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Graeme Swann Hopes Virat Kohli Will Come Out Flying In The 5-Match Test Series Against England

Graeme Swann has made his point known in the build-up to the Virat Kohli and Jimmy Anderson battle in the upcoming five-match Test series between India and England.

Graeme Swann, on Thursday, juxtaposed the Indian skipper’s batting prowess during the 2014 and 2018 tours of England. He recalled how Virat Kohli used to get out ‘for fun’ against James Anderson before turning it around drastically in 2018.

Ex England bowler Graeme Swann (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Specsavers)
Ex England bowler Graeme Swann (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Specsavers)

Graeme Swann: James Anderson Used To Dismiss Virat Kohli For Fun In 2014 Before He Worked On His Game To Ensure He Didn’t Get Dismissed Again

The former spinner also hailed Virat Kohli as a batsman now capable of dominating in all time zones.

“The thing with Virat Kohli is, the last time he came here absolutely dominated the series. And again, to put the negative stand there and say ‘Oh Jimmy Anderson got his out for fun’… Jimmy Anderson ‘used to’ get him out for fun in England and it was embarrassing.”

“Virat Kohli went away, worked on his game to an extent that he didn’t get out at all to Jimmy and he dominated in England. I am sure he’s watching the videos, remembering his techniques against that English attack and I would back Virat Kohli to score runs anywhere in the world at any time,” Graeme Swann told in an exclusive interview.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

In 2014, which was the then youngster Virat Kohli’s first Test tour of the UK, he could muster just 134 runs from 10 innings with the highest score of 39. The English bowlers exposed his weakness outside the off-stump to the hilt. While James Anderson dismissed him four times, Stuart Broad and Chris Jordan got him out twice each.

Instead of getting bogged down and with major support from the team management, Virat Kohli battled the mental toll to return with a bang in India’s next tour of the county in 2018. Virat Kohli, completing a four-year cycle as India’s Test captain, got his revenge against Joe Root-led England by scoring a chart-topping 593 runs, including three centuries. Although India lost the series, James Anderson couldn’t get his nemesis out even once.

Graeme Swann Hopes Virat Kohli Will Come Our Flying In The India- England 5 Match Test Series

India is now set to tour the UK again after three years. Virat Kohli is under pressure because of a century drought and the recent defeat in the World Test Championship final. Graeme Swann believes that a ‘world-class’ player like him will be up to the challenge and will come out with flying colours against all odds.

“The caveat that comes with being one of the ‘Big Four’, you are expected to score a big hundred either every Test match or every other Test match. That’s by your fans, your teammates [but] it’s hard work to do that. When you think that Virat hasn’t played for six months almost and he’s been in Covid bubbles, to come out with the same expectations in a one-off Test against New Zealand.”

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

“I think he still scored 70 runs in the game. He’s going to have five matches against England and a truly world-class player like Virat will be fine and he’ll come out flying in that series. He might not do that in the first Test, but by the end of the series, he’ll be one of the Big Four again,” Swann, who played 178 internationals for England, added.

Virat Kohli had contrasting tours of England in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, he managed only 134 runs in five Tests at a poor average of 13.40. Four years later, he hammered 593 runs in the five-Test series. Virat Kohli averaged 59.30 with two hundred in 2018. The first of the five Tests will commence on August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

Kieron Pollard
Hyderabad: Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard during the Final match of IPL 2019 between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, on May 12, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
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IPL 2021: Kieron Pollard’s Dropped Catch Showed Faf du Plessis Was Under Pressure – Graeme Swann

Kieron Pollard was batting on 70 when he gave a catch to one of the best fielders in the game, Faf du Plessis. But the South African, to the surprise of many, dropped the catch and as it turned out, the match also.

Kieron Pollard was going at full pace against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday. Mumbai Indians needed to chase a stiff target of 219 and hoped that someone in Mumbai camp will stand up to the challenge at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. It was Kieron Pollard who single-handedly changed the complexion of the match.

