Sri Lanka v England 2011-12 March 18, 2012

Swann unconcerned by competition from Panesar

ESPNcricinfo staff
88

Graeme Swann has said he is not worried about the threat to his place in the England side from Monty Panesar, suggesting with his usual flair for a colourful quote that only a "fairly sad individual" would be perturbed by the good performances of a team-mate.

Swann remains England's first-choice spinner, perhaps as much for his all-round ability and dressing-room presence as his bowling, but has been overshadowed by Panesar after the left-armer's ebullient return to international cricket. Panesar claimed 14 wickets in two Tests against Pakistan in the UAE and continued that good form with 6 for 69 in England's first warm-up match in Sri Lanka.

Swann claimed three wickets in the same game and is likely to continue his spin partnership with Panesar in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka but he accepted, with England likely to only play one spinner at home, he will not retain his place by default.

Asked if he was bothered by the competition, Swann said: "I'm not. I think it's quite a sad existence when people start looking over their shoulders. I always enjoy bowling with Monty and we complement each other quite well because I take it in [to the right-hand batsman] and he takes it away.

"If in the summer Monty is bowling better than me and he gets picked then fair play to him. Of course I'll be hoping to be the man in possession but if you spend your whole life just looking over your shoulder I think you're a fairly sad individual. Monty is bowling beautifully at the moment and that bodes well because we need two spinners over here. If we're both bowling well we can hopefully bowl England to some victories."

England were comprehensive winners against a Sri Lanka Board XI, with the bowlers adapting quickly to the conditions - though Swann admitted the temperature was not to his liking.

"Confidence is sky high," Swann said. "I thought I bowled quite well in the warm-up match. At this point in a tour it's all about how the ball feels coming out of your hand and it was coming out great. I'm just getting used to the heat at the moment. It was too hot for me yesterday and too hot for me the day before. Hopefully when the Tests start in a couple of weeks I'll be ready to go."

England head into the Test series on the back of a 3-0 whitewash by Pakistan that raised question marks about their status as the No. 1 Test side. Another defeat would likely see them overtaken by South Africa, but Swann, who claimed 13 wickets himself against Pakistan, said he hoped Andrew Strauss' team will be able to put their experiences in the UAE to good use on the subcontinent.

"With the heat and conditions here, it's really brought home how hard it will be for us in the Test series," Swann said. "It was pleasing to win the first game and now it's onwards and upwards. We hope to have learned from the mistakes we made in the Pakistan series and put that to bed.

"Sri Lanka are a fairly similar animal and they have exceptional batting, probably more consistent than Pakistan. They'll be hard to bowl out and it will be a real war of attrition for us."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    @ Abdel Mohammed on (March 20 2012, 12:15 PM GMT) I kind of agree with part of your post re extended runs etc , but up until last year Swann was definitely our premier spinner.It was only last May when we would not have won a test vs SL had it not been for Swann's 2nd inns heroics - against the odds timewise too I might add. Obviously Monty is putting Swann under pressure at the moment as Monty is bowling beautifully while Swann - despite the odd moment - is not bowling as well as he did a year or so ago. However Swann had a bad OD tour of India and Monty wasn't about the squad then.

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    @satish619chandar - I think I'd have had Finn in instead of Bres and Patel instead of Bopara/Bell but I'd settle for your team above the one they are likely to pick and I suppose Bres is also more capable than Finn with the bat so it is more of a compromise.

  • satish619chandar on March 20, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Still its a bit early to say Panesar is better than Swann.. Even in this slightly out of form state, Swann was at his best against lefties though he is not able to replicate the same against right hand batsmen.. Still i wouldn't write him off as he did prove to be a good option for a couple of years.. Best option for England could be to use Bresnan as third seamer and have 5 bowlers.. Cook, Strauss, Trott, KP, Bell/Bopara, Prior, Bresnan, Swann, Broad, Anderson, Panesar.. One big advantage they have is, a tired and underprepared SL as opponents.. I say underprepared as they are continuously playing ODI format from SA.. England have a upper hand as of now before the match starts..

  • on March 20, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Panesar who was ditched too quickly by England is proving that they were wrong,it appears that England expects too much from"certain players" while some are given extended runs.There is no doubt that Panesar's success recently is affecting Swann,its not an easy life having to constantly look behind to see who is behind.

  • Perera32 on March 20, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Swann 0/97 in (20ovs), The worlds best spinner according to english fans. Overrated spin bowler, who cannot pick up wickets in the most spin friendly ground in Sri lanka. I wonder if he'd be happy for panesar if he gets left out of the team in place for panesar. It seems England can only pick up wickets with the new ball, Good Luck England.

  • on March 20, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    Swann should focus on his cricket and competition from a better spineer in Monty rather than mouthing off about umpire decissions hand having a go at opposition players.

    We saw how honest he was when he claimed a Pakistan wicket and showed his ways by winking and a snide smile.

    It is for the umpires to give the decission and not the batsman. Swann was out of order to have a go at Dilruwan when he was given not out.

