Graeme Swann picked all of the four Indian wickets on Day One of the first Test match at Ahmedabad © PTI
Ahmedabad: Nov 16, 2012
England off spinner Graeme Swann has admitted that though he is delighted to get rid of Virat Kohli early on the first day of the first Test match, the dismissal was owing to luck.
He said, “I was fortunate that the ball was changed after the quarter-seam exploded on the soft ball. The replacement was a touch harder. This one just hit a pebble and turned square.
“It’s always my favourite way to get a batsman out; bowled through the gate, especially a player as good as Kohli”
Swann, who bagged four wickets on Thursday, became the most successful off-spinner in England’s history, surpassing Jim Laker, with 196 wickets.
Swann said he was humbled by the achievement. He was quoted by The Hindu as saying, “It is a proud moment. I always say I’m not a stats man, but when people told me I was near Jim Laker I was genuinely excited. When you’re growing up these are the famous names of the game…you don’t even dream of emulating them, let alone going past them.”
Jonathan Trott, who was in the thick of a controversy on Day One for claiming a dropped catch, found support in Swann.
Swann said, “It’s a very difficult position to field, especially to a spin bowler. You’re very close to the bat and don’t get any reaction time. Sometimes they just don’t stick. It’s a very difficult place to field, but he’s (Trott) is the man for the job.”
Out of the four wickets claimed on Thursday, the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar made the off-spinner proud.
He said, “The noise that erupted in the ground when he walked out to bat — before he even comes out to the middle — you know who it is. It’s always nice to get him out, and get him out early. Let’s face it, he’s the greatest player still playing the game.”
By claiming all the Indian wickets fallen on Day One, Swann, undoubtedly, was England’s best bowler. The fast bowlers did not get much assistance off the pitch but the off-spinner felt the pitch at the Motera Stadium was a good one.
“If you look at the footage you will find that very few balls have turned. Towards the end there was a bit of turn, but I don’t think that necessarily makes a bad Test wicket,” said Swann. “It’s very flat for the seamers. You could argue that it’s a good Test pitch. I will say that because I’ve got four wickets.”