERE, Tackling fast bowling is a lot harder than spin, so given that India lost in England you can't say India is so bad. It is far easier to tackle spin bowling than fast bowling. Swan you are in for it mate.

Posted by Sobhan_Sachinfan on (November 7, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

oh ya! Let us see what is waiting for guys in test matches dear swan! You team also contains wonderful players. I expect a tough contest,keeping in mind,the form of Indian openers and fast bowlers, but I believe n wish you people are going to win ZERO and India 4 of the tests. All the best.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

Swann is deluded, what is he talking about?

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

Swann is deluded............

Posted by Nish_US on (November 7, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

With Dravid & Laxman retired, Zaheer unfit, shehwag & gauti struggling, no quality spinner.... really doubt if India can do it....

Get mukund & rahane to open, Kohli, tendulkar, yuvraj, manoj, dhoni to follow, Irfan, yadhav, ashwin and ojha.. .may be we will stand a chance

Posted by binojpeter on (November 7, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

I kind of have to agree with Swann, even though an Indian fan. Ashwin and Ojha comes nowhere compared to the likes of Ajmal and Herath.

Posted by Sivach on (November 7, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

I think you have forgot Yuvraj has taken 5 wkts being a part time spinner in warmup match against your team... Funny !!!

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

I think (and hope) that it will be a close series. India's bowling is not strong enough to annihilate England's batting, but England's attack on Indian pitches won't be so hot either. My big worry would be a string of drawn matches, hopefully the pitches won't be that flat. PS @bluelightning Yuvraj taking 5 as England scored over 400 is more a reflection of the weakness of the rest of India A's bowling than a demonstration of England's weakness against spin.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

Mystery or not, England will be thrashed 4-0 mr overconfident swan

Posted by ZakY_km on (November 7, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

U jst wait n c wt typ f mystry indn spnrs 'll prdce

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

Some people, to make themselves believe, they keep repeating what they want. here Swann's belief is to overcome Indian spinners. And he is uttering to himself that Indians are no mystery. Funny fella

Posted by Nampally on (November 7, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

Yuvraj Singh is an orthodox left handed spinner with no mystery in is bowling. Yet he captured 5 England wickets in the last game. I do not know what mystery Swann is talking about. The technique of playing spinners is inherent in batsmen just like playing fast bowlers on English wickets. You grow up with it from your school days. Ramadhin was widely touted as a mystery bowler by the England media in 1950's because of his "Doosra" released from the back of his hand. Ashwin delivers a "Carrom" ball in addition to "doosra". On a turning wicket, if Ashwin is accurate, a good variation & mixing of these 3 types of deliveries could be considered handful!. Actually Jim Laker got 19 wkts. in a test match with just off spinners!. There was no mystery about that. The fact of the matter is if Ashwin, Ojha & Yuvraj can bowl accurately to their field on a turning Indian wkt., England batsmen are ill-equiped in their technique to play them.Thats a "Reality". "Mystery" means something magical !

Posted by Sivach on (November 7, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

Mr. Swaan, U will feel the HEAT very soon.. Indian spinners are more than enough for England.. Be Ready !!

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

re blue lightning - yes Yuvraj took 5 for, but it was 5 for nearly 100 in a total of around 400, so nothing special really, if it had been 5/50 out of 200 odd then alarm bells would be ringing.

Posted by Juiceoftheapple on (November 7, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

Its kind of like when the Indians were saying how they havent got a problem against short bowling and english pitches and swinging conditions, and then promptly got hammered, with everyone but Dravid and Dhoni running scared for the entire tour. The fact is we do have problems against spin, and the series will be very interesting because of it, I personally think India will nudge it, but of course Swann has to be positive. But what is Swann talking about being agressive, India will bat for days, it's like we lack a third gear somewhere between attack and defence where we just work the singles and twos to go at 2 or 3 an over. I hope someone other than Patel can use their head against their spinners.

Posted by Agila on (November 7, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

England still riding high on the 4-0 past, they need more of a dose to get out of that..Go Team India ..GO

Posted by timohyj on (November 7, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

you don't have to be a "mystery" spinner to take wickets. In Sri lanka england were ripped apart on non-turning wickets by rangana herath, a orthodox left armer who tosses it up and has a good arm ball. You don't have to have a doosra or carrom ball (whihc by the way ashwin does have)

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 13:47 GMT)

Makes me laugh this man.. My dear Graeme Swann, please keep your comments to yourself.. Let us talk about all this 'trash' after the series, shall we?