  • KingOwl on March 20, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    Swann unconcerned by competition from Panesar: Give me a break. The guy would rather Panesar did not exist. It is clear from the barely disguised anger he seems to have, both on and off the ground.

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    @zenboomerang on (March 20 2012, 07:51 AM GMT) - again I think you are right. Fans - possibly myself included - are quick to change opinions. And your comparison between Bell and Swann I think echoes mine. The difference is - to me - Swann looks much more likely to take 5 wkts than Bell is to score a 100 - even a 50. It is probably wrong of me to not trust Bopara or Patel (I trust Bopara less and Patel is unproven) and It's not so bad carrying one batsmen who is struggling but when it's 2 or 3 or more then it becomes a huge problem.

  • zenboomerang on March 20, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    @JG2704... Seems the critics jump from "great" to "failures" over a very short period of time... Swann like Bell has gone through a few hoops in the last 12 mths - but it is way short of being in poor form... He's just as likely to get a 5-for this series as not, but much will have to do with the pitches prepared - time will tell... Again it will be the batsmen that can win or lose this series - without runs to defend on SL pitches the game can swing quickly, especially with the SL batsmen being able to "turn it on" when needed... Tight bowling will be the key in hot humid conditions - keeping your cool is essential...

  • zenboomerang on March 20, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @bouncy pitch... @justtogood... All good bowlers - but young?... 17-21 is young / 23-27 developed / 29+ mature bowler - you could allow some overlap due to different maturing rates... Pattinson (21) is still a young bowler that has done well so far (& a reasonable batter) - time will tell... I for one don't like to put too much expectation on younger bowlers & prefer they develop fully before ever giving them a "great" tag - from which there is only one direction to go...

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    @ Abdel Mohammed on (March 20 2012, 12:15 PM GMT) I kind of agree with part of your post re extended runs etc , but up until last year Swann was definitely our premier spinner.It was only last May when we would not have won a test vs SL had it not been for Swann's 2nd inns heroics - against the odds timewise too I might add. Obviously Monty is putting Swann under pressure at the moment as Monty is bowling beautifully while Swann - despite the odd moment - is not bowling as well as he did a year or so ago. However Swann had a bad OD tour of India and Monty wasn't about the squad then.

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    @satish619chandar - I think I'd have had Finn in instead of Bres and Patel instead of Bopara/Bell but I'd settle for your team above the one they are likely to pick and I suppose Bres is also more capable than Finn with the bat so it is more of a compromise.

  • satish619chandar on March 20, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Still its a bit early to say Panesar is better than Swann.. Even in this slightly out of form state, Swann was at his best against lefties though he is not able to replicate the same against right hand batsmen.. Still i wouldn't write him off as he did prove to be a good option for a couple of years.. Best option for England could be to use Bresnan as third seamer and have 5 bowlers.. Cook, Strauss, Trott, KP, Bell/Bopara, Prior, Bresnan, Swann, Broad, Anderson, Panesar.. One big advantage they have is, a tired and underprepared SL as opponents.. I say underprepared as they are continuously playing ODI format from SA.. England have a upper hand as of now before the match starts..

  • on March 20, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Panesar who was ditched too quickly by England is proving that they were wrong,it appears that England expects too much from"certain players" while some are given extended runs.There is no doubt that Panesar's success recently is affecting Swann,its not an easy life having to constantly look behind to see who is behind.

  • Perera32 on March 20, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Swann 0/97 in (20ovs), The worlds best spinner according to english fans. Overrated spin bowler, who cannot pick up wickets in the most spin friendly ground in Sri lanka. I wonder if he'd be happy for panesar if he gets left out of the team in place for panesar. It seems England can only pick up wickets with the new ball, Good Luck England.

  • on March 20, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    Swann should focus on his cricket and competition from a better spineer in Monty rather than mouthing off about umpire decissions hand having a go at opposition players.

    We saw how honest he was when he claimed a Pakistan wicket and showed his ways by winking and a snide smile.

    It is for the umpires to give the decission and not the batsman. Swann was out of order to have a go at Dilruwan when he was given not out.

  • KingOwl on March 20, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    Swann unconcerned by competition from Panesar: Give me a break. The guy would rather Panesar did not exist. It is clear from the barely disguised anger he seems to have, both on and off the ground.

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    @zenboomerang on (March 20 2012, 07:51 AM GMT) - again I think you are right. Fans - possibly myself included - are quick to change opinions. And your comparison between Bell and Swann I think echoes mine. The difference is - to me - Swann looks much more likely to take 5 wkts than Bell is to score a 100 - even a 50. It is probably wrong of me to not trust Bopara or Patel (I trust Bopara less and Patel is unproven) and It's not so bad carrying one batsmen who is struggling but when it's 2 or 3 or more then it becomes a huge problem.

