Updated January 11th, 2024 at 15:17 IST
Graeme Swann absolutely HATED bowling to one underrated India batter; NO, it's not Dravid or Laxman
Graeme Swann has faced a number of great Indian batters over his career including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Kohli, and MS Dhoni.
Graeme Swann is one of the greatest spinners England has produced in the last two decades. Swann was instrumental in England's last-ever Test series win in India in 2012, incidentally, also the last team to beat India in India. Swann was the highest wicket-taker for England with 20 wickets as England won the series 2-1. He along with Monty Panesar spun a web around Indian batters and it proved to be a historical tour for the visiting England side.
3 things you need to know
England beat India 2-1 in a Test series in India, last side to beat India in a Test series in India
Swann took 20 wickets in the series
Swann has named the most difficult India batter he has faced
IND vs ENG: Ex-England spinner did not like bowling to Pujara
Swann has faced a number of great Indian batters over his career including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. However, Swann admitted that the one batter he absolutely did not like bowling to was not these Indian legends but another hard-working and often underrated Indian batter. Swann said that he did not bowling to Cheteshwar Pujara as he was very nimble on his feet. Pujara scored 438 runs in the Test series which England won and Swann faced great difficulty in getting the batter out.
"The one batter I didn't like bowling to was (Cheteshwar) Pujara because was very nimble on his feet," said the 44-year-old Swann who took 255 wickets with his off-spin from 60 Tests before retiring in 2013.
"It's strange when I look back at the team they had -- VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli -- and the one that I didn't like bowling to was Pujara."
Swann recalled one beneficial piece of advice he received from legendary Shane Warne on how to succeed on spin-friendly Indian wickets.
Swann recalls Warner's important advice
"The best advice I got was from Shane Warne. He said to me in the first innings, spin the ball as hard as you can because the pitch will do nothing and try to pick up the odd wickets," he said.
"In the second innings, think the pitch is doing everything for you and land the ball where you can so you take the pressure off yourself. It was the best advice I had. Warne created such amazing drama and pantomime with his body language and chirping.
"Everyone should look as confident as Warne did in the second innings of any game because if you can bluff the batter into thinking you're in control then you can get wickets." Swann offered his own advice to the England players who will begin their India Test tour on January 25 in Hyderabad.
"The secret to Test cricket is to treat it as if you are the best player in the world and everyone else has to dance to your tune," said Swann, who took 20 wickets in that 2012 Test series. Panesar had grabbed 17 wickets from three matches to also play a part in that rare win.
Published January 11th, 2024 at 15:17 IST