England's two-month break not the reason behind defeat: Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann said England lost because they did not bat well enough against Pakistan’s spin bowlers © Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

 

Dubai: Feb 8, 2012

 

England spinner Graeme Swann on Wednesday rubbished national coach Andy Flower’s claim that his side’s lengthy two-month break was the reason behind their poor show in Test series against Pakistan in UAE.

 

Swann wrote, “I believe we have the right personnel, it is just a matter of confidence. I don’t accept that spending some rare time at home in November and December contributed to our loss here.”

 

“It was the first time in 20 years that England players have been at home for the two months leading up to Christmas. If players are to retain the energy levels and passions needed to play for England, selective breaks are crucial,” he wrote in his column for The Sun.

 

The right-arm off spinner also rubbished the talks that England players were complacent ahead of taking on a low-ranked Pakistan side.

 

“To me, they are just excuses. We lost because we did not bat well enough against Pakistan’s spin bowlers.

 

“Our stated ambition is to be acknowledged as one of the best teams ever — alongside the Windies of the 1980s and the Aussies of the 1990s and 2000s. We want to leave a legacy of excellence,” he wrote.

 

“But that isn’t going to happen unless we learn to cope better with the complexities of batting against men such as Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman.

 

“And learn fast, too, because we have a two-Test tour of Sri Lanka next month and four Tests in India later this year,” Swann added.

 

Swann defended England players and said their goal is to extend their stay at the top spot in ICC Test rankings.

 

“Some people have also suggested we accepted too many plaudits and backslaps after reaching No 1 and took our feet off the pedal. Again that is very easy to say. This is a very committed bunch, complacency is a no-go area.

 

“If we’d chased 145 in the second Test and built a decent first-innings total in the Third Test, many of these questions would not be asked.

 

“That’s the infuriating thing — we believe we should have won the series. But that will not blind us to our deficiencies. At other times, we were awful,” he added.