  • zenboomerang on March 20, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    @JG2704... Seems the critics jump from "great" to "failures" over a very short period of time... Swann like Bell has gone through a few hoops in the last 12 mths - but it is way short of being in poor form... He's just as likely to get a 5-for this series as not, but much will have to do with the pitches prepared - time will tell... Again it will be the batsmen that can win or lose this series - without runs to defend on SL pitches the game can swing quickly, especially with the SL batsmen being able to "turn it on" when needed... Tight bowling will be the key in hot humid conditions - keeping your cool is essential...

  • zenboomerang on March 20, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @bouncy pitch... @justtogood... All good bowlers - but young?... 17-21 is young / 23-27 developed / 29+ mature bowler - you could allow some overlap due to different maturing rates... Pattinson (21) is still a young bowler that has done well so far (& a reasonable batter) - time will tell... I for one don't like to put too much expectation on younger bowlers & prefer they develop fully before ever giving them a "great" tag - from which there is only one direction to go...

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    @bouncy-pitch on (March 19 2012, 11:37 AM GMT) Not sure if you call Broad a young bowler . given that has now established himself. You can't really say Eng would have beaten Pak with him in instead of CT . CT was probably as many's pick as Finn was and besides our batsmen would probably have found a way of losing as they did in the 2nd test. I would play Finn along with Broad , Anderson , Monty and Swann and drop a batsman but my views aren't echoed by many despite our last series results.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    @Lanky1 on (March 19 2012, 12:43 PM GMT) Time will tell if Swann is in decline. I believe he will come again and there were huge signs of improvement in the ODIs/T20s and yes I know they are different formats but he was poor in the ODIs in India so hopefully he can regain his form in the tests . Also must add that Monty has improved just as Ajmal has and it can (big improvement) happen in a very short space of time. Ajmal was pretty ordinary when he last toured England and there were Eng fans who were bringing this up pre series. 18 months later and he's devastating.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    @bobmartin on (March 19 2012, 14:54 PM GMT) I wouldn't say funny is the word I'd chose , but I totally agree with your point. Also judging by the comms I read on the Tri Series I think the SL fans are more like the Indian fans than the Pakistan fans , but maybe that's in response to the rubbish they were reading.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    @hhillbumper on (March 19 2012, 18:43 PM GMT) To be fair (re Aus fans) it is just one person (2 alias's) and I reckon we should all just ignore his posts and hope they go away. I'm sure he thrives on the volume of responses he gets. Have you ever seen him respond to a response? Re the Indian fans , to be fair there haven't been as many trolls recently. I'm not sure if you followed the tri series with Aus/SL/Ind and the hissy fits between the latter 2. To be fair when SL reached the final(s) they were worse than the Indians who were mostly being quite respectful. It predictably became less respectful when SL lost to Aus in the 1st final.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs on (March 18 2012, 21:31 PM GMT) Eng should go for 3 quicks plus Swann and Monty. Swann hyas been bowling better than Bell and Morgan have been batting and probably will bowl better than Bopara or Patel will bat too.

  • enjoyer on March 19, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    @hhillbumper : i do agree that swann is one of the top 5 spinners playing currently and lyon and doherty are not even in the frame of top 10. bangladeshi spinners bowl well than those guys . the only reason they get wickets is because of players trying to hit them out and not because of the spin and flight generated by ajmals swanns and vettoris

  • enjoyer on March 19, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    @hillbumpers ya it seems nearly after 120 years englishmen finally knew how to play cricket. but dont get so high. while england thrashed india in england we have thrashed you far worse . you have always been whitewashed india.

    England : please win a odi worldcup and try to win srilanka series so that you dontlose your no 1 spot.

    and australia .how many times have englishmen dominated australians i wish to know. how many times you have lost 5-0 4-1 to australia.

  • hhillbumper on March 19, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    Between the India and Australia fans on here it kinds of make you wonder why they don't have an ashes for the fans.The first one to three hundred hyperbolic statements about why their players are the gretest ever gets to hold the Ashes. Reality is last time we played both countries in tests we whomped them both.Neither Aus or India have any decent spinners and please don't start the one about how good Lyon is.

  • 2.14istherunrate on March 19, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    @Mayan If spinners like Swann can be found oin the streets of all Asian countries it begs the question-what are the likes of Harbhajan, Ashwin, Mishra, PChawla, Herath, Randiv, Mendis etc doing there instead.... losing tests by plenty!! @ RandyOz and joesy2- Seriously get your doctors to up your medication. it's really starting to show. Xavier Doherty and Lyon are not even half decent. They are joke spinners. The real ones are Vettori, Swann,Panesar, Ajmal,Tahir and the guy bowling for Windies yesterday. That's what decent bowlers look like. pLEASE GET HELP!!!!

  • enjoyer on March 19, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    @rahulcricket007. Sinhaya says having an average above 30 in away soil is too good for his team . so we can't really take it his comments in consideration until he ups his level to at least 40 . what say.