He smashed an unbeaten 87 runs off 34 balls as he kept his composure to take MI over the line on the last ball of the match.

Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match. Sportzpics for IPL
Mumbai Indians Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match.
Sportzpics for IPL

Kieron Pollard’s Missed Catch By Faf du Plessis Showed The Pressure That He Was In Said Graeme Swann

However, CSK had a chance to dismiss Kieron Pollard earlier in his innings. He was batting on 70 when he tried to heave one over square leg. But he couldn’t time it and the ball fell to one of the best fielders in the game, Faf du Plessis. But the South African, to the surprise of many, dropped the catch and as it turned out, the match also.

Former England spinner Graeme Swann talked about Faf du Plessis’ drop catch on Star Sports. He said that the dropped catch showed how much pressure Faf du Plessis was under during the game.

“I don’t care what you say about high chases, and incredible strike rates, this (Faf dropping Pollard) was the biggest moment of the game. Faf du Plessis is undoubtedly one of the best fielders in world cricket, you can’t argue that. He never drops anything, especially at the boundary ropes.”

Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)
Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)

“And he dropped that just shows the pressure that he was in. He dropped Kieron Pollard, and with it, he dropped the game. There is no way Mumbai Indians are getting over the line at that point.

“The ground is too small for Kieron Pollard. But it’s not too small for everyone else. Other people missed catches – it’s cool. Pollard missed catch – it’s done. When he gave you a chance, it had to be taken. Weird to see that it was Faf du Plessis who dropped the catch and cost the game. I never I thought I would ever see that.”

Faf du Plessis dropped Kieron Pollard on 70 and that proved to be the turning point for Chennai Super Kings whose 5-match winning run came to an end.

MS Dhoni Felt CSK Dropped Catches At The Crucial Point But It Didn’t Hurt Much As CSK Is Atop The Points Table

Besides, on a couple of occasions, CSK fielders, trying to go for the catch, ended up giving away fours. After the match, MS Dhoni did not look too upset with the result CSK still leads the IPL 2021 points table but did mention the catches would have made a difference.

“I think it was a brilliant wicket and I feel the difference between the two sides was the execution – how off we were. Not trying to be too tough on bowlers, but catches do help. I felt we dropped catches at the crucial point. It doesn’t hurt much when you’re on the top of the table,” Dhoni said after the match.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

Kieron Pollard was the unanimous choice for MOM for his valiant 87* and 2/12 as he took Faf Du Plessis and Suresh Raina’s wicket besides the valiant knock. Kieron Pollard hit nearly everything that was bowled at him on Saturday as he hit 8 sixes and 6 boundaries to pull off one of the most spectacular chases in the IPL history.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. Image Credits: Twitter
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IPL 2021: I Agree With Graeme Swann, There Was No Intent There, Says Parthiv Patel

Parthiv Patel and Graeme Swann were baffled that Kolkata lacked intent. Kolkata Knight Riders managed to post only 133 for 9 on a good batting surface in Mumbai after their batsmen failed yet again. Andre Russell, who came into bat only in the 16th over, managed to hit just 9 runs against Rajasthan Royals while the likes of Dinesh Karthik, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, and Eoin Morgan fared no better.

Former England spinner Graeme Swann said it was surprising to see Kolkata Knight Riders’ lack of intent in Match 18 of IPL 2021 against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday. Kolkata Knight Riders managed just 133 for 9 in the stipulated 20 overs after being sent into bat at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai where totals in excess of 180 have been regularly posted this season.

Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell | IANS
Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell | IANS

Kolkata Knight Riders Weren’t Trying To Hit Boundaries In The First 15 Overs Which Was Strange Enough: Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann said it seemed as if Kolkata Knight Riders weren’t looking to force the pace by looking for boundaries after the 2-time champions kept losing regular wickets despite not taking too many risks in the first 15 overs of their innings. KKR started cautiously and were 25 for 1 at the end of the powerplay after losing Shubman Gill for just 11 runs despite the Royals dropping the young opener once.

