England need op to help Swann more than it did Bresnan for Ashes

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In his previous two Ashes series, Graeme Swann has taken a combined 29 wickets and so it is stating the obvious slightly that he will be a big miss for England if he is absent from the latest showdown with Australia later this year.

Swann has been troubled by his right elbow for a lengthy period even despite an operation in 2009 and the injury has now forced him out of the Test series in New Zealand.

He is now preparing for a second bout of surgery, but remains optimistic that he will have recovered in time for the first Test of the Ashes, which takes place against Australia at Trent Bridge in July.

However, even if Swann does sufficiently recover, there has to be doubts over whether he will reproduce the kind of displays England have become accustomed to since starting his international Test career.

Tim Bresnan has also been troubled by elbow injuries in recent years, having a first operation towards the end of 2011 and recently going under the knife again.

The worrying thing though was the deterioration of Bresnan’s form after his first comeback, having a fruitless 2012 in terms of taking wickets.

A lean series against South Africa was followed by further struggles in India, to the point where he failed to take a single wicket in two of the Test matches.

Although Swann does take wickets against Australia, his bowling average against them is worse than against any other Test-playing nation, which is just fractionally above the 40 mark.

There must be at least small concerns that he will not come back the same player and if this is the case, it may be advantage Australia in their quest to win a first Ashes on British soil since 2001.

Australia are currently 3/1 to win the Ashes, with England 8/15 to triumph on their own patch against the Aussies for the third series in succession.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.