  • enjoyer on March 19, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    @sinhaya : it seems you did not see my link itself. i had compared statistics from 2001 to 2012 not since 1932 when india started playing cricket.

    and i too accept indias disregard for udrs. i accept udrs should be used. but presently it seems udrs is coming under completely scrutiny if u had watched sa nz test series and england pan series where there were many decisions which was nt conclusive even after using udrs.

    and by using umpires sole decision u do know that we are putting ourselves in disadvantage not oly the oppositions

  • bouncy-pitch on March 19, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    Posted by justtogood - Please check facts...Finn is under 25 (I believe 23?) What age is "young" Philander and Morkel?

    My call on Finn is unbiased as I am an Indian.

  • itsthewayuplay on March 19, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Good luck to Swann and Panesar in SL series. On another subject, I'm glad Swann has spoken candidly about the Perera incident. Whilst SL has a fighting spirit and generally make the most of their limited ability, one side of their cricket that is frequently overlooked is the spirit in which they play the game. There have been quite a quite a few instances but the ones that stick out the most for me was when India needing 1 run in an 2010 ODI to win and Sehwag on 99, Randiv bowled deliberately bowled a no-ball to deny Sehwag his 100. And secondly a similar situation arose the previous year with Tendulkar on 96 and India needed 2 runs to win, Malinga bowled 4 wides down leg side. This from someone who bowls inswinging yorkers at will. Beware Eng, it's not just the heat you will have to contend with.

  • Sinhaya on March 19, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, Sri Lanka will soon win test matches in Australia too when we go there end of this year. Sri Lanka have won tests in England and South Africa, so winning in Australia wont be any issue.

  • bobmartin on March 19, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Funny old world commenting on cricket isn't it... No matter which series is being discussed, even when India are not involved... somewhere along the line India will become the main topic... and Tendulkar will be compared to any the other batsmen playing. All strictly inconsequential, yet at the same time inevitable.

  • Sinhaya on March 19, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    @enjoyer, India got test status well before Sri Lanka so they have obviously won more tests abroad! India of course is trying to win more tests by opposing UDRS because umpiring howlers will then favor India. Remember India took 19 years to get it's first test win but Sri Lanka took barely 4 years to record it's first test win!

  • justtogood on March 19, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    @bouncy pitch - i nearly fell off my seat!!!! FINN the best young bowler in the world?? better than PHILANDER and MORKEL form SA?? Unless you think 26yrs old is old?? the dudes form SA

  • rahulcricket007 on March 19, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    @SINHAYA . IT'S TRUE THAT WE HAD LOST 8 TESTS IN A ROW IN ENG & AUS . WE PLAYED POOR CRICKET .BUT IN PAST 2 TOURS INDIA HAD DONE QUITE WELL THERE , WINNING & DRAWING IN ENG IN 2007 & 2002 . DRAWING IN AUS IN 2004 , DEFEATING THEM IN PERTH IN 2008 . HAVE YOUR SL EVEN MANAGE THAT ? HOW MANY TESTS YOU WON IN AUS ? NONE . SL HAS NOT WON A SINGLE TEST EVEN IN INDIA ( SURPRISED) . DO YOU KNOW DRAVID HAS SCORED 7 CENTURIES IN ENG SOIL . HOW MANY JAYAWARDENA SCROED ???

  • Lanky1 on March 19, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    JG2704 on (March 19 2012, 10:42 AM GMT) What you do not appreciate is Swan's dramatic decline. He was a much better bowler than Panesar probably better than Adjmal but look at his figures in the last year compared to other spinners on the same pitches. It is not that Panesar has improved, he has the same lack of variety as ever, but that Swan is not half the bowler he was before he got injured. Unless Swan can get back to where he was England need to be looking elsewhere entirely for their spinners.

  • Wharfeseamer on March 19, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    "Swann? He's the best in the world"...... Not my view but that of Shane Warne "Swann will be the leading English test wicket taker of all time" - Muttiah Muralitharan

  • bouncy-pitch on March 19, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    SL Groundsmen will provide two square turners.....Sanga and Jayawardene will hammer England's bowlers; Then its time for Herath, Randiv (who is an excellent bowler) and Mendis to get to work on the "great" English batsmen.

    2-0 Sri Lanka!

    I can't wait!

  • Black_Rider on March 19, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    @csowmi7 ::No disrespect for the great players but they were there when you guys were defeated 8-0 recently.STREAK CONTINUOUS....

  • bouncy-pitch on March 19, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    JG2704 - "I wouldn't say Finn is better than Broad"

    In my opinion, Steve Finn is the best young bowler in the world. If England had picked him in the 1st test in Dubai, instead of Tremlett, the result would have been different. He along with Kohli are the two superstars in waiting from the next generation.

  • on March 19, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    spinners like swann can be found in streets in india,srilanka,pak,bangladesh

  • anver777 on March 19, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Its very rare in the Eng XI, to have a bit of competition between slow bowlers (Ace Spinners))...... otherwise the fight is always among the fastmen in the country !!! In the past even in slow pitches they've gone with all pace attack with a solitary spinner !!!