KKR’s decision to send Sunil Narine at No. 4 also didn’t work according to the plans as the pinch-hitter fell for 6. Captain Eoin Morgan, who came in at No. 5, unfortunately, fell for 0 without facing a delivery as he was run out at the non-striker’s end after a mix-up with Rahul Tripathi. Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi got a 33-run stand going but they were not able to impart any momentum into the innings.

Graeme Swann Twitter
Graeme Swann Twitter

KKR were 93 for 4 at the end of 15 overs and they held back dashing batsman Andre Russell, who had hit a quickfire fifty in the previous match against CSK. Andre Rusell, who walked into bat in the 16th over, managed just 9 runs as Chris Morris picked up his wicket and removed a well-set Dinesh Karthik in the same over which was the 18th over of KKR’s innings.

Pat Cummins hit a six in the final over but he was undone by a slower ball from Chris Morris, who finished with figures of 4/23. It was a strange inning from Kolkata as their top order and renowned batsmen failed to get going once again.

“Well, I am not sure what his plan was. It certainly wasn’t about being aggressive. You expect them to go out and play aggressively, given they have Brendon McCullum as their coach,” Graeme Swann told Star Sports.

“But 25 for 1 in the first 6 overs. Very, very confusing. I mean, the guys bowled well, the lefties (from Rajasthan) bowled well. There was a brilliant run-out as well. But the first 15 overs, it didn’t really seem like KKR were trying to hit boundaries. Very strange but maybe it’s one of those days when things didn’t work for them,” he added.

Rahul Tripathi was the top scorer with 36 runs of 26 balls with the help of 1 four and 2 sixes as he was the only one who was looking to be aggressive but the others succumbed under pressure and were dismissed in order to increase the run rate.

Kolkata Knight Riders Didn’t Show Intent: Parthiv Patel

Meanwhile, former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel said he was baffled that Kolkata didn’t use the likes of Andre Russell properly despite his fireworks at the same venue a couple of nights ago. Andre Russell hit a six but he was caught in the deep mid-wicket when trying to clear the boundary again in the 18th over against Chris Morris.

“I agree with Swann. There was no intent there. Some of the shots they played, some of the run-outs, it seemed as if they were not looking for runs. In the first 6 overs, you have to take your chances.” Parthiv Patel said.

“You can’t just block it out, especially on a wicket like this. They did not utilize Andre Russell. In the kind of form he is, he can’t play only the last 4 overs,” Pathiv Patel said.

File image of Parthiv Patel | Vipin Pawar /SPORTZPICS
File image of Parthiv Patel | Vipin Pawar /SPORTZPICS

Kolkata Knight Riders headed into Match 18 on the back of three successive defeats. After Rajasthan’s win by 6 wickets, KKR is placed at the last 8th spot. Rajasthan achieved the target losing only 4 wickets as skipper Sanju Samson scored a 41 ball 42 while David Miller scored 24 off 23 balls and both were unbeaten. Kolkata Knight Riders are languishing at the bottom place with 1 win and 4 losses.

Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 134/4 (Sanju Samson 42*, David Miller 24; Varun Chakravarthy 2/32) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 133/9 (Rahul Tripathi 36, Dinesh Karthik 25; Chris Morris 4/23) by 6 wickets.  

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell
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Glenn Maxwell Flourishing In New Role Of Being The 3rd Guy At RCB Camp, Says Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann believes Glenn Maxwell is no longer performing the role of the destroyer the world has known him to, but instead, the batsman is flourishing in his new role of being the ‘third guy’ at the Royal Challengers Bangalore camp as he is the 2nd highest run-getter so far(176 runs) in IPL 2021 and has also scored joint-most fifties(2).

Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann weighed on the topic saying that the new role Glenn Maxwell is fitting into may not be at the level at which he performed earlier which fetched him the nickname ‘The Big Show’.

