India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur

India will come out fighting, warns Swann

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 11, 2012

Comments: 95 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Swann had Sachin Tendulkar caught at slip, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 4th day, December 8, 2012
Graeme Swann has warned England against complacency in the fourth Test © BCCI

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 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

Posted by JG2704 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.

Posted by Alexk400 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.

Posted by 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!

Posted by Nerk 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.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

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

Posted by   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!!

Posted by Alexk400 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by simonviller 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 . .

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

Certainly India is lacking the spirit and are struggling to come to terms. Selectors have done their best to revamp. India should go with an open mind and play their natural game. Too much has been discussed about pitch which should not be done. Dhoni should understand a good team should perform on any kind of pitch. Look at England how they have gelled and have taught the Indians a lesson. I am sure Indians will never learn from the mistake. However the team selection can be further fine tuned to strengthen the middle order by including the likes of Badrinath of TN who is an underrated batsman and best suited for Test Cricket. Every time he is selected and made to sit on the bench, he should be given a fair run. He and Rohit came into the side together and see Rohit have played nearly 100 ODI and Badri was not given that many chances to prove himself. It is time that he be given a fair chance once SRT Retires. Dhoni like Sangakara should keep wkts in ODI and T20 and D Karthiktoreplace

Posted by Dhanno on (December 12, 2012, 16:03 GMT)

Wait and watch india will beat England in Nagpur. We have Chawla in the team now: It gives us best chance!

Whr should I start bout Piyush? His last 1st class game? Ok. This game was played at Nagpur (venue of 4th test), against mighty Vidarbha. So he has experience bowling at the ground, thats good start! Chawla bowled 32 overs for 108 runs and got 1 wicket! Wait it gets better, that was their regular number 1, i mean number 11 batsman, who chawla dismissed for the last wicket of inning. Want some more? Well, amongst all the bowlers (from both sides) who completed more than 5 overs in the first innings, Chawla had the highest economy rate too. What a cricketer!

So lets recap, Chawla played at same ground where 4th test will be played, against a mighty Vidharbha, bowled more than 32 overs conceding 108 runs at highest economy rate among all bowlers for a solitary wicket of a tailender !

I repeat, India gonna show their "character" and thrash england at Nagpur!!! Bring them on :)

Posted by marlboro19 on (December 12, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

Contrary to most, i think this is a win-win situation for India.If they loose, they will have a clear mind to rebuild, while a win will give some solace to the fans and at the same time it won't hinder the rebuilding, albeit it might throw in some confusion .IMO, this makes for the most pivotal test match in the last decade. We all know flip-flops of both the fans, Eng being condescending/affectedly humble and Ind being Bragging/curmudgeon . But i am sure there are still some fans on either side who would just want to enjoy this match for what it is.

Posted by CandidIndian on (December 12, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

Well many fans including myself commented before this series that England are favorites to win simple because they have more settled team while Indian team is in transformation phase.India lost just two tests in last 5 years and just one series since 2000 at home because whenever India got into trouble Dravid and VVS saved the day for India,so those matches which India could have lost in India ended in either a win or a draw.With exit of Laxman and Dravid and Sehwag ,Tendulkar and Gambhir being in awful form,this thrashing India received is not surprising.This might be last test of Dhoni as whenever India loses at home big changes happen,i hope that inspires our captain and players to fight it out .Already damage has been done ,India needs to play good cricket even if they lose.Always behind India as an Indian fan but want to see some fight and spirit from our boys,hope India does not disappoint this time.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 12, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

i have a problem in that if england had to win a test, say for eample the last test in 05 ashes in what many called the greatest series. its 2 - 1 to england and in the other side is the greatest spinner of all time. what do england and the oval prepare a pitch that warne was turning right angles. the oval is the best batting ground in england (my opinion) and could have prepared a belter. similar in the last ashes the ground was similar but england only played the 1 spinner. in england the ecb cannot dictate to any ground authority what types of wicket. i have to applaud the groundsman in the last test.but doubt what the bcci and the groundsmen have waiting at nagpur.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 12, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

don't worry swann these days indian team doesn't shows any figthback . if they had shown figthback then we would not have lost in england & aus by 8-0 . THE ONLY PLACE WHERE INDIAN PLAYERS SHOWS FIGHTBACK IS IPL .

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

Indian players will definitely take revenge against the English bowlers, by scoring heavily in IPL, not in the next 4-5 days. I liked the comment in this forum "The toss coin should suit the home side :)"

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (December 12, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

@tally1983: You are very right about the covering of cracks. As an England fan, I do wonder whether similar isolated successes contributed to issues in England's past (1990s in particular).

