If we weren’t doomed before … Swanny says he expects England to ‘dominate’ India’s spinners
Graeme Swann is one of our favourite cricketers. We love him to death here at TFT. But sometimes, just sometimes, he’s a bit like that embarrassing girlfriend you used to have – you know, the quirky one you really fancied but none of your friends got. Sometimes you just wish they’d shut up.
England have prepared really hard for this upcoming series against India. Gooch and Flower have had the batsmen practicing with crowd noise bellowing out of speakers. The top order have faced a million overs from Merlin in the nets. But thanks to Swanny, all that has gone out of the window. Why? Because he’s just said, very publically, that India don’t possess any mystery spinners and he wouldn’t be surprised if our batsmen dominate. That’s us screwed then.
India don’t need a lot of incentive to beat England. We are, after all, their former imperial masters who thrashed them four nil last year. However, we reckon Swann’s just written Duncan Fletcher’s team talk for him.
Saying that England’s troubles in the UAE came against mystery spin, and that Ashwin and Ojha don’t have any ‘mystery’ about them, is likely to backfire big time. Besides, Ashwin does actually have a rather useful carrom ball. You’d have thought the England lads would have sussed that out after all those hours of meticulous preparation.
Why oh why do England always shoot themselves in the foot before series in India?
Do you remember the time in the 1990s when Keith Fletcher went on a scouting mission to watch Anil Kumble? He announced that England should be big favourites because ‘our spinners are much better than theirs’ and ‘ Kumble is just a medium pacer who doesn’t turn it’. A month later Kumble had several five-fors under his belt whilst John Emburey had been eaten alive by Navjot Singh Sidhu.
It’s all very well being optimistic. We admit we’re far too pessimistic sometimes (that’s what decades of supporting the England cricket team will do to you). But there’s positive thinking … and then there’s being a big dope.