  • Aussiesfalling on March 19, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    RandyOz seems to reckon that you need to take more than 200 Test wickets to release a book. I disagree. If Ed Cowan can release a book before he even played a match for the Ockers, then Swann can. To be fair to the English press, it was not them who placed this 'journeyman' at No2 in the Test bowling rankings. As for Lyon, he is a decent off-spinner, but he is no Horitz.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    predictable lot of trolling here. Monty and Swann will probably play both tests so no problem there. Right now if we had to play one or the other - on bowling form alone I'd have to chose Monty. Having said that , this is no disrespect to Swann who is still more of an asset than our number 5 and 6 batsmen.If the pitch conditions are at all suitable for spin bowling , I'd rather have 2 quality spinners at the expense of a mediocre batsman.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    @cjscanada on (March 18 2012, 23:01 PM GMT) Why do people like you take selective figures out to try and make a player look worse than he is? His overall average in tests is under 29 and economy is less than 3.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    @anuradha_d on (March 19 2012, 00:39 AM GMT) Would you not say Broad is an automatic choice? Personally I wouldn't say Finn is better than Broad but that is for another debate.

  • csowmi7 on March 19, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    @sinhaya lol averages over 30 overseas. Tendulkar averages over 48 overseas and Dravid over 45.

  • BifferSpice on March 19, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    RandyOZ. yeah, he's always been pretty poor. i mean obviously the stats had him as the number one spinner in the world for quite some time, and is now only the second best spinner in the world behind ajmal, and sixth best bowler. pretty poor, i'm sure you'll agree. i'm sure you're much better. as long as you're ajmal. otherwise you're not.

  • jmcilhinney on March 19, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    I really hope that RandyOZ doesn't work in the legal or law-enforcement professions because evidence seems to have no meaning to him. Evidence says someone on your team is ordinary? Forget it. They're on your team so they must be good. Evidence says someone on the other team is good? Forget it. They're on the other team so they must be rubbish. Swann's figures in Pakistan were better than Nathan Lyon's career? Forget it. Proves outright that Swann's useless and Lyon is world class. It takes a triple century from Michael Clarke to get his avregare above Ian Bell's? Forget it. Bell's a journeyman. Pat cummins has only played one Test and broken down? Forget it. He's the best bowler in the world, or was it just in the top three? I guess when the reality is that you're once-great team is now ordinary with no prospect of greatness again, Randyland must be an attractive place to hide.

  • Mooky on March 19, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Go Swann and Monty, strange hearing the Aussies talking about spinners, think they would take either of ours at the moment

  • StoneRose on March 19, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    Due to Flower's ethos, if both are available, Monty will never play ahead of Swann. Same reason why KP will never be dropped from the Test team

  • amolakkalra on March 19, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Monty rocks- GO MONTY!!!!

  • RandyOZ on March 19, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    The thing is, Swann has never been any good. The English press hyped him up so much that he released a book with less than 200 test wickets to his name, as an aging 30-something year old journeyman. Monty has now started to bowl somewhat better (although still not in the same league as Lyon) and Swann has been shown to be what most of us non-English knew; a very average spinner.

  • on March 19, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    @ David Wise , swan have done nothing against SL,IND, not even against australia,what did he achieved in aus as a bowler? how many wickets he got in last summer against sl and ind? nothing, he never done well against those countries who play spin well, he just had 2 home series against bd and (stupid)pak @ home and all of sudden he became number 1, but his greatest test as a bowler against aus,ind,sl , he failed miserably

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on March 19, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    @jonesy2 - your comments are better suited for page2 , what is going to be your next gr8 finding ? that ed cowan is better than alastair cook ? ?

  • jmcilhinney on March 19, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    @Clive_Dunn, there's no way Swann could have a doosra bowling with a "classic" off-spinner's action. Nathan Lyon is in the same boat. Swann has said himself that he tried it but it required him to change his action so much that it was telegraphed and therefore useless. Obviously Ajmal's biggest weapon is the fact that he disguises it so well. As for bending the arm, I didn't know this myself until recent articles on this site but the rules allow a bowler to bend their arm as much as they want and always have. The restriction that was relaxed was that previously your arm had to finish with the same angle at the elbow after the delivery as before, whereas now you are allowed to straighten your arm up to fifteen degrees during delivery. Ajmal's action looks dodgy because his elbow is so bent to begin with but he actually straightens it much less than many other bowlers, including many fast bowlers.

  • enjoyer on March 19, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    @sinhaya http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;home_or_away=1;result=1;result=2;result=3;result=4;spanmin1=01+Jan+2001;spanval1=span;template=results;type=team

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;home_or_away=2;result=1;result=2;result=3;result=4;spanmin1=01+Jan+2001;spanval1=span;template=results;type=team

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;home_or_away=1;home_or_away=2;home_or_away=3;opposition=8;result=1;result=2;result=3;result=4;spanmin1=01+Jan+2001;spanval1=span;team=6;template=results;type=team

    India have a better home and away record than srilanka in both home and away series. Please check the win loss ratio and also head to head

  • enjoyer on March 19, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    @sinhaya : seriously do you think srilankan players are better outside than india . let us take into consideration how many away(outside subcontinent) series india and srilanka have won . Srilanka have been drubbed many a times. ajantha mendis ur so called bowler was pummeled by india and pakistan and now he is unheard of. if not murali and vaas u would not be in picture. how many series u have lost mate in the past 3 years against india. try to win a game in asia cup .

    these are the stats mate Australia 2001-2011 59 32 16 0 11 2.00 38.97 3.54 674 47 India 2001-2012 73 23 28 0 22 0.82 34.94 3.29 707 99 South Africa 2001-2012 56 22 18 0 16 1.22 39.60 2.97 682 121 England 2001-2011 63 20 23 0 20 0.86 33.82 3.02 644 51 Pakistan 2001-2011 53 18 25 0 10 0.72 30.84 3.18 594 72 Sri Lanka 2001-2012 45 12 22 0 11 0.54 32.61 3.29 760 82

    india are second best . just because of 2 seruies doesnt change it.u r just above nz,westindies , bangladesh.

  • on March 19, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    Englans has a good chance of winning this series. Last time also they did well here in Sri Lanka And they are more confident than Sri Lankans.

  • ashish514 on March 19, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    @Clive_Dunn- The regulations allow you to bend your arm, if you don't straighten it back

  • on March 19, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    There has been a lot of rubbish posted in the comments so far. First of all, Swann is not an 'overrated' bowler. If you have that opinion your cricket knowledge is inept quite frankly. Ever since his second spell in the England side he has been one of the key components that has brough the test side to number one. Secondly, panesar is not 'clearly' better than swann. If you look at the cold stats Swann is superior. Swann has got 166 wickets in 39 tests with an average 28.53 and SR of 57. Whilst Monty has got less wickets in more tests with 140 wickets in 41 test matches. At an average of 33 and SR of 77. It is true in the recent series Panesar out performed Swann. Panesar did play well, but the higher percentage of right handers played into montys hands. Unless something remarkable happens, Swann will be the Specialist when the WI arrive in May.

  • on March 19, 2012, 3:14 GMT

    @ trickec why u always talk abt indian averages outside home!!!!??? which team has played well in india except south africa??? aussies ,england? srilanka??? and wat u say abt aussies getting banged at ashes at england??? england's great series at UAE against pakistan???

  • Meety on March 19, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge - LOL! I rate Swann highly, but he has never run thru the Ozzys or Indians! he actually averages OVER 40 against them. @johnathonjosephs - whilst Oz showed a 3/1 pace split can work in SL, I think England will still go 2/2. @jonesy2 - well done matey, 6 retorts & climbing! LOL! == == == The difference between Pakistan in UAE & SL in SL is the SL batsmen should play Panesar & Swann a lot better & have more patience in general than Paki batsmen, conversely their bowling is considerably weaker. I think SL will struggle to win a test, but they'll be much harder to beat than Pakistan. I do see the potential of at least ONE England collapse in the series.

  • Sinhaya on March 19, 2012, 1:07 GMT

    @onlyIndiathebest, what nonsence are you talking! Mahela averages over 30 overseas and Sanga too averages over 30 overseas! So does Thilan Samaraweera, Dinesh Chandimal along with Dilshan. You Indians have lost 8 tests in a row overseas. Sri Lankans will never be beaten by England! We are all out to win 2-0!

  • anuradha_d on March 19, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    well let's see what Eng do here? for a long time they have been guilty of choosing bowlers for their batting skills...and that worked in seaming condirtions.......outside England this will sink them...many said.....and they sank against Pakistan....who are automatic selections as bowlers??....IMO Anderson and Panesar...but the latter did not play the first test against Pak....will he play if they pick only one spinner??.....adn Finn shound be the 3rd automatic....he is clearly Eng''s best pace bolwer even ahead of Tremlett......but he has not played a test for the last 10 tests Eng have played ??

  • maddy20 on March 19, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    Going with three fast bowlers on subcontinental tracks is suicide. One of the resons why Aus consistently struggled in India(barring one series way bck in 2003). The ball slows down quite a bit after it pitches and there will be no swing at the start of the innings. Reverse swing comes into play only in the later stages. With the conditions as hot as they are(believe me it will get hotter) pitch will crack up sooner than usual. Spinners will rule, especially on the 4 and 5th days!

  • steve19191 on March 18, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    To be fair to Jonesey, its true Englands stats are bloated of late, too much cricket played against the weak Aussies does that.

  • landl47 on March 18, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    @trickstar: your point was just proved.

  • jmcilhinney on March 18, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    @Whip, I'm not sure what anyone's ODI record has to with anything at the moment, given that this tour contains 2 Tests and nothing else.