I still don't think that India are completely out of this series, however bad I believe drawing it would be for their medium-term future. It is a two-horse race, and Ashwin has demonstrated that England's bowling can be taken on. Attrition is another very useful weapon against a 4-man attack, and in my opinion England traditionally don't get their fringe bowlers (Trott, Pietersen, Patel...) to contribute enough.

Posted by dhekar01 on (December 12, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

Rahne, Dinda, Awana - Give the kids a chance and move Sehwag down the order as he has wished for so long...

4th test following 11 should play - Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt.), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Ashok Dinda, Parvinder Awana. 12th - Virat Kohli.

At the end of the series, sack Dhoni from tests, Farewell and goodbye to great Sachin, have Gambhir compete for his place, let Tiwary, Raina, Yuvraj compete for a spot in the middle. And bring others in the mix bowlers and batsmen - especially WK/Batsman now that Dhoni hasn't performed.

Also, introduce 3 tier system for each format so we don't have same folks playing all 3 formats. That way India can build "bench strength" where anyone can be ready for international start.

Piyush Chawla Murali Vijay Ishant Sharma

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (December 12, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

With Zaheer gone, we now will have a bigger problem in the fourth test unless Awana springs a surprise. Batting line up will remain the same and bowling line up will be weaker. I hope Ashwin and Ojha do to England what they did to WI and NZ. I hope Sachin gets out of coma and remembers that he is a batsman, Gambhir realizes that it is better to fight the England bowler than his own captain. All in all, only a changed attitude, stronger mind will enable India to do better than what they did in the last two tests. I hope it does happen and we are able to square the series.

Posted by EagleDave111 on (December 12, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

The 'nothing to lose' mentality only works if yuo actually have nothing to lose. Some of the indian players are under serious pressure from fans and media (if not the BCCI) to start performing. That is pressure and does not usually help performance. England on the other hand are on a high (although probably lost Finn) and have no real pressure to win over and above the usual expectation. Most fans would have taken 2-2 in this series a month ago (especially after the first test!). Hopefully England will play with freedom and aggression and finish the job and keep the momentum for next year's schedule.

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

It is right . INDIA have a chance to win . Parwinder awana is a fast bowler and jadeja has scored two triple centuries . Sachin has to do something becouse he is the oldest cricket player in this generation . So he has to inspire the other batsmen . DHONI anyway is not going to help INDIA winning this match . So i want DHONI to be dropped as soon as the series ends . Virat kholi must get back to form and gambhir should not go on making others run out . R ashwin and Piyush chawla can add some batting to the team . I do not think this is the end for INDIA . come on INDIA . chak de pate

Posted by DINESHCC on (December 12, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

PANDEZ: Dude that will not happen in the near future. 3-1 is sure. But you forget the 2nd sentence

Graeme Swann: "India will come out fighting?" WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW, WHAT?

Posted by everfaithful77 on (December 12, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

A LITTLE ADVICE TO INDIA. I'm tired of seeing Indians taken to pieces by English batsmen. INDIA BOWLERS are not getting it right vs England's top batsmen PETERSON & COOK. The FAST BOWLERS need to take a page from West Indies fast bowlers on last tour of England where Cook averaged only 44. Eg. Bowling over the wicket and angling the ball wide of stumps repeatedly just enough to avoid Cook's bat could induce edge to slips. The important thing is to frustrate the batsman as he tries to feel bat on ball. Peterson is similar but India fast bowlers could also bowl short balls at him from around the wicket repeatedly hoping to induce a mistimed hook/pull. Ofcourse fields must be set properly. The SPIN bowlers should try bowling to COOK over or around the wicket but pitching within the stumps from off to leg or vice versa. Cook's main technique playing the spinners is to plant his front foot outside off. By pitching within the stumps he will be exposed to LBW or bowled behind his legs.

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 10:33 GMT)

Cook should just concede the toss. How mentally disintegrating would that be on India's top order? So as a result, Dhoni would be obliged to field.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (December 12, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

@JG2704... Yes a runchase of 41 seemed to be within bell's grasp when the match was already won, scoring a ton, or at least making a positive contribution still seems a long way off for bell, his effort in the first innings when the match was still alive was yet another embarrassment for him and the selectors... I see everyone is calling for patel to get the boot, but he has scored more runs so far than bell in this series... not that that is anything to write home about, just puts bell's series (and year) into perspective... Hopefully JB comes in for bell, and we, and bell are put out of his misery.

