Posts Tagged ‘Graeme Swann’

Written by Rod Crowley: Were the England cricket team, their fans and the media far too optimistic for their own good when believing that they could beat a Pakistan team on a pitch that is completely suited to sub-continent teams?

After all, England’s record in test match cricket in recent years on the sub-continent has been dismal, so why should we have expected anything other than the humbling the England team were given in the first test in Dubai?

Perhaps it is because England are now the number one test cricket nation in the world and have a team that can bat in depth with a bowling line-up that is arguably the best we have had since the Botham/Willis era.
This match proved if nothing else that rankings are futile in cricket, because outcomes of matches are decided on the surfaces of the pitches and whilst England would have possibly reversed the result at Lords they were simply outclassed by Pakistan on a sub-continent style Dubai pitch.

Perhaps the rankings should carry a caveat with something like “England are the best test cricket team in the world but not in the sub-continent”, that would certainly make more sense, particularly should they lose the second test which starts on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.

There is no doubt that the 10 wicket massacre sent shockwaves through the England camp and although plenty of blame can be placed upon the poor decision making of the England batsmen, the match was really lost by the bowling feats of Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul. Add to the mix that four of the Pakistani batsmen made fifty or more tells its own story.

There was also the small matter of national pride for England to contend with. Pakistan are remain extremely embarrassed by the spot fixing scandal that saw three of their top players jailed for the parts that they played and knew that victory over England would go a long way to burying that nightmare.

Perhaps in some respects England were lucky that the spot fixing scandal happened otherwise they would have been up against an even stronger team.

Only Matt Prior, Graeme Swann and possibly Jonathan Trott can come away from the first test with any batting credit, which is quite embarrassing as two of these three players bat in the lower order. Swann of course also weighed in with four wickets and Prior, proving to be an outstanding wicket-keeper these days took three catches.

For Pakistan and England cannot say they were not warned, Ajmal was always the man that could destroy them and he did just that. In fact he was a revelation coming away from the match with ten wickets, seven of them in the first innings which more than anything else was the reason why Pakistan won so convincingly.

Gul of course ripped out the top order of the England batting line up in the second innings with a devastating spell of bowling where only Trott managed to handle him. He was helped by three further wickets from Ajmal and three from the unorthodox spin of Abdur Rehman.

In the batting stakes Pakistan managed to ‘run considerable salt into England first innings wounds’ by managing an opening wicket stand of 114 between Mohammad Hafeez and Taudeeq Umar.

Both went beyond fifty with Hafeez top scoring for his team with an excellent 88. There were also fifties for the captain Misbaq ul Haq and Adman Akmal.

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Graeme Swann is hoping that Samit Patel has learned his lesson since he was last called up for the England team, Patel last featured for England three years ago and Patel has not been selected for a while due to his own fault.

Swann believes that Patel needs to show discipline and now that Samit has been thrown a lifeline to redeem himself after being selected for England’s limited over’s game against Sri Lanka, which is due to start on Saturday.

“I think he’s going in the right direction, but I certainly don’t think he’s there yet,” he said.

Swann has questioned whether he is ready to play for England and the spinner wasn’t particularly impressed after Patel failed to achieve minimum standards of general fitness and is hoping that he has learned his lesson.

Graeme Swann added; “It doesn’t frustrate me but it should frustrate him. Actually, I suppose it does frustrate me – you just think, ‘what an idiot’.

“But I suppose a lot of people thought the same about me for a long time.

“Samit has talent, but it’s whether he has decided he has what it takes to have an international career. That’s the whole point.

“It’s not just being overweight; it’s the reluctance to buy into the discipline. That was his downfall.

“If you can’t even be bothered to do that, how will you buy into all the team principles and be trusted by the rest of the team?”

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The ECB today announced that Jonathan Trott and Lydia Greenway have won the ECB Men’s and Women’s Cricketer of the Year awards respectively, whilst batsman Umesh Valjee from West London received the England Disability Cricketer of the Year award.

The winner of the ECB Men’s Cricketer of the Year, Jonathan Trott, was selected by the British cricket media. The award is given to the player that has had the greatest impact on England’s performances, since the start of the 2010 international season until the final match of the World Cup.

In that time Trott has enjoyed a hugely successful year, playing 32 times for his country and scoring 2,246 runs at an average of 68.06. This included seven centuries and a highest score of 226, scored against Bangladesh at Lord’s last summer.

During the Ashes his average of 89 was second only to Alastair Cook, whilst his first over run-out of Simon Katich during the second Test in Adelaide helped set England on the road to Ashes victory.

In winning the award, Trott saw off strong competition from his England colleagues Cook, Andrew Strauss, James Anderson and Graeme Swann.

“I am both extremely humbled and proud to have been named England Cricketer of the Year after what has clearly been the most enjoyable year of my cricketing career so far.

“It is an honour to represent England and it has been a privilege to be involved in such a successful, hard-working team. I wouldn’t have won this award with the commitment and support of my team-mates.

