Much better than people give him credit for: Graeme Swann on India bowler
Graeme Swann is one of the finest spinners that England have produced. The off-spinner was instrumental in England’s rise to the top of the ICC Test Rankings in 2011 while being the number one ranked bowler in ODI cricket at the same time. He retired after the 2013-2014 Ashes series and has been on the commentator’s duty since then. The pitches in England are generally conducive to pacers as several spinners have struggled to impact games. However, Swann was always dangerous on English pitches despite the limitations.
Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also faced criticism due to his record in overseas Tests. While being lethal in India, Ashwin has found it difficult to get wickets outside of the subcontinent. Ashwin has played 38 Tests in India and has taken 254 wickets at a bowling average of 22.68. But when it comes to Test cricket played in New Zealand, England, South Africa, West Indies, and Australia, Ashwin only has 68 wickets in 21 matches at an average of 37.86.
Swann talked about Ashwin’s record abroad and said that he is an underrated bowler in overseas conditions.
“In England or Australia, the whole game is different. In India, there is less bounce and more spin. So there is a bigger margin of error for him. He doesn’t necessarily need a bigger margin of error, but Indian captains can control the pace of the Test match in India, making him extremely effective. He has struggled in England because the conditions are more batting-friendly while facing spin,” Swann said in an interview timesofindia.com.
“When he came to England in 2018, he bowled beautifully in the first Test. But he had an injury before the Southampton Test and wasn’t able to finish his action. To be honest, he is a much better bowler than people give him credit for in English conditions. He doesn’t need to do a lot different. I just didn’t like it when he started bowling leg-spinners for a brief period.”
India will travel to Australia in late 2020 for a four-match Test series and would want R Ashwin to be in top form against a dangerous Aussie side.