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

SLOW LOW BOUNCE WICKETS IS THE WINNING FORMULA……….Ind did this in Ahmadabad-all batsmen scored & Ind won…..Ind has done this for past 50 years & they have hardly lost……………………Then Y Oh Y change prepare Supporting, spinning, bouncing wickets…………OH WHY………..PLZ It defies logic…...........................Prepare same old slow low wickets & not only Tendulkar, all Indian batsmen will get back into form then no need to drop or retire anyone..PERIOD…..WIN WIN SITUATION

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

India got victory on a slow wicket in the first Test Ahmadabad...........Then y prepare spin wickets............India must demand SLOW LOW non supporting WICKETS like Ahmadabad on all venues, against all oppositions......All Indian batsmen scored on Ahmadabad..........PERIOD..................SO SIMPLE LOGIC THAT NO ONE SEEMS TO UNDERSTAND ...Dont know WHY ??????............hence Indians will always score big & will never be defeated against any opposition & occasional victories will come if opposition batsmen make mistake. This is what they have done for past 50 years then y make spinning & supporting wickets now???? Y don't make dust bowls still THE FORMULA THAT ALWAYS WORKED…….!!

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (December 12, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

A bit of reverse psychology from Swann! India is a team demoralised. I predict 3-1 to England. To be followed, hopefully, by a wholesale clean out of the current fat cats in our team, replaced by the many hungry young cricketers waiting by the side. There is plenty of talent to try out - if selectors get innovative. Incidentally, once we lose 3-1, will Srivastava's head role from the BCCI for conistent underachievement of his team?

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

@igorolman on (December 11 2012, 17:59 PM GMT) - I really do wish the "England fielded weak county teams" excuse would stop - you have to remember that those "weak" teams nearly beat India (ran out of time), and one on pretty much the best batting surface in England. Once people stop making excuses and concentrate on their own game, you might find things improve.....

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

SRT scores against England on this series 13,8,8,76,5 no doubt one the greatest batsman in world but as you age reflexes go down . SRT maybe you should take a page from Ponting

Posted by ravikb on (December 12, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

Don't worry Swanny. You are playing against India not SA or AUS or Eng to expect them to come out fighting. Don't expect any fight what so ever from this so called great Indian team. I have never ever seen India raising up when they are down. When they are down, they will go down further. As you wish, Eng will go home 3-1. Relax. Take it easy. This is India.

Posted by rjt00 on (December 12, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

The last time Swann warned was to India. Warning about not to take the Poms lightly. Going by the same logic and Swanny's calls, hopefully he will be right this time around too. India will be coming hard at Nagpur. *It has come down to this- Taking out positives from these small small calls.*Sigh! Do something Mahi and co. Your fans are waiting. Eagerly waiting....

Posted by Strikeforce2007 on (December 12, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

with the focus & form England are in, they could wrap up Dhonie & ponies by day 4 evening itself, my take England go home for Christmas 3-1

Posted by kishoreb4 on (December 12, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

Well said swann! Dont get carried away and win the next match also.And should undergo vast changes to restore their pride at home.

Posted by simonviller on (December 12, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

Have faith guys ! It's not over until it's over ! India will win this game .

Posted by Biggus on (December 12, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

@citizenkc-Problem is mate, you're in your 'safe harbour' and the barbarians have beaten down the gates and are rampaging throughout the town.

Posted by Hiba.R on (December 12, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

Well winning the toss was to be a deciding factor India would not have lost the last two test matches. Indian team looked dis-integrated in the absence of a leader/captain to lead them on the ground. Having Dhoni as a captain on the ground with an infamous expressionless face, you are better off having no one to captain the side. India would tumble again as long as the stub-born face of Dhoni is there on the ground.....BCCI needs to respond according to the wishes of the people.

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

@ davidpk : You think India is sure to win the toss ? Why so ? Is the toss up rigged ? Is the coin fixed ? Or is Cook incapable of calling correctly ? What makes you so sure that India will win the toss ?

Posted by prgiri on (December 12, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

Swanny is being nice by saying India will fight back .... This Indian team neither has the quality nor the mental strength to fight back .... They are toothless on the cricket field as proven by 10 losses in the last 13 tests ... 3 of the wins coming in India, 2 against NZ and 1 against a settling english team ..... time for the long wait for the next test superstars ....

Posted by Nilesh_T on (December 12, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

Relax Swanny,don't worry,be happy. This current lot in the Indian team is totally lost not just 2-1 but more mentally also. Even on friendly home pitches they are struggling after winning tosses.Batting is in disarray and bowling is of club standard with no bite. Captain is looking to hide somewhere but can't. he is already preparing the list of excuses to be dished out for the series loss at the end of Nagpur test. As Gavaskar and Dravid pointed out, the mental attitude is just not there to make fight of it. " When-Sehwag-clicks..." he can destroy any bowling we all know. The Indian fan is still waiting for that " When" after 10 test defeats in recent times. Maybe the next transit-of Venus across the Sun would be earlier than Sehwag playing one of his 'those' innings to save his side.