Graeme Swann AP Image
Graeme Swann AP Image

Graeme Swann Surprised Seeing Glenn Maxwell Acquire A Big Contract From RCB Despite Failures In Last Season

Glenn Maxwell on Sunday scored a magnificent 78 off 49 balls including nine fours and three sixes against Kolkata Knight Riders as in only the second time in IPL history he has registered back-to-back half-centuries, and Graeme Swann reckons not having to carry the entire innings entirely on his back is benefitting him, who receives able support from AB de Villiers and his captain Virat Kohli.

RCB invested a whopping 14.25 crore, which Graeme Swann feels is an extraordinarily large amount of money, but the former spinner feels the franchise seems to be getting the best out of Glenn Maxwell in a fresh season, which seems to be working well for everyone involved in the franchise.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell

“He surprised me more than anyone. I thought it was a bonkers amount of money they spent on him in the auction. But they said ‘no, he has got the strike rate in the middle, we’re backing him.

“Sanjay Bangar has been the batting coach the last two times he has been among the runs. I think he feels happy, he feels relaxed. He played really good shots. He’s got his reverse hit back,” Graeme Swann said on Star Sports.

There was considerable pressure on Glenn Maxwell to perform in IPL 2021 as he had a poor IPL outing in 2020 (for KXIP at UAE), managing just 108 runs in 13 matches averaging a pathetic 15.42.

The batting all-rounder had a breakout 2014 season, where he scored 552 runs in 16 matches including amassing 300 runs in 5 matches at UAE in 2014 even coming close to scoring a hundred thrice.

Graeme Swann: Glenn Maxwell Nowhere Near Being The Big Show

Graeme Swann weighed on the topic further saying that the new role Glenn Maxwell is fitting into may not be at the level at which he performed earlier, which fetched him the nickname ‘The Big Show’.

However, Graeme Swann is confident that Glenn Maxwell’s role at RCB is allowing him to discover a different side of the batsman in him, one that has helped him score 39, 56, and 78 in RCB’s three straight wins.

Glenn Maxwell has been dubbed “The Big Show” after receiving a lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) contract months after his international debut. He emerged as the “The Big Show” after heroics in IPL 2014 as he earned the title for his arrogant batting style and maverick shot selections.

“He’s not the big cheese anymore, the big mac, the Big Show… whatever you call him. He’s nowhere near being the Big Show. But he’s got Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the team, and it really suits him, to be that third player who can just go out there and express himself, without having to carry the team. This suits him. He looks in a very good place, he looks very fit,” Graeme Swann added.

Glenn Maxwell elated to get Orange Cap after 49-ball 78 in Chepauk for RCB vs KKR
Glenn Maxwell elated to get Orange Cap after 49-ball 78 in Chepauk. (Courtesy by BCCI)

Glenn Maxwell bagged the Orange Cap briefly for being the highest run-scorer in the ongoing IPL 2021.  He has amassed 176 runs this season in 3 matches. But later Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan scored 92 against Punjab Kings to amass 186 runs in 3 matches thereby bagging the Orange Cap.

Washington Sundar
India debutant Washington Sundar celebrates his half century during day three of the 4th Test Match in the series between Australia and India at The Gabba on January 17, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
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Graeme Swann Felt Bad For Washington Sundar Who Missed Out On His Maiden 100

Graeme Swann, former England cricketer said that he feels bad for the 21-year-old all-rounder Washington Sundar who missed out on his maiden ton while peaking on Star Sports during the Lunch break

Washington Sundar missed out on his maiden Test hundred on Day 3 of the 4th Test between India and England at Motera in Ahmedabad. The left-handed batsman hammered an unbeaten 96 in the first innings, as he helped his team take a solid lead of 160 runs.

Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Graeme Swann: Washington Sundar Batted Really Well To Score Unbeaten 96

Washington Sundar was looking so good on Day 3 that it looked inevitable he would get his maiden hundred. The only problem was that the batsmen on the other end had to survive. But the Indian tailenders were once again unable to stay longer at the crease.

