India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur December 11, 2012

India will come out fighting, warns Swann

ESPNcricinfo staff

Graeme Swann has urged caution ahead of England's final Test against India, warning that the hosts will be desperate for a victory in Nagpur that would tie the series.

Back-to-back wins in Mumbai and Kolkata have put England on the verge of their first series victory in India since 1984-85 and, while Swann expects to play a prominent role alongside Monty Panesar on another spin-friendly pitch, he recognises the danger of playing a team looking to salvage their eight-year unbeaten run at home.

"It is tough, but sometimes it's a good position to be in," Swann said of India's situation. "If there's only one possible result you can get, you can go all out fighting. The last Test of a series, if you know the result hangs on it, is normally a very exciting one."

India have rung the changes ahead of the final Test, which starts on Thursday as they look for a response from their under-fire squad. Batsman Yuvraj Singh and seamer Zaheer Khan have been dropped, while spinner Harbhajan Singh misses out despite playing no role in the defeat in Kolkata.

"I'm sure India will come out fighting because they have to win the game," Swann said. "Equally so, I'm sure we'll approach the game thinking attack is our best form of defence. I think that's what has proved crucial in the last couple of games."

Swann and a number of his England colleagues have been in a similar position before, winning the final Test in Sydney in 2011 to claim a 3-1 Ashes victory in Australia, England's first triumph Down Under in almost a quarter of a century.

"Back in Australia, we didn't get carried away before that Sydney game," Swann said. "We spoke of how important it was to keep our feet on the ground. That's all we're doing here. We're not taking anything for granted, we don't sit down and pat ourselves on the back and say 'Look how well we have played the last two games'. That's a very dangerous place to get in.

"On Thursday morning we'll assess the pitch, play accordingly and hope to win this game, because we obviously want to get home for Christmas having won this series 3-1. Whatever the pitch is we've got to try and win the game, that's all we ever try and do."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on December 13, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    @ VillageBlacksmith on (December 12 2012, 09:43 AM GMT) I don't have a huge issue with Bell but it seems they are keeping him in the side because of his past form which to me is wrong. To me they are now saying that the top 5 is a closed shop and are saying "We will keep Bell in the side no matter how few runs he is getting ...." Personally I'd probably have Jonny ahead of both Bell and Patel and I'd have Tredwell come in the side for Patel as I feel he is a greater threat with the ball than Patel is with the bat. Although we all know that is highly unlikely to happen

  • John on December 13, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    @igorolman -re "English counties usually put a virtual 2nd XI out against tourists" - I'm not sure I agree with that. As a Somerset fan I know we put out a pretty strong side vs India last year with Tres rested but Strauss making a guest appearance for him and vs SA we had an understrength side but that was due to injuries - if you check around that time the Somerset side was roughly the same for CC matches. Also Somerset got the better of both SA and India. I think Ind's plan worked as Eng struggled terribly vs spin in the 1st test but luckily got to grips quicker than anticipated in the 2nd/3rd tests. Up to India how they do things - I have no huge issue with it but Kholi's words - re changing pitches etc - must be taken with a pinch of salt as he didn't even play a game til halfway through the tour.

  • Alex on December 13, 2012, 3:10 GMT

    India is done. Only fools hope for miracle. Not happening. India is run by inefficient people top to bottom. My beef with dhoni and fletcher is this. I can take losses. I can't take excuses. I can't take lack of fighting and grinding as though life depends on it. Dhoni failed to inspre. Fletcher failed to coach.Indian team is Utter disaster. Dhoni will have excuses even world ends tomorrow. Pathetic.

  • Cric on December 13, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    Davidpk, i think you stil haven't read the full text of Swann's interview yesterday. He has openly stated that the Englishmen would always make sure that they get pitches which suit their bowlers when playing in England!! Please check the facts before putting in some ludicrous comments!

  • Simon on December 13, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    All India have to do to win is nail Gambhir's feet to the pitch. If he cant run, he cant run people out.

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2012, 1:41 GMT

    Bring Back Dravid & Laxman, everything will be back to normal.

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    Indians must take Graeme Swann's bowling more seriously than his prophecies. Maybe Swann does not have the benefit of the knowledge that when the Indian team is at the depths of misery, they tend to go even deeper. I expect a toothless, spineless and de-moralised performance from the Indians. I think if India loses, then there will be a case for the BCCI to make some material changes in the team composition. If India are going to win the test match and draw the series, Indian fans with their ephemeral memories would tend to forget how badly the team played and that would not be good for Indian cricket and more specifically Indian test cricket. I commend the inclusion of Awana. He should be told to go flat out. I won't be surprised if Jadeja is included in the team given his good connections with the higher ups in BCCI. Well we have enogh wouldn't harm if there is one more added to the list. Good luck Indian team!!

  • Alex on December 12, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    India is not going to win. When did we see india fighting and scraping and try to save test match in last 10-0 loss?. Does it say team believe in its leader? India is a team with namesake leader who should have been removed if not his godfather N srinivasan BCCI dictator. :). The chance for india to win is rely on Sehwag. India can draw of one of the young players makes double century. It reduces pressure on bowlers. But i think it is almost no chance. if England get sehwag early they can start celebrating 3-1 win.

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    I would like India to lose or draw this test! Importantly, lose the series. That is a necessary bad thing this team/selectors/Management needs for them to kick some players out. Agreed we are in the transformation phase.. But, that shouldn't mean Sachin can stick around for as long as he likes. Players like Tiwary/Rahane should get their fair share of extended appearances in the team to prove their mettle. Time to kick Dhoni out of the Test team and probably strip him off ODI captaincy.. He should get back to being the blasting player down the order.

  • charlie on December 12, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    Now Swann is the mouth piece for the team !!! He should thank Panesar for wrecking the Indian line-up . In all fairness he should never have been left out of the team for Swann . .

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