Swann believes bowling in tandem with Panesar will make his life easier
England off-spinner Graeme Swann has admitted that left-arm spinner Monty Panesar is the perfect bowling partner for him since they both grew up together and he added that it will also take the immense pressure off his shoulders as the go-to man when the Indian batsmen are starting to look comfortable at the crease.
Swann and Panesar do not have the a great record when bowling in tandem, but the off-spinner stated that there was always a first time for everything, especially since England were determined to break their 27-year losing streak in India.
“We love playing together but our record as a team hasn’t been that successful when we have done so we are looking to change that,” Swann said. “I’m a big advocate of playing two spinners. I love playing with Monty – I grew up with him at Northamptonshire.
“I love it when he takes a wicket. That face like a man possessed when he got Sachin Tendulkar out yesterday – I have never seen a man so wound up in my life.”
Many cricket pundits also believe that giving Panesar a chance to shine would save Swann from having to bowl tiring long spells, which have resulted in his long-standing elbow issues.
Swann also noted that he preferred bowling on the pitch at Mumbai compared to the one in Ahmedabad since there seemed to be more in it for him.
“Even though there is turn and bounce it is a very nice wicket to bat on,” he said. “It is going to start spinning more but good Test pitches should do that.
“This pitch is better to bowl spin on than last week. There is a lot more bounce in the pitch. We are used to more bounce so maybe it evens the teams out a bit. But we are not at a stage of the game where we can say we will win this now. The main thing is we are in a good position in the game.”
Swann became the first England off-spinner to ever take 200 wickets and now only the legendary Derek Underwood lies ahead of him.
Speaking about his 200th wicket, Swann said: “Five years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt of taking 200 wickets, the change at the top was just at the right time for me.”
The “change” Swann talked about was the departure of former head coach Duncan Fletcher, who was replaced by Andy Flower.