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 7, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

It's not so much 'mystery' that England have struggled with IMO. The key to playing spinners well is patience and gritty concentration. England's batsmen IMO have not been patient enough, and seem to always be in two minds as to how to play the spinners. It always seems to be either lunge forward and swipe... stay stuck back in the crease... prod/cross-bat swish and hope for best... Instead, the batsmen should learn from other countries' batsmen and watch what they do to cope with spin. You also have to play every ball on merit with a spinner; after all, it's up to the batsmen to generate the pace/power.

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (November 7, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

Then why your team was terrorised by pathetic HERATH who was not a mystery spinner....ashwin is miles ahead of HERATH..

Posted by drnaveed on (November 7, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

mr swann , you are forgetting one thing ... apart from saeed ajmal's 24 wickets , abdur rehman also took 19 wickets in that one sided series. so it was not just one bowler. Even KP had difficulty in facing the spinners . here india have 4 spinners and the england batsmen will make them all look quality and mystery bowlers .......

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 7, 2012, 13:29 GMT)

Having a long series allows us the opportunity which a short series does not. It could be a drawn series though I hope for more. Much depends on keeping Sehwag quiet and not haemorrhaging runs with the old ball. Our spinners are as good as theirs, maybe better, so if our batsmen have learnt a trick or two we should be okay. Positive mindset necessary; spin is not voodoo!

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 7, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

@Kalpesh Mashru: 'SL don't have any mystery spinners', that made me chuckle a little!

Posted by GerrardLK on (November 7, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

What Swann said is exactly cricket. Indian Spinners are pretty average. Perhaps we can compare them with Bangladesh spinners.

Posted by El_Toro_Loco on (November 7, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

Well said Swan, the only victory for these below par indian bowling would be if they could even take 10 wickets in the entire Test match. Either the series is 0-0 draw OR Eng winning it 1-0. Good news for indian fans no whitewash this time, Yipee Yaayy. Ciao....

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 7, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

Mischievous headline from Cricinfo. How does 'India are not blessed with with a mystery spinner like that' get to 'Swann dismisses Swann dismisses India's spin threat' and why does the title change when you click on it. That aside, Swann is correct India has othordox spinners and India will have to work hard for their wickets. Swann IMO can the turn the ball more than either Ashwin or Ohja and if he slows his pace down and allows the ball to grip whilst using his normal delivery as the quicker one in these conditions, he could negate India's spin. Unfortunately with the inclusion of Harbajan it seems the selectors are expecting are spinners to just turn tp and and England to roll over. I also agree with Swann if England can get over the mental hurdles against spin, they can post big totals. This is England's best chance to win in India in many years.

Posted by INDIA_DO_ONE on (November 7, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

England to draw the series

Posted by androyuvi on (November 7, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

lol.. swann, first try to tackle our Ashwin - the batsmen, and then you can talk about Ashwin - the bowler! Accepted Ashwin is not a mystery bowler, but he really doesnt want people to tag as a mystery bowler in the first place. He loves bounce, he takes his wickets with his bounce and variations in space. Wish England players are as good at playing spin as talking so that we could have some real competition. Anyway, its a nice way to heat up the Indians, Swanny! Hope they prove themselves this time. Ashwin and ojha are a good pair and they will continue their good work, at least at hime conditions.! Wishing Team India a good luck.

Posted by Vilander on (November 7, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

England beat Ind 4-0 so they are the better team, but owing to the deep interest pak fans seem to have in this series, there is an other stat. India and pak in world cup and world t20 8-0 :). publish my comment cricinfo for once.

Posted by S4CHIN_IS_GOD on (November 7, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

Swann, time to pack your bags after this series. You have enjoyed success where skilled spiners left the era. Time for samit patel and other guys to blood in and make England a threat once again.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

go swim in the pond swann

Posted by ganirules on (November 7, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

Mr Beans wife - were are you going, Mr-Bean for hunting Lion, Mr Beans wife -then why you are standing at the door , Mr Bean - a stray dog is staring at me.

Why all the England players too much concerned about playing 2 spinners? they forgot about Zak's revers swing and other Indian players, they are standing at the Mumbai gate and afraid of the spinners to go to ground????

