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Debutant Swann passes Test of character

Greame Swann became only the second Test bowler to take two wickets in his first over. Swann was so over-the-moon that he barely registered what was going on around him, reports Anand Vasu.

cricket Updated: Dec 12, 2008 23:02 IST
Anand Vasu

Greame Swann became only the second Test bowler to take two wickets in his first over. Swann was so over-the-moon that he barely registered what was going on around him.

“I was a bit upset for the first ball which got hit for four, so it didn’t really register when I picked up my first wicket,” said Swann.

Surely, snaring Rahul Dravid would be special?

“I wasn’t thinking about who I was bowling to. I was just concentrating on getting it right."

That first ball aside, Swann was in control, landing the ball well on a pitch that was beginning to help the spinners.

“I could not have hoped for a better start to my England career. After being bowled out for 316, it could have gone either way,” said Swann.

He has charted a course that could see his team force a favourable result. “It is becoming difficult to score. If we can bowl India out for less than 200 and then set them a total in excess of 350, it will put us in a good position to win,” said Swann.

We failed to negotiate pressure: Dhoni

It was a day when little went right. “Ok, it was more than an off-day, it was a bad day, but that happens,” said M.S. Dhoni. “At times, you will be outplayed in international cricket. Today, that was the case with England bowling really well.”

While India struggled all day, it was the crucial passage of play leading to tea that hurt them the most.

“England bowled really well, we failed to negotiate the pressure and just before tea we lost two wickets,” said Dhoni.

But all is not lost yet. “We will look to score 50 runs and then see how much more we can get. In the past, we have seen sides get a 100-run lead and still lose a Test.”

The skipper looked to play down fears on the pitch. “I am just thinking about how many runs we will make. The pitch has started to assist the spinners, but it is not alarming.”