Peter Siddle knows a thing or two about cricket.
In today’s Post the Nottinghamshire and Australia seamer said England would miss Graeme Swann after his shock retirement from cricket over the winter. It’s kind of stating the obvious, but it does not mean he is wrong, far from it.
Swann took 255 wickets in 60 Tests at an average under 30. Who would not miss that return from a spinner?
So let’s suspend belief long enough to imagine that in a perfect world the England selectors could persuade Swann come back for a ‘Swann song’ until England can bring through a proper spinner to replace him.
His old boss is Mick Newell is one of the selectors so if anyone could get through to him it would be the Notts director of cricket.
How much of a lift to the team would it be to see Swann come down the Pavilion steps on Wednesday at Trent Bridge when England take on India?
England could certainly do worse than at least try and get him to change his mind. They might want to wait until after the Nottingham Test is out the way on second thoughts.
Despite playing much of his county cricket there, Swann’s Test record at Trent Bridge isn’t great.
In fact, he has just seven wickets there at an average of 51.42.
They might have more luck when it comes to Lord’s – the venue of the Second Test. There Swann has 40 wickets at an average of 24.07.
While the selectors could do worse than approach Swann, they won’t do it. That is because Swann has made his mind up.
Let’s be honest, why would he risk tarnishing his legacy having called it quits? He’s gone into the media and has already moved on.
It is a shame though because England are lacking a genuine spin option.
Moeen Ali is fulfilling the role at the moment, but he is learning the craft and is basically a batsman who bowls.
Notts’ Samit Patel is a brilliant batsman who bowls spin, but it is nowhere near the class of Swann.
Then there are people like Adam Riley, Danny Briggs, Scott Borthwick and Simon Kerrigan – young guys who aren’t ready yet.
The ECB could certainly do worse than ask Swann to mentor some of their younger spinners because without him there is a lot more work to do for the seamers – the ones who are relied on to bowl the opposition out.
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