After Axar Patel was run out for 43, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj were dismissed in the same over by Ben Stokes, while Washington Sundar could only watch from the non-striker’s end. India was bowled out for 365, and Sundar missed out on a ton. Speaking on Star Sports during the Lunch break, former England cricketer Graeme Swann said that he feels bad for the 21-year-old.

“It was like old school – no. 10 and 11 – back in 25-30 years ago when they could not bat at all. They really left him high and dry, you felt for him. He batted so well,” Graeme Swann said.

“Today, especially, this morning. It was a massive opportunity for England to take those three wickets early and restrict India’s lead. But Washington Sundar was having none of it, and he helped India extend that lead up to 160,” Graeme Swann added.

“So, he batted really well, 96 not out. He will undoubtedly get to three figures in Test cricket at some point, because he looks like a really well player,” Graeme Swann signed off.

Ex England bowler Graeme Swann (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Specsavers)
Ex England bowler Graeme Swann (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Specsavers)

Washington Sundar made a debut to remember for India in the longest format, scoring 84 runs and bagged 4 wickets, as they beat Australia by 3 wickets in Brisbane to clinch the series 2-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the second time in succession at Down Under.

Washington Sundar made his India debut in an ODI back in 2017 against Sri Lanka at the tender age of 18. Although that game remains his only appearance in the 50-over format, the off-spinner has played 26 T20Is and has become a key player under skipper Virat Kohli. He has played 4 Tests so far. He scored a crucial unbeaten 85 in the 1st Test against England at Chennai. He has also picked 6 scalps so far.

Axar Patel Picks 5 Wicket Haul Again As India Won By An Innings And 25 Runs

India won the 4th and final Test by an innings and 25 runs by bowling out England to 205 and 135 after scoring 365 courtesy Rishabh Pant’s 101 and Washington Sundar’s unbeaten 96 as he ran out of partners.

Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI
Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel is on a dream run taking 27 wickets in his first three Tests since debuting in the 2nd Test at Chennai while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took as many as 32 wickets in 4 Tests. Axar Patel would hope that he could have a long stint in the whites for Team India. The left-arm spinner has already played in limited-overs cricket for the team, but an injury to Ravindra Jadeja presented him the opportunity to showcase his skills with the red ball.

India has wrapped this up in 3 days. All-round performances from the team have made sure India has reached the World Test Championship final. Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin with the ball and Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar with the bat helped India win the Test match and series.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)
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Ben Stokes Won The Battle Against Virat Kohli: Graeme Swann

Ben Stokes dismissed Virat Kohli for a duck in India’s first innings which prompted former spinner Graeme Swann to say that the England all-rounder has won the battle against the India captain following their verbal exchange on the 1st day of the Ahmedabad Test.

After England all-rounder, Ben Stokes dismissed India captain Virat Kohli for a duck in the first session of Day 2 of the 4th Test at Ahmedabad, after which former spinner Graeme Swann has declared the former as the winner of the “battle” from Day 1.

Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes
Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ben Stokes Who Dismissed Virat Kohli On Day 2 Had Exchanged Some Words With Him On Day 1

Notably, the opening day of the Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium saw some words being exchanged between the two cricketers after Mohammed Siraj bowled a bouncer and got abused by Ben Stokes for staring at him.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes of England celebrates. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Indian skipper Virat Kohli walked in after the departure of Cheteshwar Pujara and could play only 7 balls before a sharp short ball from Ben Stokes caught him off-guard. The ball kissed his bat before landing in the hands of wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

Earlier, Graeme Swann called Virat Kohli ‘childish’ after the India captain clashed with England all-rounder Ben Stokes on the first day of the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad. One of the umpires had to intervene after the duo shared words in the middle, with England struggling on 37-3 after winning the toss.

Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes were involved in an animated verbal duel and umpire Virender Sharma had to intervene to bring things under control. The incident happened right before the start of the 14th over when the Indian skipper walked up to the England all-rounder to say something.