Posted by rse1 on (December 12, 2012, 3:29 GMT)

Swanny - you and the boys already surpassed anything we could reasonably have expected given history. Go and finish the job with another win

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

Positive thinking will always help India and Indian fans have to learn to be positive. Winning and losing is part and parcel of any game and you cannot expect Team India to win all the time even if the game is played in home soil. The home ground advantage do not hold any water these days. The team which plays well will win. I do not believe Ravindra Jadega is the answer to our batting problem. if any one or two of the top four clicks then Indians can get a huge total and they can try and bowl England out. if Indian team can get past 450 to 500 score, then the pressure will be on England. If England bats first, then our bowlers should try to restrict them to a modest total which the Indian batsmen can achieve. No point in crying over the form or the lack of it of the top four. I am sure Indians will come fighting. Just have faith and reserve your negative comments until the series is over. We do not negative comments at this juncture. I am a believer and trust India will wi

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (December 12, 2012, 3:18 GMT)

Excellent comment by citizenkc. I have stopped following and supporting Indian cricket. Unless Dhoni, who has no respect for test cricket, is removed form the team, and the Chairman of BCCI, who also owns an IPL team is sacked, I think we will rapidly see happening what happened in Calcutta, i.e. the public not caring that the team was being thrashed. I remember that when Kapil Dev's team lost to Clive Lloyd's West Indies in 1983, just after winning the world cup, the Indian team bus was stoned in the same Calcutta. This time, the crowd seemed resigned to Dhoni's team's fate. Alas, how times have changed.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 12, 2012, 2:09 GMT)

The quick early wickets in England's token chase were a reminder that any complacency will be punished. Having said that they appear to have exorcised their spin demons for the moment and India have shown that their invincibility at home is not even believed by their supporters any longer. Therefore England should be able to win this series 3-1. Good luck chaps.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 12, 2012, 2:04 GMT)

These totally compelling games keep coming up. I like it as it makes for the best viewing. What are the possible pitch options? Two firsts that in reality will not happen-greentop or fast and bouncey.ON both Engalnd would have the advantage, and in any case they are both next to impossible to produce in India. Other choices are basically the low slow pudding which produces turgid and unequal play so that it is hard to get wickets. This might favour India wer Zaheer still playing A spinning track-England have already won on this and with confidence growing could win again on, Finally an abrasive surface like Kolkata which aids reverse swing. We just won on that. Pitchwise India's hands are not exactly free then. I do believe that this will be a result pitch and so will probably spin plenty simply because to India 3-1 or 2-1 make little odds if there is a chance of 2-2. It should be a great match and I fancy England a bit more than India.

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 1:58 GMT)

citizenkc on (December 11 2012, 16:29 PM GMT) I know Swann is just saying the things that are expected when the opposition is up 2-1. If only they were true. I don't think this Indian team has any fighting spirit. When was the last time we managed to show some application and grit? We are a ship without leadership or a competent crew, floating on the open sea, hoping for favorable winds so that we can find a safe harbor.

I fully agree with you "citizenkc" ,This team is not a Test Cricket Team", it is bamboozled by sea of money showered by IPL,spoiled by "Glamour" of debauched "Bolywood"..,severe attitude problems, betraying faith of billion people…perhaps a misplaced faith ..pathetic situation

Posted by maidenshazza on (December 12, 2012, 1:49 GMT)

India are as good as dead and buried!. Even if they were to come back and win this final test, the damage has been done. No use talking about past glories, about when SRT scored 100 centuries! You are only as good as your last game, and right now India are rubbish and deserve all the ridicule they get, for their arrogance and pride.

Indian Cricket fan

Posted by Hammond on (December 12, 2012, 1:39 GMT)

India will be terribly short on confidence, and even shorter on form. 3-1 England. Didn't dream of a scoreline like that at the beginning of this series!

Posted by Rahulbose on (December 12, 2012, 1:29 GMT)

If only this were true. Indian team will be switched off and waiting for the end of the series.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (December 12, 2012, 1:18 GMT)

Personally I hope India does them in, just because it's England and no self respecting Australian could ever hope for England to win anything cricket related (wasn't really an issue for most of the last 30 years ;) ). But in all honestly I think England will be too good for India. England's spinners are better and the English batsmen have stood up where the Indians have shown very little application. Unless the Indian batting order gets an attitude transplant I don't think this test will play out much different from the last two.

