Fletcher hails Swann progress
India coach Duncan Fletcher has paid tribute to the vast improvement made by England off-spinner Graeme Swann.
Fletcher was in charge of England for eight years and has been impressed by Swann’s development since he left his position as coach in 2007.
Swann currently occupies second position in the ICC Test bowling rankings and recently took over as the number-one ranked bowler in one-day internationals.
It was Fletcher who handed Swann his international debut on a tour of South Africa more than a decade ago, but he was then discarded and only returned to the England set-up in late 2007, before making his Test debut in India the following year.
Many have pinpointed Swann’s move from Northamptonshire to Nottinghamshire in 2005 as a key factor in his success.
Fletcher said: “Graeme has done really well and history proves what can happen when people get out of their comfort zone and move to other counties.
“We have seen it with Chris Tremlett. How long was he with Hampshire before moving to Surrey?
“It is sometimes a good thing to get out of the comfort zone and realise ‘there is a big world out there where I’ve really got to develop my game’.
“It looks as though Swann has done that. He is playing Test cricket and is the number one bowler in the world, one of the top spinners.
“He is bowling well and we respect that. He just appreciates what he is required to do on and off the field in the international arena. He is a very good cricketer now.”
Fletcher admits the change in personnel in the England side since he was the helm means it will have only a minimal impact in trying to prepare for the forthcoming Test series.
He said: “In four years, the team has changed quite a lot. There are a couple of senior players but the rest of the team has changed.
“We’ll just have to look at tape we’ve got and look at certain techniques they have got. We will have to assess that over the next couple of days.”
Fletcher admits he never expected to be involved in such a high-profile post again after leaving his England position.
He said: “It’s strange for me. I never thought I would be back in this role. When I left England, I thought I wouldn’t get involved in cricket.
“But then having worked with South Africa, New Zealand and Hampshire to some degree, I got the bug again.”