Ben Stokes Won The Battle Against Virat Kohli: Graeme Swann

In the post-lunch show on Sony Networks, ex-England spinner Graeme Swann has stated that Ben Stokes has won the battle against ‘world-class’ Virat Kohli. He added that Virat Kohli was tempted to play the brilliant delivery from the England all-rounder because he wanted to get off the mark.

“Well he is world class, we all know that. I said earlier in the morning that it will be difficult to start for a batsman, I was thinking more against spin bowling because of the turn and bounce. Virat, we know that he looks to score early.

“He likes bat on ball. He just chased it a little bit. I maintain that if you are not as good as Virat Kohli, you probably are not going to pick that ball, you will be too late on it. Very well done Ben Stokes, there were few words exchanged between them yesterday, so Stokes has won that battle today,” Graeme Swann said.

Graeme Swann (AP Image)
Graeme Swann (AP Image)
Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes. (Credits: Twitter)
Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes. (Credits: Twitter)
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Graeme Swann Terms Virat Kohli ‘Childish’ After Spat With Ben Stokes On The 1st Day Of The 4th Test

Graeme Swann called Virat Kohli ‘childish’ after the India captain clashed with England all-rounder Ben Stokes on the first day of the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad.

One of the umpires had to intervene after the duo shared words in the middle, with England struggling on 37-3 after winning the toss.

 Ex England bowler Graeme Swann (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Specsavers)
Ex England bowler Graeme Swann (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Specsavers)

Graeme Swann: The Little Conflab Between Ben Stokes And Virat Kohli Seemed Childish

Graeme Swann insinuated that Virat Kohli was to blame for the spat after ‘butting in’ to Ben Stokes’ conversation with England team-mate Jonny Bairstow. India took an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series last week but still needs to avoid defeat in the series finale to qualify for the World Test Championship final.

“A little conflab in the middle between Ben Stokes and Virat Kohli, not sure what it’s about, it seems very friendly,” former England spinner Graeme Swann said on Channel 4 before the duo got up close and personal.

Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes
Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“Maybe it’s not quite so friendly. The umpire’s stepping in. I want a clean fight lads, nothing below the belt, when the bell goes you go back to your corners. It’s not really up to the fielders to butt into the batsmen’s conversations when they’re out in the middle. Just let them get on with it, and you get on with your own game. It all seemed a bit childish to me,” said Graeme Swann.

Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes were involved in an animated verbal duel and umpire Virender Sharma had to intervene to bring things under control. The incident happened right before the start of the 14th over when the Indian skipper walked up to the England all-rounder to say something. While the reason behind the scuffle is still not known, Virat Kohli’s reaction made it clear that he was not at all happy.

Sunil Gavaskar: Virat Kohli Was Probably Attempting To Disrupt Concentration Of Ben Stokes

India legend Sunil Gavaskar, meanwhile, felt Virat Kohli was attempting to disrupt Ben Stokes’ focus as he engaged with the England all-rounder.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar | File Photo

“That works in the fielding side’s favour because the batsman’s concentration is gone,” Gavaskar said.

“At this particular point in time, nothing will happen to Virat Kohli for the simple reason he’s fielding. But as a batsman, if you’ve lost concentration, it sort of lingers in your mind as you’re facing up to the next ball and you’re not fully concentrating, not fully focused on the ball.”

Needing to win the fourth Test to draw the series, England lost three wickets in the first hour to slip to 30-3, with openers Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley and captain Joe Root all departing cheaply. Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow steadied the ship with a 48-run partnership but the latter was dismissed shortly after lunch to leave England 78-4.

