Swanny – King of Spin

The two rival camps preparing for the start of the Ashes this week could hardly be more different. Australia look disorganised, ill-prepared and riddled with in-fighting over a range of issues, from who should be captain, right down to who should be their first choice spinner. The England team on the other hand, seem calm and composed, with no such question marks over selection or loyalty.

The fact that all cricket betting pundits note that Graeme Swann is by far and away our most consistent and efficient spin bowler – despite Monty Panesar’s recent impressive return of 3-63 from his 28 overs in the second innings of the recent triumph over Australia ‘A’ – makes the selectors job that bit easier, and certainly gives the media no excuse to whip up a divisive story in the same vein as the one currently raging over the selection of Xavier Doherty at the expense of long-term servant Nathan Hauritz.

In his warm-up matches, Swann produced collated figures of 9-229 from his 72 overs – which look more than healthy for any bowler – and further to that, he also added 25 runs against South Australia as well as a spirited 37 (not out) from just 25 deliveries against Western Australia: for all Panesar’s many strengths, he could only dream of such a return with the bat. Understandably, he was left out of the fixture against Australia ‘A’, his place in the first Test already booked.

A big fan of his is his former England compatriot, Phil Tufnell, having toured South Africa with him in 1999-2000:

“The Australians know if they just hang around he’s a good enough bowler to get them out. It won’t faze him at all if the Aussies decide to get stuck into him, he’s that type of character – whether it’s the first day and the wicket’s flat or it’s a green seamer, you throw him the ball and he believes he can get people out.”

It’s often said that belief is the key to success, and if this is the case, then Swann will give us a real edge when it comes to the cricket odds down under. We believe in him; he believes in himself – now its just time to convince the Aussies.

 

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