Posted by hvijay.1985 on (November 7, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

Very true. There is no mystery about the Indian spinners. It is just that English batsmen are that inept against spin.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

Indian spinners may or may not win the test series for India, mystery or not, but Indian batsmen, especially the senior ones, are capable of losing some of the matches. Most of the Indian wins, in recent years, had been built on the solid opening partnership, which had crumbled down like one of those neglected architectural monuments of India from the 18th century, in the suburbs of Delhi (from where the openers hail from). Except for Kohli & Yuvi, I have no confidence in the form of any of the other batsmen (including, Veeru, Gauti, Sachin, and Dhoni). Even Kohli & Yuvi can fail. Kohli was having a long good run with his form, but in Ranji, it seems to have dipped. I will not be surprised to see Ashwin, and Bhajji -- if he plays -- bat better than the regular batsmen. Hope, I am totally wrong about my fears about the senior Indian batsmen.

Posted by kbc_cbk on (November 7, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

Conveniently forgot about 5-0 thrashing they received in One Day series that immdiately after India-England test series....and who did the damage? its Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and part time spinners......Keep dreaming, we will talk again at the end of this test series.....

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (November 7, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

All Swann is saying is that the Indian spinners - and himself along with the rest of our bowlers - are not in the same class as Ajmal. Why get so much flak for saying the obvious? Both teams are almost on par, it'll boil down to Kohli. If he gets stuck in, we're in for a grind. If we get Kohli early, we've got ourselves a chance.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

It's nice to know the members of the men's team representing the E. C. B., but I want India to play in England. the members of the England team, are not so seemingly important, there, and one appreciates India playing in grounds like Leeds, Lords, Edgbaston, among all the grounds there.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (November 7, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

Get rid of bell and eng will stand a much better chance... a place must be found for jbairstow, and that place must be bell's... ave 8 vs PAK in UAE, hopeless against Peterson in the summer and clueless so far in India warm-ups... yes he finally managed double figures last inns but was dropped first ball by a state 2nd team, whilst the Indians are not known as the world's best fielders, that will not happen in a test... bell simply must go

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (November 7, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

Just like RandyOz said his deliveries are as straight as gun barrel. Can't wait to see dhoni sehwag thrash him all over the park.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (November 7, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

@mukesh_LOVE.cricket Regarding KP. Did you not see who dismissed him in the India A game? It came as no surprise to us that it was a left arm SPINNER

Posted by yorkshirematt on (November 7, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

@tigg I see where you're coming from and agree mostly. However I don't believe the pitches in the UAE were "alien" just becasue England had never played there. If anything they were a lot flatter than in the proper subcontinent and a lot of dismissals were brought about by mental dificiencies with England excpecting spin that wasn't always there.

Posted by ashankar on (November 7, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

I absolutely agree with Swann and the motive behind his words are to encourage his team and discourage Indian spinners. But, with Spin and Bounce on offer Dhoni is a different captain altogther. He will not be the same guy who stood behind the stumps in Eng and Aus and let the game complete itself. The kind of attack that he will put in place will really be tough for English batsmen. And many good cricket observers here pointed out, Ojha will be the key as there are a lot of RHB in Eng side. My wish as an Indian Fan is to see Zak get Cook out with the new ball and pave way for the spinners to tackle the rest of the batting line up. But 4-0!!!? i dont think so (wud be great if Ind get that) but def Series is ours.

Posted by Sarlana on (November 7, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

I think Swann himself is the second mystery spinner in this world...

I am sure in next series he will be out from his team, as indian batsmen are that much good against spin....

Posted by gpindian on (November 7, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

Ha ha, what a joke! They cannot even work out Yuvaj's spin - forget about the regular spin attack.

Posted by mgr125128 on (November 7, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

As an Indian , I want to see 4-0 scoreline but practically think 2-0 or 2-1 might be final score in India's favor purely due to tracks. England might slip in 1 win because Indian batting is not what it used to be be 2 years ago and a couple of rookie batters may fail one odd time against Swann.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

They don't have any quality spinner as like as Narine or Ajmal .. They have some bowler who can spin just.. Nothing more than that... Swan is correct.

Posted by himohan007 on (November 7, 2012, 12:18 GMT)

@ Valavan: Indian team n fans are nervous!!!!! ROFL. Why dont u catch an umbrella to save SL vs NZ matches gets completed instead of coming here n joking lolzzz.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

I find it utterly hilarious that Swann has the audacity to speak up like this after England had a panic attack against the same spinners in the recently concluded T20 WC. And to add to that, they let a part-timer like Yuvraj take a fifer against them not 10 days ago. Since none of these spinners are a mystery to the English(in a few cases, South African) batsmen, is Swann implying that his teammates are pathetic against spin? Maybe he should be worried about his own performance, considering that neither Warne nor Murali have exactly set the stage on fire touring India, and he is nowhere near their standards...