  • jmcilhinney on March 18, 2012, 23:11 GMT

    @jonesy2, funny how every single English player is average and overrated, yet they pummelled Australia 3-1 in Australia last meeting. What does that make Australia? What exactly are you basing this rating of Lyon on? People keep saying that Swann had a bad series in UAE yet his average, strike rate and economy rate were all better than Lyon's career stats and his stats in SL, where he was supposed to be such a great find. He got one 5-for and did basically nothing else on that first tour. I haven't checked his other series but I doubt we'll many, if any, figures better than what was allegedly a bad tour for Swann.

  • JG2704 on March 18, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    @Sinhaya on (March 18 2012, 17:33 PM GMT What has your comment got to do with the topic of Swann and Monty's battle for the number one spinner spot in the English team?

  • cjscanada on March 18, 2012, 23:01 GMT

    Haha "Front Foot`take a back foot there buddy. If you consider an average of 40+ good in Tests against Australia and India, you will find a hell of a lot bowler before him. If you refer ODI`s against India of 39.5 avg. and 5.37 eco rate is high standard, you gotta be kidding. Do yourself some good and go check Swann out. Swann is a decent bowler. I would put Ajmal in the same league as Murali and Warne. He is a class bowler. Swan can just dream on. All the best Sri Lanka. I enjoy your style of play.

  • trickec on March 18, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    @onlyIndiathebest your stats are completely wrong. It's the Indian batsman who can't score outside of india...Test series averages against australia????

  • Admin007 on March 18, 2012, 22:18 GMT

    I Don't Think Spinners May Cause Srilanka Big Trouble Bcoz SL Players are Experience And Good At Playing Spinners So England has to Play with Three Fast Bowlers.

  • on March 18, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    @jonesy, Swann s better than lyon and doherty combined! it's a joke to say that Doherty is the best ODI spinner let alone saying lyon is the best test spinner

  • onlyIndiathebest on March 18, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    Sri Lanka will eagerly look forward to improve thier batting averages. If you ignore Mahela's performance in SL his ave is only 22 ish. Same goes with all thier other batsmen

  • Clive_Dunn on March 18, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Lyon the best test spinner and Doherty the best ODI spinner ? Back to the nuthouse Jonesy. If Swann had a doosra he'd be the best spinner in the world, of course this would also require him to bend his arm more than the regulations allow.

  • johnathonjosephs on March 18, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    Swannie's bowling hasn't been biting in recent times. England SHOULD go with 3 quicks, because that is their strength and they are all in form (Finn, Anderson, Broad), so the question is Panesar over Swann? Recent form in the last 6 months suggests Swann should be dropped. But will England do that? No, they won't... And it might cost them the game

  • on March 18, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    Swann is by no means an overrated player his stats prove it. However, he is def not in the league of Warne or Murali and will probably never be. On turning tracks in SL against batsmen who have not seen much turn in over 2 months (since SL were in Aussie and SA) he will be a handful.

  • thebrownie on March 18, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    @Jonesy2, are you watching the cricket happening on planet earth? Lyon - Best Test Spinner???? Doherthy - Best ODI Spinner???? Seriously??? Oh, did you mean they are the best Aussie spinners?

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on March 18, 2012, 20:24 GMT

    @jonesy2 - lyon the best test spinner ? ha ha nice one , he will become a good spinner with a few more years of international experience , doherty is decent at best , swann and ajmal are the best spinners in the world right now , accept it mate.. am not an England fan but i do think they are the best side in world at the moment , and Australia is going to have a really tough time trying to win back the ashes (i like Aussies more than England but its the hard fact) - from a neutral fan

  • hhillbumper on March 18, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    Jonesey 2 the font of all knowledge.Lyon greatest test and Doherty greatest 1 day bowler.Does the term irony work in Australia or do we need to spell it out for you and draw a couple of pictures. Tell you what here is a hint.What do you call a decnt Aussie spinner? A commentator

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 18, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    "Feeling the Pressure"? Swann's spent the last two years being the best spinner in the world. Now he's lost a bit of form and the ever-threatening Paneser is taking the wickets, I don't think he'll be very threatened; he clearly sets high standards for himself. It's only a matter of time before he runs through a side again, like he did countless times against the Australians, Indians or anyone else for that matter.

  • cricket4evar on March 18, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    I think the lankans are going to to have a home series win here in lanka. Respect to england but they are out of their element here in Sl just like they were in abu dhabi. Good luck and monty :-)

  • on March 18, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    he is just over-rated, Sooner or later swann will be out of the test team, Monty is way better than Swann

  • Whip on March 18, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    Apart from Alastair Cook who is the best batsman right now, and Steven Finn and Jimmy Anderson who have an ability to take wickets at will, England is an ordinary ODI team. But, as long Sri Lanka can bat deep and bowl in the corridor, they can triumph England, which has a poor ODI record. Good luck Sri Lanka.