Posted by sohaibahmad on (December 12, 2012, 1:12 GMT)

i have not seen India coming out fighting, and specially with the Nawabs in this team, they are least bothered

Posted by vipravara on (December 12, 2012, 1:11 GMT)

I wish England to take the series 3-1, which I hope would do a lot of good for the future of Indian test cricket. This current Indian test team has accumulated a lot of muck in it not easy to get rid of. If the team were to win the 4th test and square the the series, the muck gets glorified to stay on in the light of saving the series, which will do further harm to Indian test cricket. After all, changes won't happen in any sector in India that easily and cricket is no exception. So, for the future of Indian test cricket, I wish and hope England take the series thereby forcing a change in Indian test cricket- a cricket lover from India.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (December 12, 2012, 0:41 GMT)

Davidpk, England and Aus have been indulging in such skulduggery as you call it for many many years.....providing low quality opposition to visiting teams, making visiting teams especially from the subcontinent play their practice games on flat pitches and then making them play on green tops in the tests, providing pitches that suit their bowlers rather than the opposition...Swann himself has admitted this yesterday, please see this link for the full text The Indians like the Aussies are in transition and therefore, it is just unfair to expect them to play at the same level at which they did before their greats retired. As of now SA are the no.1 and England at no.2 in the test rankings which is a fair reflection of the current standings, but make no mistake when some of the greats in the SA and England team retire in 2 to 3 years' time they will also struggle in the same way!

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 0:24 GMT)

Swann is just telling the fat lady to shut up for a while, yelling at her, "Don't practice your singing yet") .Asking her to wait for a few more days. He knows, she will sing or them. This is, just a precautionary cover, just in case... just... if the series draw, no one should blame them for premature (though looking reasonable) bragging. Smart cookie.

Posted by jb633 on (December 12, 2012, 0:03 GMT)

This is a massive game for both sides, I hope it lives up to expectations For England I guess the big worry is what happens when Cook fails. Given all the pre match hype it seems almost ineviatble that this will be the case. I still have concerns about 3-6 in this line up. Trott has not looked in great shape in 2012 and I am not sure his game is suited to playing spinners on these decks. KP is a wildcard, sometimes he clicks sometimes he doesn't, that's just the way he is. Bell just looks so out of touch when he plays in the SC and I am sure I am not the only England fan who still worries about him. I am not convinced Patel is an international cricketer and I would much rather see Bairstow or even Taylor in there, although I know he is not touring. The other big worry is a Sehwg special. He has threatened but not quite delivered yet. I believe we have the capabilities to win this game and come away with our best series win for years but everyone knows it will be difficult.

Posted by kevnssuresh on (December 11, 2012, 23:36 GMT)

Major worry for India is not SRT, its Kohli's form. We have lot of expectations on him given that how well he performed recently. Somehow he didn't live upto the expectations. I think under SRT's retirement this has been hidden but that's a biggest worry. And ofcourse for some reason none of players except Pujara was able to put up the fight and even Pujara failed in last test match, I think he is influenced by his batsman :(. If atleast 3 out of 7 batsman put up the fight it will be a difficult task for any country but that is not happening for some reason. Not sure why this always happens to Team India, evenbody plays well at the same time and everybody form goes away at the same time. Damn, it is really big worry. I guess this time they will pick Jadeja in the team and am sure if he is picked he will surely contribute to run atleast one english batsman out. Also having chawla in the team might add more veriety in bowling dept though none to replace him with unless 12 player :(

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 23:31 GMT)

England should seal this as India are simply not good enough. India should realise that playing these older legends is making it difficult for your younger players to thrive especially when their young friends from other nations are already starting to make debuts for their national team and have a lot of catching up to do.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 11, 2012, 23:28 GMT)

One can't help but notice that Swann's poor performances always come when he is in the side by himself. A highly overrated bowler, it is only when Monty comes into the side that he can take a wicket (and even then only one or two when Monty takes a bag). Washed up and with zero spin, I think he better start putting some more ink to paper, because soon it will be his full time job.

Posted by Hasan1962 on (December 11, 2012, 23:20 GMT)

... so where are the bragging Indian fans now? A few years back they played well and became No. 1 and Indian supporters, retired players including their commentators were all over the moon. They should have learnt lesson from history - in the 80s WI were untouchable, so were the Australian in the late 90s and early 2000. I remember just a few months back I was watching Bangladesh vs India match in Dhaka in the Asia Cup and all time great Sunny Gavasker made a comment that " ... and when India play Pakistan in the final" -- so he took it for granted that India would beat Bangladesh for sure. Then we all know what happened - Sachin got his long-waited 100th 100 but Bangladesh demolished Indian bowling and won the match and played in the final and were beaten by 2 runs by the Pakis. The Indian players, supporters, BCCI, commentators all need to come to the ground. My assessment - in test arena they are now 3rd from the bottom above B'desh and Zimbabwe. In ODI - may be just over Zimbabwe.

