ENGLAND spinner Graeme Swann can’t wait to finally get down to the serious business of the summer and wrestle the No1 Test ranking from India’s grasp.
The visit of a limited Sri Lankan side represented a low-key start to England’s summer campaign in a series heavily disrupted by the weather.
India, cricket’s current world superpower with a team decorated by the presence of several all-time greats, will offer a far sterner challenge of England’s metal during the course of an eagerly anticipated four Test series which starts at Lord’s tomorrow. But a typically bullish Swann (right) believes there is no need for England to suffer from an inferiority complex.
“I’m looking forward to everything about it, it’s a huge game – it feels like the summer’s finally arrived,” said Swann. “They have got a very good batting line-up but I’d argue whether they are the best in the world at the minute because I think our top six might be.”
Swann’s own meteoric rise from county trundler to the world’s premier spin bowler has added an extra dimension to an England attack which ranks as the most balanced and penetrative on the Test circuit.
Swann will come face-to-face with Duncan Fletcher, the man who ignored his credentials for seven years at the expense of the more defensive Ashley Giles, recently appointed India’s coach.
But Swann believes the man who masterminded England’s 2005 Ashes winning campaign did him a favour by casting him into the international wilderness.
Swann said: “I thank Duncan Fletcher because had I played badly I would have ended up playing one or two Tests and forgotten for ever. So the seven years I spent out of international cricket didn’t harm me whatsoever.”