England vs Pakistan – Swann happy to play second fiddle
Graeme Swann will be delighted with another James Anderson “benefit” as England hope for an action-replay victory over Pakistan in the second npower Test at Edgbaston, which starts on Friday.
Swann, England’s cricketer of the year and usually such a rich source of wickets in all conditions, was required to bowl just two overs at Trent Bridge, where Anderson took a career-best 11 for 71 to help bowl the hapless tourists out twice.
The Lancastrian is a huge 1/4 to be England’s leading wicket-taker in the series.
After a short trip across the midlands, more swing-friendly cloud cover features prominently in an uncertain forecast this week, and apart from a couple of wickets for himself, Swann’s wishlist is broadly a repeat of the 354-run win in Nottingham.
“Jimmy was exceptional, but I kind of expected him to be because I knew it was going to swing at Trent Bridge and I knew he was in good nick,” said Swann. “It was almost inevitable that he would bowl as well as he did. He loves that place.”
There was no shock either for Swann (7/2 to get the most English wickets in the first innings) that captain Andrew Strauss used him so sparingly on his home ground.
“Actually, it’s not that strange for me to stand at Trent Bridge and not do much bowling because I do that for Notts a lot of the time,” he added. “And if I get a couple of wickets (at Edgbaston), I’ll be perfectly happy.”
Swann is overlooking the fact that he did contribute four catches at gully and in the slips, as well as 30 runs.
But he can handle a little spell out of the limelight with the ball as long as it means a decent rest too.
“If this game went exactly the same as the other one, it wouldn’t bother me much because it means we’re 2-0 up.”
Should that happen a 4-0 series win for England would look even more appetising than it already does, and would surely come in from its current 11/4 price.
The second Test of the four-match series starts at 11.00am on Friday, with England 8/13 to win and Pakistan 5/1 to win. A drawn result is potential and has odds of 9/4.