As an admirer of his pure, unadulterated bowling skills ever since I saw him make his debut against India at Chennai in December 2008, I was delighted when Graeme Swann picked up his maiden ten-wicket haul in Tests against Bangladesh at Chittagong. One is certain, it will not be his last for if anything the England off spinner is making rapid strides and his best is surely yet to come.
Off-spin has never been England's traditional strength, even though ironically they have produced arguably the greatest purveyor of this subtle art in Jim (19 for 90) Laker. The finest and most successful England bowlers have been those who hurtle them down at fearsome pace or swing the ball prodigiously. Even when it comes to spin bowling the best have been left armers like Hedley Verity, Tony Lock and Derek Underwood.
After Laker, there have been off spinners like David Allen, Fred Titmus, Ray Illingworth and John Emburey but none of them are in the outstanding category. Swann, however, I ventureRead More »from Swann is made of sterner stuff