Graeme leaves for home, to return before 1st Test

Calcutta/Ahmedabad: England off-spinner Graeme Swann left for home on Wednesday, on the eve of their final tour match against Haryana, to be by the side of his sick daughter but will return back in time for the first Test, beginning here on November 15.

"Graeme Swann has returned home to support his family and spend time with his daughter who is currently unwell. Swann will return to India ahead of the first Test in Ahmedabad, commencing November 15," the ECB said in a statement.

"This is a personal matter and we would ask for everyone to give Graeme and his family privacy. We will not be making any further comment at this time," the statement added.

Swann's daughter Charlotte is barely three-week-old.

The spinner's absence from the final warm-up match is a further blow to the visitors who already have fitness concerns about fast bowlers Steven Finn and Stuart Broad. Finn has a thigh injury and Broad a bruised heel.

"It puts a big question mark over them, that's fairly obvious," England batting coach Graham Gooch said. "With a bruised heel, it is something that can be very annoying and can take time to clear up. You've got to see how it goes each day, whether it gets better with the rest, keep checking it and see how it comes on. There's no other way of going about it really."

Earlier, Swann, however, had made a bold statement on behalf of his team as he said that the Indian spinners would not be a threat to the England batsmen during the four-Test series. That, despite their recent struggle against slow bowlers in subcontinent conditions.

England have managed to register just two wins in 22 Tests in the subcontinent, excluding matches against Bangladesh, and the reason could be largely attributed to the fact that their batsmen have struggled against high-quality spin bowling.

England were whitewashed 0-3 by Pakistan in the Test series held at the United Arab Emirates earlier this year, before they could manage a draw in the two-match Test rubber against Sri Lanka in April.

Swann, however, said that the wicket in Dubai was different from the typical subcontinent track. "I think last winter was a bit different…

"First of all, when we played in Dubai that was not really the subcontinent, that wicket was very unique in the sense that it was very skiddy. Indian wickets are more traditional, more what people are used to, so I would be very surprised if that happened again," Swann said.

Swann also added that India lacked a mystery spinner, like Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, in their ranks. "We were bowled out by a mystery spinner (Ajmal) whom the batsmen could not pick. India are not really blessed with a mystery spinner like that," he said.

The off-spinner, however, admitted that the English batsmen have always had a problem against quality spin bowling.

"…That has been levelled at us for a few years now and justifiably so. We have had a poor record against spin bowling over here. I think that is more of a mental thing now because the wickets are not that different around the world.

"Certainly, the wickets we played on in Sri Lanka were not really spin friendly. They were not any different to playing at Old Trafford or Trent Bridge. They tend to spin more on day four and five but at times like that we need to forget where we are playing and just go out and play the ball as it comes down," Swann insisted.

Swann said that his teammates would look to make the most of the experience they gained while playing Test series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. "I think we went into our shells a bit in the UAE and suffered as a consequence. We have learned, certainly as batsmen, that you have to be positive and you have to be more aggressive when you bat.

"We have got so much talent in the squad that I would not be surprised if we went to India in the Test series and really dominated with the bat," he said.

Related report: Page 16

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

As two of the most glamorous sides in the Indian T20 league, the focus of the match between Mumbai and Bangalore will invariably be on the middle-order… More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »