Swann thanks Trott and Broad
Graeme Swann has five wickets already in England’s victory push against Pakistan - but insists he owes plenty of that success to Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad’s extraordinary rescue mission with the bat.
It was only due to Trott 184’s and Broad’s 169 had turned England’s own 102 for seven into 446 all out, thanks to a world-record eighth-wicket stand of 332, that the hosts made short work of Pakistan’s response.
Seven wickets for 28 runs after tea on day three of the fourth npower Test at Lord’s reduced the tourists to 74 all out.
Given they then stumbled to 41 for four following on, it seems a huge innings victory, and 3-1 series success, is a certainty for England.
Swann took 4-12 in the first innings but points out Pakistan’s resolve was eroded long before he came on to bowl, by the blades of Trott and Broad.
“So much of it is to do with that partnership,” he said.
“At lunchtime yesterday, the Pakistan top four would all have been mentally rehearsing batting - and the fact they were still doing that five hours later has got to have a very negative effect on them.”
A series full of collapses has included another from each team in this Test, but the difference was England had saviours waiting in the wings.
“We had another collapse in this innings, which is obviously something we need to look at - because that’s not going to be good enough in Tests going forward,” Swann admitted.
“You’re not always going to have a world-record partnership to bail you out.
“Obviously you hope someone can pull their finger out and support Trotty - but you don’t expect them to pull their finger out to such an extent that they break all manner of world records and their own dad’s batting record.
“It was almost a case of deja vu from last week [at the Brit Insurance Oval] that we’d failed again with the bat. But we’re completely indebted to two guys bailing us out with a world record.”
Swann was the last man out, for a duck, before Trott and Broad took over.
“There wasn’t much being said. The changing room was about as quiet as the Long Room when I walked back through it,” he recalled, with a smile.
By the time Broad was finished after almost six-and-a-half hours at the crease, the mood could hardly have been any different.
“It was almost euphoric in there. Obviously, Broady had got his hundred and everyone was absolutely made up for him.
“Trotty is one of those characters who’s so lovable within the room, because you’re just so glad he’s on your team.
“He’s so obstinate when he bats, and you know he’s not going to get himself out. He refuses to throw his wicket away - it’s very reassuring to have him.”
Swann’s surge of wickets came in tandem with Steven Finn (3-38), whose high trajectory confounded Pakistani batsmen who struggled to pick up his full balls from the Nursery End.
“When you’ve got a guy who’s really tall, it is obviously very tricky to pick up,” said the off-spinner.
“It just makes Broady’s knock all the better ... we were 100 for seven, and we couldn’t see it from one end!
“By the time he tells his grandkids about it, it will be the most remarkable knock in the history of cricket.”
If that is the case, there will be partial justification at least - and Swann, who had pushed up above Broad to number eight in the order, acknowledges he is due for a demotion again.
“I’m a man about these things - I was only there in the first place so that Broady would buck his ideas up and win it back.
“I think he’s just about managed that now and I can go back to enjoying my batting at number nine, and get rid of all responsibility.
“Broady’s got something special about him and he’s going to be a fantastic asset to any captain.”