Swann slams Gooch

Graeme Swann has slammed Graham Gooch, the former batting consultant of the England Cricket Team, for saying that the off spinner should not have quit in the middle of the Ashes series in Australia as it sent a wrong signal.

Swann does not think that his decision was wrong by any means. He has no regrets at the timing of his retirement. He is, in fact, regretting the fact that he went on that tour of Australia.

According to Swann, he should not have made available himself for selection for that tour as he was not fit enough to play for England.

Speaking in an interview recently, Swann said, “When it’s clear to you that you have not been able to do as much for the team as you should, there is no point carrying on. You should let somebody else come in and that’s what I did and I have no regrets.”

“If anything I regret about, it’s about going there at all. I should have realized earlier that my elbow was just not the same. But, I thought Jimmy would get 30 scalps and all I had to do was to keep it tight from the other end. Perhaps, I should not have thought that way and should have withdrawn myself from the tour straightaway.”

“Graham is somebody who is pretty old fashioned in terms of his thoughts. I have not had a chat with him on this. So, I think he is not properly aware of the reasons behind me leaving it at that stage. I was not able to make the ball spin and without that capability, a spinner is of no use to his team.”

Swann ended his England career with more than 250 wickets in the longest form of the game.

Raina’s Role Left Unclear

Suresh Raina surprisingly came to bat at the fall of the 9th Indian wicket in the practice match against Middlesex the other day. He didn’t score that much and ended up getting stumped, but, that left people unclear about Raina’s possible role in the Indian team in the upcoming ODI series against England.

The left hander is surely going to be in the playing XI. He is one of the captain’s men in the team and to be fair to him, he has played well too in the recent times in the limited-over formats, be it the IPL or the World T20 Championship in Bangladesh.

While, Raina’s presence in the playing XI is in no doubt, there is a bit of confusion over the position at which he is going to bat.

With Yuvraj Singh not there in the squad, there were speculations that Raina will probably hold the all important no. 4 position and do the inning-building work in the middle overs, but, the number at which he was sent to bat in the practice game suggests that the Indian team management still sees him as a finisher only and not as someone who can bat with patience for long period of time and that’s somewhat surprising.

Raina is indeed an aggressive batsman, but, he is not a slogger. He collects boundaries through cricketing shots. He has not got a weak defence. So, there is no reason why he can’t be an inning-builder. Sure, he lacks a bit of patience, but, if the think tank shows faith in him and backs him to bat long, he can effectively replace Yuvraj at no. 4.

India has got Jadeja and Dhoni as finishers already. So, there is no harm in giving Raina a go slightly up the order.