LONDON: Former off-spinner Graeme Swann foresees a strong Indian comeback in next month’s Test series against England if the ball fails to swing, the chances of which are high due to a warmer-than-usual English summer.
India lost the ODI series 1-2, giving England the bragging rights ahead of the five-match Test rubber starting August 1 in Birmingham. But Swann said things might just change for the better for the visitors in the longest format.
“If the ball doesn’t swing, England will have to rely on reverse swing later on. Jimmy (James Anderson) is not the same bowler with the older ball because by the time it starts reverse swinging, Kohli will be 60-70 not out,” Swann told PTI.
“England did well last time because Jimmy had the new ball swinging. It’s just not Indians who don’t do well against swing. Every batsman in the world doesn’t like it when the ball swings around especially when Anderson is bowling,” he said.
“If it swings, England will win the Test series easily but if it doesn’t, and I don’t think it will, I think it will be a brilliant series. England don’t have a great spin attack in the Test series, so again India hold all the aces in that department too,” he said.
Speaking of spinners, Swann said Kuldeep Yadav should play in the first Test ahead of either R Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja. But he also warned against over-exposing the left-arm wrist spinner.
Yadav took 14 wickets in five matches during the limited-overs’ leg.
“If I was an Indian, I would desperately want him to play in the Tests because he does provide mystery and the English batsmen cannot pick his googly. He also bowls a good length and went for just 20-odd on a beautiful batting wicket at Nottingham. He doesn’t give the batsmen enough opportunity to see the ball off pitch, and can hit a perfect length and pace,” Swann said.
“If India use him wisely, he could be a massive bowler for them this summer, particularly if it continues to stay dry. This is where some caution is needed. He has bowled well, but he has also come up against two very poor teams against wrist spin in South Africa and England.
“So, my advice would be to not get carried away and put too much pressure on Kuldeep that he has to perform and do well always, which I thought happened in the latter half of the ODI series,” he added.