As a spin bowler, Graeme Swann is England’s most important player

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Hopefully no-one’s told him yet and hopefully he never realises, but England’s performance hinges on how well Graeme Swann plays.

Obviously, taking nine wickets for not a lot had a huge impact on how England won this Test, but nowadays Swann HAS to perform.

That’s not because England’s other bowlers are mediocre. They’re not. It’s because England are only picking four bowlers and Swann is therefore bowling far more than a quarter of his side’s overs. If he bowls badly, the seamers have to get through more work, meaning they bowl worse.

On top of that, being the sole spinner, Swann’s got to be the man taking wickets on fifth day pitches as well. His batting is merely a bonus.

We move that all words such as ‘talisman’ and ‘linchpin’ be reclaimed from Andrew Flintoff and are instead applied to the chinny tweaker.


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  1. Actually, I think Swann now has more Test five-fors than Flintoff, and maybe even a better batting average too. If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d look it up.

  2. He has the same no of fivefors I think, but that will change soon if the Saffers stay so mesmerised.

  3. Swann has more career five-fors in Tests than Flintoff now, four against three.

    In Tests, he also has a higher career batting average, higher batting strike rate, better bowling average and better bowling strike rate.

  4. Flintoff is severely overated. I will never understand how he achieved a Man of the Match during the last Ashes series when Strauss was the hero. Swan will acheive far more than alcoholic Flintoff could ever dream of. Fact.

  5. He may be playing well, but…..

    you’re talking about Graeme Swann.

    It sounds so wrong. To put it another way let me run a few names past you:

    Warne, Muralitharan, Swann

    See what I mean – it does not fit. Like Shane Watson it doesnt matter how many runs he scores, or wickets he takes because at the end of the day he will still be regarded as a joke.

  6. If batsmen had played Gilo like they’ve collectively decided to play Hauro, Harro and Swanno, he could have shaved 10 runs off his bowling average…

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