General News | 10th December 2008
Newell Backs Swann To Make Test Impact
Mick Newell has backed Graeme Swann to stake a claim for future inclusion after England confirmed that he will play in England’s first Test against India in Chennai.
The Notts spinner will join Monty Panesar in a two-pronged spin attack for his Test debut, eight years on from his first appearance for the one day side.
“England have obviously looked at Jason Krejza’s success when Australia played against India and decided that using two spinners is the way to go and Graeme is the obvious player to come into the side,” said Newell.
“He has continued to improve and he deserves this chance to impress in conditions which will be favourable to spinners.
“Monty Panesar has cemented the spinner spot but he is always under pressure to perform and it’s a massive opportunity for Graeme because he can offer more with the bat and in the field.
“England have limited seam options with Ryan and Stuart injured and I know that Graeme can perform at this level.”
England captain Kevin Pietersen said that Swann was ‘ecstatic’ when he learned that he had been selected and explained that conditions made the decision two include two spinners straightforward.
"It's a huge moment for anybody to get a Test cap and he's thrilled to bits.” said Pietersen.
“Graeme Swann has bowled absolutely fantastically leading up to this Test match and done a great job so it's a well-deserved debut.
“They are not bad players of spin but it's pretty important we go in with two spinners. It doesn't matter how good a player of spin you are, you still have to play well on the day.
"He's a lovely confident boy and hopefully he can take his confidence into the middle and put on a good solid performance.”
Wicket keeper Matt Prior returns to the side in place of Tim Ambrose for the game in Chennai which begins at 4am on Thursday.