Graeme Swann picks his winner for the upcoming Root vs Kohli battle
He also gave his prediction about the Indian wrist spinners succeeding in English conditions.
Updated - May 16, 2018 9:15 pm
Former English spinner Graeme Swann is eagerly waiting for the India tour of England. Team India is set to play a long Test series against England in a couple of months time. The last time India toured the country, they had a terrible run. This time around, however, they would be hoping for an improved show. Ahead of the series, a lot of talk is going about the spinners.
Indian spinners had struggled in 2014, but now, the team is likely to field in wrist spinners. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have had massive success in South Africa recently. And Graeme Swann, as per the quotes in News18, has backed the wrist spinners to do well in England. He cited that Yasir Shah had a successful run in England and hence, if the Indian spinners stick to Yasir’s tricks, they will make merry.
“Wrist spinners can do well in England. Yasir Shah did well for Pakistan last year. So, the English players don’t tend to bowl wrist spin or pick it very well. If they’re fit and they’re picked and bowled, they could do very well,” Graeme Swann quoted.
“The trick is that in England you’ve to get people on the front foot, because the wicket’s slightly slow, so as soon as you’re slightly short, you get murdered around the ground. Why Yasir did really well for Pakistan is that he bowled quick leg spin..didn’t allow batsmen to go on the backfoot. So, if they heed the advice of Shah, they could have a very good time,” he added further.
On Kohli’s County stint
Furthermore, Graeme Swann is excited to see how the Indian captain Virat Kohli fares up in the series. Kohli had a nightmare of a time in England in 2014. In order to improve his game, Kohli has signed up with Surrey for a month-long County stint. Swann believes that the players in Surrey well learn a lot from the Indian captain. However, for Kohli to benefit from his stint, he needs to face the likes of Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
“It’s good Virat’s been given a chance to go play for Surrey. He’ll enjoy Surrey trust me. The wickets at the Oval are unbelievable to bat on. He will have a good tour. Unless he plays against Jimmy (James Anderson) or Broady (Stuart Broad) in county games, I don’t think it’ll help because they’re so much better than the county bowlers,” Swann remarked.
On Root vs Kohli battle
Commenting on the same lines, Graeme Swann pointed out that the Indian team can hope for a better show owing to the fact that the English side is going through a transition phase. He feels that Kohli can inspire the other Indians if he copes up well with James Anderson. However, when asked to pick one among Joe Root and Virat Kohli, Swann went with the English captain.
“The batting line-up are secured at the top of the order. So England are in a transition and are not as strong as it could be. It all depends how Virat Kohli copes with Jimmy Anderson because Virat had a terrible in England last time around. He’s the best batsman in the world at the moment And if he goes well, he could inspire Indians very well,” noted the former cricketer.
“I’d back Joe (Root) to win that battle, but I’m a bit nervous about Virat,” he conceded.