England was bowled out for 205 with Axar Patel picking 4 scalps and Ravichandran Ashwin picking 3 scalps. Mohammed Siraj accounted for wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root. Ben Stokes scored 55 while Daniel Lawrence contributed with 46.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel was the Man of the Match in the 3rd Test after producing a match-haul of 11 for 70. He is on a dream run taking 18 wickets in his first two Tests averaging 9.44. He continued his form in the 4th Test as he took his wickets tally to 22. Axar Patel would hope that he could have a long stint in the whites for Team India. The left-arm spinner has already played in limited-overs cricket for the team, but an injury to Ravindra Jadeja presented him the opportunity to showcase his skills with the red ball.

During the Australian tour, Ravindra Jadeja broke his thumb trying to fend off a bouncer from Mitchell Starc. He was immediately ruled out of the next match and later found himself ruled out of the England Test series. Graeme Swann said that he could consider turning up for England. Graeme Swann also suggested Ravindra Jadeja coming back won’t be bad for England as the visitors have seen enough of Axar Patel already.

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India Don’t Complain About Green Tracks On An Offer In England: Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann, former England spinner, who was part of the winning Test team that won the series in India in 2012-13, feels that Joe Root-led England cannot hide behind accusations and instead should focus on working harder on their game against spin.

The visitors were bundled out for 112 and 81 in consecutive days as India completed a 10-wicket win to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series. A total of 17 wickets fell on the second day while 13 fell on the first day itself.

Graeme Swann Former England cricketer
Graeme Swann Former England cricketer (Photo | AP)

Graeme Swann: Pitch Is The Same For Both The Teams

England’s defeat in the third Test against India in Ahmedabad within two days has led to several former England cricketers talking about the quality of the pitch on offer at the Narendra Modi Stadium. While some critics believe the pitch is England’s undoing, many including Indian captain Virat Kohli, feel that the lack of application against the turning ball from batsmen of both teams led to the match ending so soon.

“Well, I hope it’s a very honest conversation (in the England dressing room after the loss) and what they have to get away from, if they are, is to talk about the pitch. I know there is a lot of talk back in England, a lot of people saying ‘oh the pitch this, the pitch that’. The pitch is the same for both teams.”

Joe Root celebrates taking the wicket of Rishabh Pant with his first ball (Pic: BCCI)
Joe Root celebrates taking the wicket of Rishabh Pant with his first ball (Pic: BCCI)

“England played well for half of this game, with the ball, but India just bowled better in the second innings. They are going to get a very similar wicket to play on next week. There are no two ways about it, England have to be better.

‘They cannot afford to make the same mistakes.They cannot afford to hide behind accusations that the pitch is turning too much. It’s nonsense,” Graeme Swann said in the post-match show Cricket Live on Star Sports.

Only 140.2 overs were bowled over the 4 innings overall as the Pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad ended in a little over 5 sessions. This was the first time England lost a Test-inside 2 days since 1912 as the Test became the shortest completed Test since 1935.

England was bundled after scoring a paltry 112 in the first innings despite having won the toss and opted to bat. In response, India lost wickets in a hurry on the 2nd day, eventually getting bundled out for 145. For England, part-time spinner Joe Root picked 5 scalps giving away only 8 runs in 6.2 overs.

England, after having done all the hard work with the ball, failed to seize the initiative as they were restricted to only 81 in their 2nd innings. Rohit Sharma (25*) and Shubman Gill (15*) knocked off the required 49-run target in just 7.4 overs to win the match for India.

Graeme Swann: India Don’t Complain About Green Seaming Decks On Offer At England

Graeme Swann went on to add that when India tours England, they are made to play on green wickets that aid seam bowling but the Indians don’t complain about it.

“When India come to England, they play on green seaming decks and India don’t complain about it, they try and improve. Virat Kohli worked his socks off to make sure his game could cope with Jimmy Anderson on a nibbling wicket. England will have to work their socks off to cope with Ashwin and more importantly Axar Patel,” Graeme Swann said.

Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI
Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI

England lost 19 out of their 20 wickets in the match to spinners. Axar Patel picked up 11 wickets, while Ravichandran Ashwin accounted for 7 wickets in the two innings combined. Spinner Washington Sundar picked up a solitary wicket in the 2nd innings while paceman Ishant Sharma picked up a wicket in the first innings.