“This award really belongs to the entire England squad and management team that have provided such a supportive and professional environment that has allowed me to prosper as a cricketer and a person.

“There is still much hard work to be done and improvement to be made and I look forward to making further contributions to a successful England team for a long as possible.”

Andrew Strauss lead the plaudits as England won the 1st test against Sri Lanka today, especially to the bowling attack with saw the visitors bowled out for 82 inside 25 overs.

Graeme Swann claimed 4-16 while Chris Tremlett picked up 4-40 as Sri Lanka were taken out piece by piece.

It was thought that the game was heading for a draw after rain hit most of the first few days, but the England bowlers stood up and took the game to Sri Lanka defeating the tourists by an innings and 14 runs.

“I don’t think any of us thought it was hugely possible to get this result, but we knew we could have 50 overs to apply some pressure,” said Strauss.

“There was some outstanding bowling from Chris Tremlett with the new ball, Stuart Broad as well, with Graeme Swann backing them up.

“We were on the receiving end of a similar result in Adelaide four years ago, and you can never relax in this game.

“We got some early wickets and then we went on.”

Swann Wants T20 & ODI Success

Posted: January 13, 2011 in Uncategorized
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England spinner Graeme Swann wants England to maintain their winning ways by beating Australia in the upcoming two T20 matches, followed by seven One Day Internationals.

Both sides will be looking to fine-tune their preparations for the forthcoming World Cup which starts in February.

England pulled off an historic win by retaining the Ashes, winning the series in Australia. The first time this has been achieved for twenty four years, the spinner wants to make put the icing on the cake with a winter to remember by winning the T20 and ODI matches.

“It’s nice to win the Ashes, I won’t lie to you,” said Swann.

“It’s been a great tour for us so far and the worst thing for us would be if we stuttered and stopped at the end of the tour.

“We want to go home to 50,000 people at Heathrow cheering us which, if we lose the one-dayers, might be down to about 40,000.”

He added: “It’s important that we show the good one-day form we’ve shown recently because we want to be number one in all forms.

“Let’s face it we were (ranked) number seven or eight not so long ago and we were garbage.

“We’ve had some very good series results recently. We beat the Australians at home last year and we won the Twenty20 in Barbados to win that World Cup.

“Both teams have changed quite a bit since then so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”

Swann Plays Down Warne Return

Posted: December 9, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Graeme Swann says Shane Warne won’t return

England spinner Graeme Swann has played down speculation that Legendary Australian bowler Shane Warne will come back out of retirement for the remainder or the Ashes tour.

“I very much doubt that Shane Warne would come out of retirement to play just in these three games,” said Swann.

Much of the media has suggested that Australia’s all-time leading wicket taker could return to Test cricket after England’s dominant innings-and-71-run win in Adelaide and Australia going 1-0 down in the series after the second test.

“It’s very good for us that the Aussies are doing this and the Aussie public are looking for Shane to get back in.

“He’s not played any cricket for so long. We’ll just carry on as we are and let the Aussies worry about that.”

Can England bowl Australia out

England will be hoping for six quick wickets tomorrow when the final session gets underway, England had earlier declared on 620-5 after adding 69 in nine overs, with Pietersen out for a Test-best of 227, Ian Bell reached 68 and Matt Prior 27.

England left themselves nearly two days to bowl out their hosts at the Adelaide Oval. In reply Australia notched up 238 runs, with Pietersen taking the key wicket of the session,

Australia started there second innings with Shane Watson hitting 57 and Simon Kaitch who was struggling with an Achilles injury registered 43 runs, the Aussie’s started to fight back with an opening stand of 84 before Watson was bowled by Finn and caught by Strauss.

Graeme Swann took two early-afternoon wickets seeing off Simon Kaitch and Captain Ricky Ponting who only managed 9 runs after being caught low down to his left by Paul Collingwood at slip…

Michael Clarke then went on to hit 80 runs and Mike Hussey 44 not out, they were a constant thorn in England’s side, having frustrated the visitors. The tourists had done well to reduce 134-3, with Graeme Swann (2-72) striking twice and Steven Finn claiming his eighth wicket of the series.

With the last ball of the day Kevin Pietersen bowled Michael Clarke, who refused to walk but after an official review the decision was made that Clarke was given out.

Graeme Swann has said that if England is able repeat the level of performance they reached today then they can secure the win.

He added; “We need a bit to go our way in that first session and we need to bowl as well as we did today,”

“I think that if we can do that we can win this game.

“Is will be a case of sticking to our guns and seeing what happens.”

Speaking on Kevin Pietersen’s last ball, who earlier had a record-breaking test score of 227, the spinner added; “We toiled hard in the last session and a half with very little luck so some time you need a bit of inspiration,” said Swann.

“Who else but KP to come on and give you it?

“He went straight in and said ‘I’m an all-rounder, I’m an all-rounder’ and I still think he is in there shouting it now.”

Can England do it or will Australia bat out the whole day with only seven wickets remaining?