Without getting carried away with one win, albeit an exceptional one. In Graeme Swann, England may just be unearthing the gem in their attack they have been searching for, for many years now.
It is often said that England’s attack is a top fast/strike bowler short of being a top class attack. Anderson, Broad and Onions are decent honest swing and seam bowlers who on their day, or in helpful conditions can destroy batting line ups.
With comparison, put them on a flat track and they can at times look clueless and lack that bit of extra creativeness or explosiveness you can get from a McGrath or a Steyn.
If, and it is a big if, Swann can continue at this rate, he might be able to become that elusive bowler that can prise out a top batsman on an unhelpful surface. In having that bowler who can unlock the door it would surely give the rest of the of the attack more confidence too.
He could also be the answer to the five or six batsmen conundrum if he could become a wicket taker, one which also offers an element of control and the option to hold up one end for the majority of a day. Almost two bowlers in one. Leaving the not so positive Strauss and Flower the option of playing six batsmen, a safer policy in their eyes, which I think they would much prefer.
Lets not get carried away with Swann’s performances though, after all Monty was supposed to be the new world beating spinner just 2 to 3 years ago and where is he now? Swann needs to keep performing at this level for many years to come yet if he to become a great test player.
Swann’s other assets for England are his positive, attacking batting, he is a good fielder and he seems to add a lot of colour and humour to the England dressing room, which I imagine could be a bit bland at times with some of the characters in there.
Let’s hope this is not another false dawn for England, and that Swann is the real deal and he can continue to perform at this high level rather than this just being an exceptional one off year.
Only time will tell.