Posted by PACERONE on (November 7, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

Swann should be more worried about his crappy bowling.he usually gets the ball and wickets a few overs before or after a break.Let us see how well he does.India might open the bowling with spinners as Cook is not the best at playing spin.However opens with him if it is not Trott is worse.The way they talk about Bell you might think that he is a young Bradman.Why was Swann passed over as captain or v/captain? He always has lots to say,yet he is not held in high esteem by ECB.Broad and Cook has gone past him.

Posted by PadMarley on (November 7, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

Well true! India has no mystery, they are average! ... but keep in mind India is not playing Sri Lanka or Pakistan ... lol .... England just lost 5 wickets to Yuvraj lol. What kind of mystery is that? Swann is just trying to play phycho here..

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

No one will be happier than me, if England take the tests to the fifth day. Though irrelevant I would like to state something. Ashwin > Swann.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (November 7, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

A very sensible assessment. There is no braggadocio here like the Australians engage in. Syed Ajmal is a different proposition to the others till he is unravelled Virat Kohli and Sangakarra seem to play him well. But I wish that playing spin requires good footwork. That does not come unless it is instinctive which comes only if it is played from a young age. When the body movements get grooved in one's body. Gooch and Flower were very good with the sweep. But compulsive players of the sweep will face trouble with flighted balls.So I believe that more than the doosras and teesras that has suddenly become popular, good old fashiones spin bowling with pace of the ball at around 50 mph,flight above the batsmen's eye level and occasional drift with a rasping arm ball will always befuddle batsmen even of the highest quality.Swann is that kind of bowler and he could definitely do well. I remember his first 2 wickets in Tests were Gambhir and Dravid.Two of the most accomplished players of spin

Posted by AllahKeBande on (November 7, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

@mfmfaiq: Mendis!!! mystery!!! you gotta be kidding me..

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (November 7, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

but Indian part-timers will be enough for Eng batsmen. Yuvi, Viru and sachin.

Posted by bbnn on (November 7, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

Dear friend swan, even our Jaddu bhai ( Raveendra Jadeja) was a mystery for you guyes in the last ODI series...In Edens Garden last match total WKts fallen =10 Jaddu-4,Aswin-3,Raina-1,Manoj Tiwary-1 so 9 out of your ten wickets taken by indian spinners! and waht about last T20 Wc in colombo...?

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 7, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

@Zeeshan - 2002 - Natwest series win in England, 2003 - WC Runners in SA, 2003-4 1-1 vs Aus in Tests down under, 2007 - 1-0 Test win in England, 2007 - T20WC in SA, 2008 - CB Series win vs AS/SL down under, 2010-11 - 1-1 Test vs SA in SA, 2009-10 (not sure of year) 1-0 vs NZ (but for rain should be 2-0). None were on home grounds or sub-continent. Now compare that with other Asian teams. First team to win a WC on home ground. I dont want to go to past to remind you about 83 WC win in England or 85 WS win vs Pak in Aus.

Posted by sshailesh on (November 7, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

ITS TRUE.....!!! and England having slite advantage this time...!!

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

Graem swann has got it all wrong ... almost all the BEST bowlers in the world was not "mysterious" ..think about Anil kumble ..he couldnt even spin the ball properly ..and he is an absolute legend !! Shane warne , Glen Macgrath , Brett lee and the list goes on !! McGrath didnt even need any kind of swing in his whole career !!

If a bowler thinks "mystery" is more important than line and length then i feel pity for that bowler !! He should get back to his coach and start learning about the basics !!

The thing is anyone can become a "mystery" bowler against England !! I havent seen Ajmal or any other spinners doing good against any other teams in the world !! I dont consider these guys threatening for any kind of good batting attacks :-) Just one fancy ball can not make you a good bowler ,if it could have ..then there would have been no bad bowler !!

I bet even sachin Tendulkar can become a mystery bowler to England with his googly !

Posted by VJGS on (November 7, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

Quality spinners can make England look ordinary. But unfortunately, after Kumble's retirement, India has had no one of quality. Even the experienced Harbhajan looks nothing like he used to. India's best spinner at the moment is the part-timer Yuvraj Singh

Posted by warneneverchuck on (November 7, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

I think India never had mystry spinner still they have best home record in last 10 years than any other team

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

Indian spinners are still good enough for England on their own pitches. But i dont think they will be beaten 4-0.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 7, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

True, India doesn't have any mystery spinners, but Ashwin is very good & to my mind, Pragyan Ojha, especially, may well have the Indian Sign (sorry!) over England's right-handers. I am (sort of) holding my breath that Bell will show how skilful he is at playing his wily deliveries. Enough has been said & written about Bell's 'class' against slow bowlers; it's high time for him to deliver. It's Ojha's ability to use very beguiling & varied flight as much as his ability to turn the ball that makes me think that he is quite likely to be the most effective bowler on either side. I shall enjoy seeing him operate as I find watching a classy traditional slow-left-arm bowler deeply satisfying on an aesthetic level. England's bats will have to exercise great powers of concentration & tight defensive technique against him as he gives very little away. Let's see if they can find that patient temperament in this age of quick cricket. I hope they do, but I have my doubts!

Posted by BlueLightning on (November 7, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

Dude, Yuvi took 5 wickets against your team. What mystery are you looking for exactly?

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (November 7, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

abdur rehman is mystery spinner?

Posted by Tigg on (November 7, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

I wonder if any of the Indian fans have read the article properly. He's not predicting that England will batter all Indian spinners on their way to a 4-0 thrashing.

All he says is that the Indian spinners don't have the mystery of a player like Ajmal, and that the pitches, whilst being spin friendly, will be less alien than the UAE ones. He also points out that the side has had a lot more practice against spin than they'd had against Pakistan.

Posted by paps123 on (November 7, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

Swann's right but the pitches in India will turn more than in UAE, after all dat's the only place we win test matches these days on doctored pitches.So lack of mystery might not matter dat much. This will be tougher than beating Australia in Australia as the English seamers won't get anything from the pitches here apart from 1 hr in the morning with winter season. Swann will hold the key as he is one spinner currently who gets wickets on all pitches never mind if he gets some tonking from Indian batsman this series, even Warnie did. Swann might get smacked but he will not bowl badly and will still flight the ball with pace variation.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 7, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

Yes, SurlyCynic, Graeme Swann should have bgged-up the Indian spinners and said that there was no point in playing the series because it would be so one-sided... Or maybe, like the Indians are doing, you back your teamates to do the job? What? England don't announce that they will lose the series? How arrogant!! :-) Everything depends on perspective and from an English point of view many of the Indian comments look very arrogant but I am sure that you would feel that you are just backing your boys to reverse the recent bad series results that they have had.

Posted by pom_don on (November 7, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Typical journalism here, I don't see from Swann's comments that he has 'dismissed' India's spin threat at all, he seems to be saying that (hopefully) England might play with a different mindset against them & they do not have a 'mystery' spinner he does not say that they don't have 'good' spinners.

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (November 7, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

mystery or no mystery , i don't think England can handle spin bowlers in subcontinent (except may be KP , he is a class act) , also i would say they were lucky to get an Australian team in their worst form in recent times and that 3-1 victory has gone to their head..so this series will really tell how much progress they have made.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 10:42 GMT)

Really? What was the mystery about England beaten by SAF? I mean these are all excuses to be honest. You don't need mystery bowlers to get you out. A good bowler is a good bowler, as simple as that. The reason why India were beaten so badly in the last couple of season is because they were woeful and there is no mystery behind the defeats. England would do well to remember SL don't have any mystery spinners and had it not been for a outstanding knock they would have lost the series 2-0.

Posted by atuljain1969 on (November 7, 2012, 10:42 GMT)

I am sure this time around, England will go as winners. Simply because this Indian team now plays more 20/20 cricket then Test cricket and later form has become outdated for Indians . In fact they struggled to beat NZ and W.I in home conditions recently and only some heroics by bowlers could save the day for them.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

Mr.Swann, Hope u know the meaning of 'mystery'..... Haaa haaa... End of the series u will come to know that Indian spinners 'NO MYSTERY'.....

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

@ Zeeshan Ahmed.. are you sure about that mate? I think all the team respects India and some of the people like you need to get your facts corrected before you type..

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (November 7, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

Ha ha seems Swanny has taken the coaching role when he understood that Monty and Patel has performed better than him in the practice matches.But Swanny Teach English batsmen to play better against normal spinners.They are not good even in that also.Leave alone the Mystery spinners.

