Swann excited to go past Laker


Graeme Swann became the most successful England spinner with 196 Test scalps so far in his 47th Test, surpassing Jim Laker (193 wickets).

The off-spinner grabbed 4-85 in the first Test against India to keep visitors in the game on a dry wicket. The pace and bounce was lacking as the ball even struggled to reach wicketkeeper Matt Prior at times.

“We were expecting a slower turning wicket but never expected low bounce on it. But it was nice to take some wickets.

I was near Jim Laker I was genuinely excited and it feels good to get past against a famous name,” said Swann after the end of first day’s play of the first Test. Swann was introduced in the 14th over to put the brakes on Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir but runs kept leaking at the other end.

But the offie troubled Gambhir and had him eventually when the left-hander lay back for cut but the ball skidded through to stumps, having earlier survived a stumping chance. This was the sixth time Swann had gotten rid off Gambhir in Tests.

Swann later castled Sehwag to surpass Laker and went on to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli.

“Virat dismissal was my favourite, to bowl him out through the gate. I was lucky as the softer ball was replaced and the new one was a touch harder. This one just hit a pebble and turned square,” he said.

Swann felt only the odd ball turned on day one and the wicket is still good for batting. “The Indian spinners were probably watching with eagle eyes today and looking forward to bowling on that pitch. It’s still a very good pitch for batting on. It’s only the odd ball that turned,” he said.

Swann felt a couple of wickets more would have been handy. “If we had five or six it would have been an exceptional day for us,” he said.

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