Posted by vivek464 on (December 11, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

We would certainly like to think so... But rather than being absolutely useless and criticizing the team at this tough time I want to support them. I acknowledge there are many prblems with Indian cricket. Tendulkar, despite being the greatest in the last two decades, needs to retire. This was a man who dominated Warne, Donald, Shoaib, McGrath, the two Ws (althoough that was more hit and miss). the bottom line is he absolutely murdered top notch bowling attacks. His image is diminished by getting out to trundlers like Panesar and Siddle nowadays. He needs to go, as do Dhoni, Ashwin, Gauti, etc. Anyways these problems are there, but India fans lets support this team. GO INDIA GO! DRAW THE SERIES! C'mon Indian fans lets support this team.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 11, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

Swann is saying those things you would expect from a player who is part of a winning team. 2 years ago, many of the Indian players were saying similar things. There was a lot of talk about "playing for each other", "enjoying each other's success" etc. So it's not surprising to hear him chirp about. The point is whether India can do anything to turn around their piece of negative spotlight ? Irrespective of the kind of pitch, India should simply play fearless cricket and think positively from the get go. They have been in this position many times before and have come out winning. While the chances look slim, I still feel India have something to offer in this series.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 22:44 GMT)

Swann's comments are exactly what one would expect from professional sportsmen. The Indian big 5 in the last decade (Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Laxman, Kumble) were respected for their game, yet they showed equal respect to the opposition. The new generation of Indian cricketers developed the "pungi" attitude - which does not help in the lopng term.

Posted by Crimsonbat on (December 11, 2012, 22:26 GMT)

The Three Lions have only one batsman,Cook. Get him out early in the 1st innings and they will go down like the London bridge.

Posted by PeterMyton on (December 11, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

Lots of things to point out but Eng/Ind/Aus/SA all pretty evenly matched given a fair wind. SA just number one despite no consistent spinner. England's lack of batting spine (other than Cook) has been camouflaged by Prior/Broad/Bresnan and India's last gasp from Dravid, VVS, Tendulkar plus the emergence of Ashwin and Ojha got them to number 1. Anyway, Swann could hardly say anything else, plus India were only 100 away from setting England a target (at 8-3) - they were one serious knock away (or maybe two missed run outs seeing as Gambhir doesn't seem to like his partners). Don't see why you'd ever play more than two front line spinners seeing as each one will want to bowl 35% of overs - add in two spells per 80 over ball for the seamers and all you need is a KP or Yuvarj/Sehwag to give the spinners the occasional rest. Hope it is a great finale because 5 day cricket is the ultimate form - where else a Headingley 81, a VVS 281, a Lara 400, Hanif. Bradman, Sobers, Murali?

Posted by landl47 on (December 11, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

I'm all for a pitch which will lead to a result and I think England has the bowling resources to exploit any kind of surface. Since the first innings of the first test, England has made 406, 413 and 523 in the innings they have completed, despite losing the toss in every game, so the batsmen ought to be up to any challenge they are set. If India wins this test then fair enough, there won't be any excuses for England.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 11, 2012, 22:20 GMT)

@Nutcutlet: So you mean to say India will lose outright ? Come on, show some faith on India. I know India is in trouble now but as an Indian fan, I can only expect things to become better for India here on. I wouldn't rule out an Indian win by any means. :)

Posted by PSYGangnam on (December 11, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

England will win this test comfortably as well.

Posted by Partyman on (December 11, 2012, 21:48 GMT)

Indian players, administrators and mostly fans would do well to learn from Swann. Show respect to the opposition if you have your feet on their necks. Comments from the aforementioned trio has been downright uncouth at times. Cricinfo, please publish.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 11, 2012, 21:30 GMT)

"India will come out fighting" yeah, great prediction Swanny. Way to go:-) I mean, of course, India will come out fighting. If anyone in the England team didn't think so, they shouldn't be part of the XI that take the field in Nagpur. Their proud home record is at stake and they will do anything to ensure that they come out winners in the test. Though this may be the incentive they need, what they don't need is the extra pressure. The same thing with the 3 new guys - they are fresh but will they have the experience to handle this pressure? My guess is that India will play Dinda as the second seamer and Yuvraj will be replaced by Jadeja. That gives them 2 seamers and 3 spinners. Anywa, what should matter most for England is their preparation. They should focus on this test as if it were the first test of the series and look at winning it. Anyone who thinks a draw would suffice should not take the field.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 11, 2012, 20:26 GMT)

Therein lies the difference between the 2 sides up to this point. One side is expecting the other to come out fighting while the other, to date, showed no respect to the other & got their special pitches ready for the other side to roll over. Someone forgot to tell England to follow the script. Again, a grand effort from the Poms who probably surprised even their most ardent supporters.