Posted by csr11 on (November 7, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

This series, against an Indian side in transition is there for England to win.. 'If' they believe and if they can fight their inner daemons and do it.. Some of the statements Swann made betray otherwise. Now i don't expect Swann to concede defeat before a ball is bowled, but he is too important a member to expose himself like this..Like charlie101 says these have a tendency to come back and bite you in the back.. This goes for Raina as it does for Swann..

Posted by Valavan on (November 7, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

@IndianFans, its swann's job to keep the faith on the team and keep the motivation, didnt the Indians travel to England/Australia with a hope of series win. so thats all about it. Do you expect he will say they are scared of indian spinners. comon guys seems you are very nervous as your team. cricinfo please publish.

Posted by aby_prasad on (November 7, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

aah we indians will have a feast of it now with this swann statement lol :P. bla bla bla and blahs.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

Then why England is getting whitewashed in the ODIs in India?

Posted by aby_prasad on (November 7, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

@Zeeshan, we were respected as one of the better test teams by aus,s.a., england,pakistani players,coaches, srilanka ,wi ,nz etc for a long time post 2002 until last year. We were no.1 by the end of that glorious period ,had won a t20 cup, icc world cup champs,overseas series wins in pakistan,sl,wi,nz,england,zimb,bangladesh, some famous series draws in aus, s.a.etc., and on top of all this were undefeated in india mostly, except once. Bad? or wow impressive? do ur math and Get your facts straight. Or will you now start blabbing about how the rankings werent correct and whine about one fact after another lol.

Posted by Haleos on (November 7, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

Mr Swann - indian spinners are no mystery but your batsman are clueless so a straight ball may seem like a mystery to you.

Posted by Vilander on (November 7, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

after 4-0 in england and 4-0 in aus, we have to cope with what ever is said, o Indian fans lie low for now

Posted by 777aditya on (November 7, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

Agreed that he is a good bowler, but when it comes to pre-series sledging, Swann is definitely in a class of his own! That is just one thing he has learned from Warne - India have Bhajji to neutralize Swann's gabbering - but at least, Swann is guaranteed a spot in the playing eleven! In the past, in Ashes, both teams have always had a go at each other. In recent times, Ind vs Eng contests are also gathering steam - as long as both sides play a hard, good, and fair contest, such comments will only add spice to the series!

Posted by gnanzcupid on (November 7, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

Swan. Just don decide indian spinners' efficiency by seeing harbhajan alone. He wont most probably fit into the plans of playing 11. You people just don need any mystery spinner. Our ashwin and ohja are too much for your english teams' quality. They are decent spinners. They wont go wicketless like harbhajan

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 7, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

I give england an idea. Step out and attack indian spinners. Be positive. All it need one person to suceed and the spinner morale will go down he will start to spray. Just attack indian bowlers from the word go, Do not lose wickets when you do that. Basically one side hold other side attack. England can sweep India in india. Indian team is not in happy mood. Too much division by coach and captain.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 7, 2012, 10:04 GMT)

Swanns statement will really put the wind up the Indians. Punchy statement!

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 7, 2012, 10:04 GMT)

What india have control spinners. England can play them easily. if england loses then its just mental issues

Posted by PhaniBhaskar24 on (November 7, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

Ha Ha, mind games Swany...back fires you.....it doesn't require mystery spinner to get you all out.....Also, comparing that you have beaten Aus in Australia with India in India...Let me remind you, Its just one case Australia surrendered...over the past few decades, Aus used to finish England in less than 4 days for many times

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 7, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

Well.. That is actually a bit true words from Swann. Indian spinners are not mystery spinners. Ashwin has the carrom ball but he is no Mendis of old. What will work for India is, the left arm spinner is a great choke bowler with good pace variation. Usually left arm bowler bowls well against right handers adn England has plenty of them in their line up and the only left hander will not take attack to the opposition usually. There lies the difference between the teams against spinners. We saw how they played slow bowlers in SL T20 WC game and how they played R Jadeja in the ODI series last year though they are completely different formats. Consistent coke bowling with spinning track will do it against England without being a mystery spinner. In UAE, Ajmal was a mystery bowler but a conventional Rehman picked loads of wickets too.

Posted by stormy16 on (November 7, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

I see Swan refers to the win in Aus, ironically Ponting is refering to win over Ind ahead of SA! The issue for Eng is its not just mystery spin but SA thrashed them at home without a spinner. The prudent thing would be to win first and then talk after not being able to win your last three series's and losing the top spot. India never had mystery spinners but have troubled all teams visiting India. Strangely mystery spinners have hardly made an impact in India including the greats of Warne and Murali. KP is the key for this series for me - how he plays the spinners will determine the series - just as well they got him in or else this would be another loss for Eng.

Posted by sachinisawesome on (November 7, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

Waiting for the first test to start and see swann's face when english batsmen are dancing.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

Yup...indians are no mystry....thats y they wind up on 80 in t20 WC..... still team now with Bell ,Trott & Peterson.. they can do much better!!

Posted by unbiased_referee on (November 7, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

It would have been a lot more positive had Swann made these proclamations based on a better resolve on part of England batsmen rather than passing his verdict on what constitutes a "mystery" spinner.

Mr Swann, always remember you can only play as good [actually bad ,looking at England's latest record in sub-continent] as opposition allows you to. It's England batting that allowed themselves to be bowled out at 72 chasing 144 in UAE early this year! Frankly, with famous England batting collapses all over history of test matches, who needs mystery spinners?

Posted by NEPTUNE5 on (November 7, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

cant give swan sticks for trying to build some courage into his teammates...but this mate need to check the stat cuz once the wicket is turning the indian spinners (even the lowly rated ones) has always creates probs for visiting teams and in most situation they succumbs to defeat...so given england is week against spin i dont see how his statement makes any sense...only australia has won a test series in india since 2000 and even in that series india were in a position to win a match after rain washed it out after which aus went on to win 2-1, so india u can say has the best home record for this period.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 7, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

The Indians are putting themselves under intense pressure by expecting an easy ride and a 4-0 result. If England draw (or, wose, win) the 1st Test, suddenly the series will feel like a failure already and criticism will rain down on the team, in which a lot of players are under pressure to perform. I would not be surprised if ended up like the 2006 series where what was little more than an England A side with so many players out through injury made the running in the 2nd and 3rd Tests and shared the series, as India collapsed to a journeyman county spinner.

Posted by sachinanddravid on (November 7, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

hello mr.swan you are right india is not blessed with the spinner like Ajmal, then can you give me the reason why england failed against india in india. and all know that you used to talk a lot everytime before the series.and can you tell me when ajmal can take 24wkts in 3 matches why you cant take same wkts or more than or atleast nearby him.that means what we can call is england is also not blessed with a mystery spinner right????????????????

we are going to see ur batsman struggling against ashwin and ojha or Bhajji, except K.P.bcos K.P will be handled by Yuvi.

Posted by davidatlas999 on (November 7, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

Sure india have ashwin oja but the main thing they dose not have dosra of ajmal or big spin like rehman.but still i know they will got all those england batter even with yuvi part time spin so my money on india.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

Pleased to see that Swann is praising someone (here he is praising Ajmal as a mystery spinner). Didn't notice this in recent past.

Posted by terrifyingwarriors on (November 7, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

WOW! I dont know where this arrogance is coming from. The 0-3 to Pakistan or 1-1 to Sri Lanka? Am a Kiwi and being a Mutual spectator from these two teams, I hope India trash this arrogant England side. They aren't that good of a side nor are they NO.1 test side and they still show this kind of characteristic attitude. Swan will definitely be trashed. I hope ST scores big! I love watching him! go gooo goooooo India.

Posted by mfmfaiq on (November 7, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

Well Said Swann.. Mystery Mean Narine,Mendis,Ajmal,Akila... Bajji,Ashwin,Oja Are Normal Spinners.. QUESTION Is Whether England Can Play Them Well...

Posted by streetblader on (November 7, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

Be prepared to eat your words, swanny...

Posted by joseyesu on (November 7, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

Agreed, Indians are not as mysterious as Ajmal. But still has the capability to restrict Eng to 300. I predict the long batting order of Eng can save to some extent.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

neither are you a mystery Mr. Swann...so shut up...English batsmen are still caught with their underwear on the field when it comes to Sub continent conditions and spinners...that is no mystery either...

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

Hahahah .. well India doesn't have anything gud in the name of Bowling.. either fast or slow! and they only bat good in their home grounds!! that's why no matter what they do, they never get respect from the rest of the world!

Posted by SurlyCynic on (November 7, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

Any spinner becomes a 'mystery' spinner when playing against England. But it's good to see that the likes of Swann haven't learned from their humbling against SA and are still making these sorts of arrogant statements.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

you don't need mystery to get a batsman out, you need a good spin bowler who constantly pitches the ball in the right place to get him out.

Posted by Zuhaira on (November 7, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

Abdul Rehman troubled the English as much as Ajmal if not more and he was not mystery by any standards.

