I heard Graeme Swann giving an interview to Radio 5 Live earlier today and as usual Swanny was good value and pulled no punches in telling it like it was.
When asked to clarify his recent remarks about his views on ODI cricket, Swann denied saying it should be scrapped, but did say that it should be taking up a lesser part of the cricketing calender.
Swann said that 5 and 7 match series should be reduced to just 3 match series. His whole attitude sounded to me like he doesn’t have the heart and desire to play 50 over cricket any more.
In my opinion he basically said that he is sick and tired of playing too much international 50 over cricket and that he has fallen out of love with this format of the game.
If there is more than him with that view in the squad, then maybe it’s time for a shake up from Andy Flower.
He also added that the home series with India was far more enjoyable because it was a shorter series (due to the weather) and that the shorter ones are generally more competitive.
He gave some very interesting and forthright views and these remarks probably go a long way to explaining why England got thrashed off the park by India’s reserves in their most recent ODI series.
I was pleased to hear him say how much he loves playing test cricket and that he believes this format and T20 is the best way forward. And in a further twist, when asked about his remarks about KP’s captaincy, he also added Alastair Cook’s name to the list of people he believes to not be natural leaders, although he did put ‘yet’ in that sentence.
Onto another of Swann’s targets in his book, Samit Patel, and I was pleased to read today that Samit has decided not to put himself up for next years IPL auction, instead deciding he wants to play Championship cricket in a bid to get himself in the test team.
I think that’s great, but I believe that he has no chance of getting in the side as a spinner and little chance of making the top 6 as a batsman. Maybe he could get the No.6 role as a batting all rounder if he could score shed loads of runs, but that’s as good as it will get for him.
The cynic in me though suggests that Patel is being very crafty here. The touring party for next year’s test series against Pakistan in the UAE is named shortly, and Patel has just showed how committed he is to England ahead of the selection of a tour party that will be spinner heavy.
This is one of those rare series in which England will probably pick two spinners in the team, and this is clearly Patel’s best chance of getting a test call up.
Tim Bresnan has showed how you can force your way into this team, there could be a window of opportunity opening up for Patel this winter, it will be interesting to see if he can make the most of it.