Posted by ishrat1971 on (December 11, 2012, 19:43 GMT)

@nut cutlet. Love your comments dude. But seriously the team needs overhauling. The captain needs to hang up his boots. SRT ....

Posted by Strikeforce2007 on (December 11, 2012, 19:32 GMT)

England if they hold their nerve and carry that focussed attitude as seen at Mumbai and Kolkatta, can win this test in 4 days.If India win though it will be an amazing comeback..tough though as the English pace and spin, their batting and fielding, their very focussed attitude and game plan seem perfectly set.

Posted by crying_game on (December 11, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

Excellent analogy citizenkc! perfect description of what the Indian team looks like. It is a clear lound ringing alarm for test cricket in India. Besides it is high time Indian fans realize exactly how competitive other teams have become even in our home conditions and how we struggle to adapt outside..The golden era of a great middle order, some good fast bowling options besides the magnificient Kumble and inform bhaji had led us to some memorable wins in past decade. All those factors have diminished now and it is showing. India is a side in decline. Can use "rebuilding" as a term only if there is a process in place to do so.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 11, 2012, 19:10 GMT)

India has announced changes to its squad but going on past form there's no guarantee any of these 3 will play. The walking wickets of Sehwag, Gambhir and Tendulkar are still there. Bowling remains weak with only Ohja looking capable of regularly taking wickets. England have a balanced side with the better spinners, a top draw seamer, better openers and impact players in Pieterson and Prior. Maybe Swanny is trying to drum up interest for a test where England is the clear favourite. One test in a must win situation is a short term goal and doesn't help the long term situation. Would have been better to have given the next generation of players the opportunity to play the entire series and gain valuable experience and forget about the result. The only thing India can look forward to is Tendulkar finally doing the right thing at the end of this test and giving another player a chance. Hopefully Gooch's comments that Cook may break all sorts of records won't influence that decision.

Posted by hems4cric on (December 11, 2012, 18:54 GMT)

As an Indian fan i really hope and pray that India lose the 4th test and the series. I don't actually think that India are in a state where they can win but if they do, that will make things worse and all the non performers get to stay longer.Having said that i am not too sure that changes will be made if they lose as well. All the other fans bashing Indian fans for their comments, i just want to tell you that there are a lot more people in this country who think that our team is mediocre currently and want them to put up atleast a fight.

Posted by 777aditya on (December 11, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

Strange as it may sound, but actually Indian cricket in the larger picture can only gain if India lose this series. I hope we don't square the series because if we do the same team will be in the mix for another series. Obviously, this is hoping that if we lose the next match and consequently the series, the selectors have it in them to chuck out those seniors who have grossly underperformed over the year.

Posted by ms_cricketer on (December 11, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Swann's trying to create some competition here. To be honest, the indians are not gonna win this match. They have a lousy attitude, and don't contain any fighting spirit. When was the last time india fought to win a test match? It has been at least 2 years since I can remember one against worthy opposition.

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (December 11, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

I sincerely hope Dhoni wins the toss again. Dont want him to use that as an excuse for a 3-1 thrashing! One can only imagine what he would have said if Cook had won all the 3 tosses..."we should prepare coins that should suit the home team during tosses"

Posted by tally1983 on (December 11, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

i'm a big india fan, but hope they lose or draw this match, as a win would only cover the cracks really. i think all india fans would agree with this. i would not be really upset if they came out and said that they don't really care about test cricket going by their performances in this format. atleast it would be the truth. no team in any sport that has the following that team has, would be putting peroformances in like this for nearly 2 years now and still be in denial. i appreciate that they are ok in limited overs cricket, and that gambhir, dhoni and others are performing better performances in that format, but if you have any standards then you would be concerned. i mean this team is on par with real madrid, barcelona and man utd in terms of financial clout and fan base around the world, albeit indian ex pats. i know i will get stick for that last comment from other fans esp aussies and england fans, but its the truth.

Posted by igorolman on (December 11, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

Don't think there's any 'skullduggery' going on with turning pitches, crap warm-up games, etc. It's just home advantage and some teams do it that way (English counties usually put a virtual 2nd XI out against tourists since they don't get any points for winning). I know historically the Aussies often put as strong a side out in the states all itching to put one over on the Poms and help the national team by demoralising the opposition. And let's be honest you're only going to get three types of track in India: roads, low and slow and raging turners. As lots of people have said, better to have the latter than the former and guarantee some exciting cricket!

Posted by JG2704 on (December 11, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

@davidpk on (December 11 2012, 16:13 PM GMT) To me India have to go for broke.defeat on home soil esp after what players like Kholi and Raina said (not to mention so many fans) would be awful and 2-1 or 3-1 makes no difference. India could also be bluffing - mind games to make us change our formation.. I would change it anyway and bring in Bairstow for Bell (not as a formation changer but because I have little confidence in Bell even though we all know that the 28no will probably keep him in the side for the next few years.) and Tredwell for Patel. I think Tredwell for Patel would be a percentage gamble. Patel is basically being used as a batsman and have his contributions with the bat been that great? His bowling has largely been unused (which I think says it all) and he's hardly a whippet in the field either. So if India play such a pitch we are fighting fire with fire so to speak and if they don't then all we'll be losing is Patel's batting which hasn't been great anyway.

Posted by pandez on (December 11, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

My Prediction is 3-1 to England after the 4th Test Match....Tendulkar's last Test and Dhoni last Test as Captain..kudos...

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 17:40 GMT)

Wait n watch the show... India's not having fighting sprit,they forget that, they will show it.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

England will retain the series trophy even if they lose this test - but come on England 3 - 1 would be fabulous!

Posted by cricarch on (December 11, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

'India will come out fighting?' wow! Joke of the year. Do they have any fighting spirit left? I wish I am wrong, but this team has made all their fans really sadistic and hopeless. Better luck next year guys.

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 11, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

Thats what I admire about ENG player, they are humble, and always respect their opposition regardless of opposition caliber's. While IND players, fans, sport media always talk about revenge, avenge and revoking the test status of other nations. ENG is winner here too, both infield and off-field.

Posted by Nampally on (December 11, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

Hopefully India will respond to Swann's assumption of fighting their tails off! The Selectors have regained some sanity by ringing 3 changes.Of the 3 changes, Jadeja is sure to be in XI & brings with him lot of confidence with 2 triple centuries in last month of Domestic Ranji. He is an excellent fielder too - India needed this boost. Chawla is a better batsman than a Bowler like Ashwin. Mishra & R.Sharma are better leg spinners than Chawla! England will likely field an unchanged team. India will need a step improvement on their Patience & Discipline to make their batting click. They need a good start + Pujara, Kohli, Sachin & Jadeja to get 2 centuries between them. Ashwin showed India what a disciplined batting can do.The batsmen should take that as a challenge & match his gutsy innings. England will rely on Anderson, Finn, Swann & Panesar in bowling. If India can get the top 4 England batsmen cheaply they stand a good chance to Win.How Can India raise their game that much higher?

Posted by Dhanno on (December 11, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

It must be difficult for England to keep themselves motivated, I mean I know its a big deal to beat india in india but they also know that if they play 100% they will win this game. Not to belittle the achievement but I am sure few heads in english camp will be in disbelief thinking why indians are rolling over so meekly.?? They need to tell themselves, just maybe just india will indeed fight back. Although from 8-0 and what is happening it shows to be otherwise. As an opposition one feels for english. If this was WI or NZL in their own backyard you would expect some kind of response. With india the feeling is if you bowl first and reduce them 100-3 and then dry up runs they will fold. if you bat first and make 100-0 in 40 overs or so india will roll for next two days. Yes for some reason Sehwag gets to flier and posts 200, yes then our tails will be up. By misfortune if english lose 3 quick wickets for 40 in day 1 maybe then also, but really this team wont fight if its tough out there

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

hopefully india will lose and tendulkar, gambhir, ishant are all dropped they need to give chance to guys like rahane,badri,saha,mandeep singh,tiwary etc

Posted by citizenkc on (December 11, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

I know Swann is just saying the things that are expected when the opposition is up 2-1. If only they were true. I don't think this Indian team has any fighting spirit. When was the last time we managed to show some application and grit? We are a ship without leadership or a competent crew, floating on the open sea, hoping for favorable winds so that we can find a safe harbor.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 11, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

swanny at least the aussies prepared a wicket that the better team on the day would if memory serves me right the aussies won the toss also.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 11, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

well according to switch hit india are so desperate for a win, the wicket going to be a real bunson bearner and they are coming at england with only 1 seamer and 3 frontline spinners along with the other part timer spinner. so will be interesting to see if that true. are they prepared to take a hit on 3 - 1 or 2 - 2. well i think we are set for india to win the toss ( what else ).would love to see after all the skulduggery from india from the lack of quality opposition and spinners lacking in the tour games,to them helping out with the groundmans job, would love to see england win inside 3 days.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 11, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

Swanny's up for it! That's always good to know ( I can't get it out of my head that he often speaks for the workforce - an ebullient shop-steward-cum-sergeant-major figure). The momentum is with England, it's true, but the series is not won until the fat lady has stood up, wiped away the ghee & coughed a couple of times. That should be on Day 3 if the rumours about the pitch prove accurate;-)

Posted by cricket_lover1 on (December 11, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

India needs to learn a lot from this...

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