Swann admits Bangladesh spin envy
Graeme Swann would love to be part of a team full of spinners but is happy to continue to be England’s sole slow bowler as long as he is asked.
Whereas his predecessor as England's first-choice spinner, Monty Panesar, often appeared to struggle with expectations on sub-continent wickets, Swann is enjoying his first tour of Bangladesh.
In his first warm-up match against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI last week he took full advantage of conditions to claim 4-44 and followed up with 3-32 in the first one-day international yesterday.
England won that match by six-wickets after omitting second spinner James Tredwell, while Bangladesh used four in their six-man attack.
The Tigers' approach to spin is one which excites Swann, though he admits he is unsure whether he will still be playing a lone hand for the tourists in tomorrow's second ODI in Mirpur.
"I'm not sure how we'll view it, I'm still not privy to the thoughts of the higher echelons of our hierarchy," said Swann.
"In my view, I'd play four or five spinners like Bangladesh do. It's brilliant the way they play their cricket here.
"But we played very well in the first match and the team we went in with worked very well.
"Having won I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't any changes but if another spinner is brought in, I don't think that would be a great shock either."
Swann also admitted has no desire to follow fellow spinner Shakib Al Hasan’s lead and bowl at the start of the innings.
Bangladesh captain Shakib put himself on in just the fourth over of yesterday’s first ODI, in a bid to counter Craig Kieswetter’s big-hitting style.
The plan almost worked a treat as Kieswetter survived two scares inside three balls, nicking one for four through the wicketkeeper’s legs and surviving a solid lbw shout.
But Swann is hoping captain Alastair Cook was not paying too much attention to that tactic ahead of tomorrow’s clash.
Instead, he is happier to do his work in the middle overs when there are no field restrictions.
“I think Alastair did a great job yesterday and he didn’t put me on in the powerplay, which is a bonus,” added Swann. “He may do it tomorrow though because I laughed so much about it.
“Ideally I don’t want to but I’ll happily do it if asked.
“I think the last time I had a go was in Bristol when Chris Gayle was about 80 off 12 balls. My first ball went out of the park and I got him with my second.
“But it was a harrowing experience knowing I could go for six sixes. In an ideal world I’d like to retire my career as a first-10 bowler there, but you never know.”
Meanwhile, Swann was highly impressed with the performance of the home side in the series opener.
Despite Tamim Iqbal's startling 125 for Bangladesh, England won with four overs remaining and four unused batsmen in the pavilion.
But in doing so they leant heavily on the guile and experience of Paul Collingwood, who shepherded the side home with a nerveless 75 not out.
"They're an ever improving side," Swann said. "Four or five years ago every team who played them expected to walk all over them but I don't think that is the case any more. They've got some real talent in their side.
"It's hard for me to judge (how far the team have come) because it's my first time playing over here but I've been very impressed with the standard."
And if Swann did inadvertently touch upon some of the Tigers' perceived weaknesses, he conceded they were ones his own side could identify with.
"It's certainly not for an Englishman to sit here and say they threw wickets away or got bowled out too cheaply because that's what we do most of the time," he added.
"It would be very harsh for an Englishman to turn round and criticise anyone else's one-day cricket."
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