India not blessed with “mystery spinner” like Saeed Ajmal, feels Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann believes England’s inability to play spin well is more of a mental issue than a technical one © Getty Images
New Delhi: Nov 7, 2012
England‘s lead spinner Graeme Swann feels that Indian tweakers will not be a threat to English batsmen on the turning tracks of the sub-continent.
England have managed to win just two of the 22 Test matches — excluding matches against Bangladesh — in the sub-continent struggling against the spinners but this time Swann feels that the batsmen would do well on the “traditional pitches” of India.
England were whitewashed 3-0 by Pakistan in the Test series hosted by United Arab Emirates earlier this year and drew a two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in April.
During three Tests against Pakistan, England struggled against unorthodox spinner Saeed Ajmal, who claimed 24 wickets in three Tests.
“I think last winter was a bit different,” Swann was quoted as saying by cricket website.
“First of all, when we played in Dubai that was not really the subcontinent, that wicket was very unique in the sense that it was very skiddy and span as well. India’s wickets are more traditional, more what people are used to, so I would be very surprised if that happened again,” Swann was speaking at a spin session organised by Rubicon.
Swann rated Saeed Ajmal as a top mystery spinner and said India lacks a bowler like the Pakistani.
“Secondly, we were bowled out by a mystery spinner (Ajmal) that batsmen could not pick. India are not really blessed with a mystery spinner like that.”
Asked about England’s inability to play spin, Swann said: “That has been levelled at us for a few years now and justifiably so. We have had a poor record against spin bowling over there. I think that is more of a mental thing now because the wickets are not that different around the world. Certainly the wickets we played on in Sri Lanka were not really spin friendly.
“They were not any different to playing at Old Trafford or Trent Bridge. They tend to spin more on day four and five but at times like that we need to forget where we are playing and just go out and play the ball as it comes down.”
Swann said the experience from the Test series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka will stand in good stead for the English batsmen during the India series.
“I think we went into our shells a bit in the UAE and suffered as a consequence. We have learned, certainly as batsmen, that you have to be positive and you have to be more aggressive when you bat. We have got so much talent in the squad that I would not be surprised if we went to India in the Test series and really dominated with the bat,” he said.