  • on March 18, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    @ Trickstar, wow man u just showed us ur cricket knowledge , LMAO Trickstar exclusive "swan is easily the best spin bowler in the world across all the formats, Breaking news england haven't won a series in sub continent in last decade +, bottom line, nathan lyon got 5 wickets against SL so if swan couldnt get 5 then Nathan Lyon is better than swan according to Trickstar cricketing book,

  • csowmi7 on March 18, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    @jonesy2 Ajmal is definitely the best but Lyon second in test cricket? He did nothing against India except pick up a few wickets in the final test off a few full tosses. Even Ashwin took more wickets than him in the series and took 22 wickets in his debut series against WI including a nine wicket haul on debut. Doherty is alright but the best in ODIs I'm not sure. Still hasn't accomplished much like Ajmal, Swann, Vettori and Afridi.

  • RanilDeSIlva on March 18, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    Swann is unarguably the best Tweeter in the world.. but he is a very over-rated spinner for sure...

  • balajik1968 on March 18, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Let's wait and watch, it will be an interesting series. Sri Lanka have struggled in Tests post Murali. It is only recently that they seem to have come to terms with that. England will be looking to put behind the way Ajmal, Rahman and Gul outplayed them in the UAE. The Sri Lankans will be tested by some disciplined bowling. Dilshan, Sangakkara and Jayawardene all need to fire and the others also need to come to the party. They have to bat long and bat big.

  • jonesy2 on March 18, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    @Trickstar - how exactly is he the best spinner over all formats? aside from ajmal, vettori is the best across all formats, lyon is the best test spinner and doherty the best one day spinner. yes he has always been overrated, he plays for england though all their average players are overrated.

  • Sinhaya on March 18, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    Remember Sri Lanka won both their practice matches when on tour to England last year. So England winning the first warm up game has no bearing at all. Sri Lankan's will be raring to go at home and victory in the test matches is a certainty for Sri Lanka!

  • Trickstar on March 18, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    LOL how exactly is he fading away, along with Ajmal is easily the best spin bowler in the world across all the formats, only someone who knows absolutely zero about cricket would say otherwise. @NaniIndCri Ha ha ha this is the same SL that couldn't even handle the likes of Nathan Lyon, yes righto.

  • on March 18, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    swan is a very likable man, but very overrated bowler ,no suprice now he's fading away,

  • NaniIndCri on March 18, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    He's always been overrated, SL will thrash him in their home.

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  • NaniIndCri on March 18, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    He's always been overrated, SL will thrash him in their home.

  • on March 18, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    swan is a very likable man, but very overrated bowler ,no suprice now he's fading away,

  • Trickstar on March 18, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    LOL how exactly is he fading away, along with Ajmal is easily the best spin bowler in the world across all the formats, only someone who knows absolutely zero about cricket would say otherwise. @NaniIndCri Ha ha ha this is the same SL that couldn't even handle the likes of Nathan Lyon, yes righto.

  • Sinhaya on March 18, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    Remember Sri Lanka won both their practice matches when on tour to England last year. So England winning the first warm up game has no bearing at all. Sri Lankan's will be raring to go at home and victory in the test matches is a certainty for Sri Lanka!

  • jonesy2 on March 18, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    @Trickstar - how exactly is he the best spinner over all formats? aside from ajmal, vettori is the best across all formats, lyon is the best test spinner and doherty the best one day spinner. yes he has always been overrated, he plays for england though all their average players are overrated.

  • balajik1968 on March 18, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Let's wait and watch, it will be an interesting series. Sri Lanka have struggled in Tests post Murali. It is only recently that they seem to have come to terms with that. England will be looking to put behind the way Ajmal, Rahman and Gul outplayed them in the UAE. The Sri Lankans will be tested by some disciplined bowling. Dilshan, Sangakkara and Jayawardene all need to fire and the others also need to come to the party. They have to bat long and bat big.

  • RanilDeSIlva on March 18, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    Swann is unarguably the best Tweeter in the world.. but he is a very over-rated spinner for sure...

  • csowmi7 on March 18, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    @jonesy2 Ajmal is definitely the best but Lyon second in test cricket? He did nothing against India except pick up a few wickets in the final test off a few full tosses. Even Ashwin took more wickets than him in the series and took 22 wickets in his debut series against WI including a nine wicket haul on debut. Doherty is alright but the best in ODIs I'm not sure. Still hasn't accomplished much like Ajmal, Swann, Vettori and Afridi.

  • on March 18, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    @ Trickstar, wow man u just showed us ur cricket knowledge , LMAO Trickstar exclusive "swan is easily the best spin bowler in the world across all the formats, Breaking news england haven't won a series in sub continent in last decade +, bottom line, nathan lyon got 5 wickets against SL so if swan couldnt get 5 then Nathan Lyon is better than swan according to Trickstar cricketing book,

  • Whip on March 18, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    Apart from Alastair Cook who is the best batsman right now, and Steven Finn and Jimmy Anderson who have an ability to take wickets at will, England is an ordinary ODI team. But, as long Sri Lanka can bat deep and bowl in the corridor, they can triumph England, which has a poor ODI record. Good luck Sri Lanka.