Posted by TJAPUKAI on (November 7, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

My friend Swanny,It is good that you are creating this "false" motivation to your players.I just hope that if you don't give respect to any international bowler,you will be punished if they click .Whether they are mystery or not :) I just hope the variations of Ashwin and Ojha clicks in this series like the previous sub-continent series with the minnows..

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

I think first couple of days will be very important for the series. England will definitely be better prepared than they were in UAE or SL. But if India can put them under pressure right from start then Eng will find it difficult to execute their plans well. Its a known fact English batters are not very natural against spin and under pressure its your natural game which bails you out. Cook is the key man for me in that English line up, he has the discipline and the game to bat long. England will need one end secured so Bells, KPs, Morgans can attack from the other.

On the other hand with so much attention on English batting and Indian spin bowling, its a great opportunity for Indian fast bowlers to do some damage. Not much is expected from them anyway and Englishmen will be worried about spinners. Pacers will get a short spell so them should look to go on attack from the get go.

Posted by Charlie101 on (November 7, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

This kind of talk before an important series would never happen with Strauss as captain and I hope that Cook will rein in the team members going forward. I was fairly confident of England batting well until I read that "India did not possess any mystery spinners". These kind of comments generally come back and bite you on the back side !!!!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 7, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

I'm quite sure that there will be the usual raft of people posting comments about how Swann is being arrogant and so forth but those people won't really be basing those comments on the contents of the story. Swann said that accusations that England weren't good against spin were justified. He also said that India are very good at home and England would have to play well to beat them. As for his believing that that's possible, of course he is going to make positive comments before the series, just like everyone else. I bet Indian players made positive comments about their chances in Australia right before getting beaten 4-0 for the second series on the trot. What Swann says about Indian spinners lacking mystery is true, but that doesn't mean that they won't be dangerous. Hafeez took plenty of wickets in UAE as did Herath in SL. The key for England is to be positive, as they were in the second test in SL. Spinners will take wickets regardless, but England need to score off them too.

Posted by MSCologne on (November 7, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

Big words. I'm afraid they'll come back to haunt him. England don't have a hope once Ashwin and Ojha get going. It'll be lambs to the slaughter. Swann should be worried about being thoroughly outbowled again. He should be very, very quiet.

Posted by ravikb on (November 7, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

I somehow feel this is Eng's series. This is the best opportunity for Eng to win in India. Ashwin is a good spinner in India but not great. Similarly, Ojha as well. If England can playing postively by using the feet instead of planting them in the crease they can do well and with the kind of bowling attack they have, they can easily dismantle vulnerable Indian batting line-up for a long, long time in home conditions.

Posted by pb10677 on (November 7, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

as an England supporter I am worried - as England have gone back to talking a good game, but not actually going out there and DOING it. During 2010/2011, they didn't bother talking a good game as they didn't have to - they just kept winning. They've slipped back to nasty old habits seen during the 2006/7 Ashes campaign, and that disastrous winter of 2008/9 - where it was all talk and no results.

India's spinners have more than bamboozled England, both last winter in the ODI series and in that T20 match where we were shot out for 80. And with all due respect, Rangana Herath had England in turmoil during the test match in Galle in March, and the likes of Ashwin, Harbhajan and Ohja are way better spinners.

I hope Swann is right - but I need to see it to believe it.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 7, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

Have to say I half agree with Swann in that much of it has been a mental thing and England batsmen must learn not to get stuck in their creases. However , I'm not at all convinced that England have learned that much from their mistakes. I seem to remember in SL that our batsmen struggled against orthodox spin and lost the 1st match and had to rely on one man with the bat and our bowlers in the 2nd game

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 8:54 GMT)

I'm not sure it'll be as easy as that. Mystery spinner or not, spin is still spin. I still predict a close contest, with India as slight favourites. 2-0 in or 2-1 in favour of India.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

Even Ranji batsmen do not find any mystery in Harbhajan's or Ojha's bowling! Ashwin was good; but his development seems to have stagnated. Of course, all three of them are decent traditional spinners, in the same calibre as Swaan, Monty, or even Patel. The only difference is in the comfort level of the two sets of the opposing batsmen against spin; that is all. I am expecting a few boring draws; unless Indian bowlers come up with something extra-ordinary.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 8:52 GMT)

i hope he remembers how english batsman were dancing against indian spinners in t-20 world cup.And what was the score of england in that match. 80? Right? Just have 3 letters for it LOL !

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