Swann better than Warne at this stage of his career

Thursday, December 9, 2010

LONDON - England spinner Graeme Swann has a better start to his Test career than Aussie legend Shane Warne with 122 wickets from his first 26 Tests compared to the great man’s 116 at the same stage.

England head coach Andy Flower, who used to play against Swann, had no idea at that point of time that the spinner would become a Test superstar.

Swann is rated the No 2 Test bowler and will rise to No 1 if he performs well in the Third Test in Perth next week.

Flower said: “I think Graeme is an outstanding bowler and competitor. He’s been producing results for us on a consistent basis.”

“I played against him in county cricket and I saw that he had something. He always put lots of energy on the ball that’s what I remember about him. It meant he got the ball to drift, dip and spin. He’s always had that,” The Sun quoted him, as saying.

“I think some of the other stuff that he has acquired is patience, discipline and nous. He’s quite a canny operator now. Amongst all the jokes, he’s a smart cookie,” Flower said.

“But I’d probably have to say that towards the end of my playing days I didn’t think an orthodox finger spinner could succeed in Test cricket like he has done. Bowlers needed a mystery ball, times had moved on.

“So that does surprise me. But all it does is emphasise the value of doing the basics well - and the basics for Graeme are getting enough energy on the ball so it drifts and turns,” Flower added.

Swann career started looking up only when he moved from Northants to Notts, where director of cricket Mike Newell encouraged him to relax and play his natural game. (ANI)

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