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Graeme Swann Wants Jack Leach To Bowl Boring Line Against India In Four-Test Series

Graeme Swann, the architect of England’s famous series win in India in 2012, wants left-arm spinner Jack Leach to bowl a “boring” line and length to be successful in the four Tests against Virat Kohli‘s team.

Jack Leach and off-spinner Dom Bess face an enormous challenge having not bowled in India before.

Graeme Swann Wants Jack Leach To Bowl Boring Line Against India In Four-Test Series 1Graeme Swann: Jack Leach Should Be Deadly Boring To Operate In India

Left-arm spinner Jack Leach made the most of Moeen Ali’s absence in the Sri Lanka series, claiming a five-for alongside fellow spinner Dom Bess. Both Dom Bess and Jack Leach have made it to starting XI for 1st Test while Moeen Ali was left out.

“That’s the blueprint for Leach: run up, put it on the spot be metronomic, and be almost deadly boring in the way he operates in India,” Graeme Swann, who was the leading wicket taker in India’s last series defeat at home, was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’.

Graeme Swann Wants Jack Leach To Bowl Boring Line Against India In Four-Test Series 2Jack Leach doesn’t bowl at the pace Monty Panesar bowled in 2012 but his consistency impresses Graeme Swann.

“India’s batsmen will respect a good ball, and he doesn’t bowl very many bad ones. Generally, Indian batsmen will play the long game. That’s brilliant for him because it gives him the chance to get into a rhythm and find his groove. He can definitely be consistent enough to hold down an end,” he said.

In his career spanning 12 Test matches since his debut in 2018, before stepping into the 1st Chennai Test, off-spinner 23-year-old Dom Bess had never played against India.

Graeme Smith: Dom Bess Isn’t As Consistent As He Might Be In Future But He’s A Wicket Taker

However, Graeme Swann doesn’t expect the same consistency from Dom Bess but sees him doing well for England in the long-term.

“The fact that Dom is still young and hasn’t bowled a great number of overs in his life means that he’s not as consistent as he might be in the future. It’s a tricky one, because Bess is a wicket-taker,” Graeme Swann stated.

“He didn’t bowl particularly well in Sri Lanka and I think he’d admit that, but he took 12 wickets and he does bowl wicket-taking balls,” he added.

One of England’s finest spinners, Graeme Swann sees Dom Bess developing into a world-class bowler.

“I saw Mo (Ali) say he’s hungry to play after 18 months away and if he’s fit and going well, I would prefer the shape he gets when he drifts it away and gets dip to Bess’ shape which drifts in, because he doesn’t finish his action off all the time.”

“I think it’s a mental thing and that he might not be believing in himself, but with good mentoring and support he’ll nail that. He’s going to be brilliant, and he’ll be brilliant for England over a 10-year period. It’s just about getting there.”

Graeme Swann also feels the obsession with Ashes is not helping England’s cause.

“In 2012, we went to India and we won. We had a bloody brilliant team but we won a series against a very fine side, and the next time we went, not a single lesson had been learned so we lost 4-0. I don’t think we’d taken it seriously because the focus is so much on going to Australia to win the Ashes.”

Graeme Swann Wants Jack Leach To Bowl Boring Line Against India In Four-Test Series 3“We’ve taken our eye off the ball. India are actually the best out team in the world these days, especially in India, so I hope this time that we can get back to competing over there. Taking 20 wickets on a regular basis will be a struggle: it’s an awesome seam attack and they’ve got it in them once or twice in the series, especially in the day-night match, but whether they can do it in all four games in yet to be seen,” Graeme Swann stated.

All-rounder Moeen Ali had made noteworthy contributions, even during England’s last India tour in 2016, where they suffered a 0-4 series drubbing. Averaging 42.33, the left-handed batsman notched up two centuries and a fifty, while scalping 10 wickets with his off-break bowling.

Virat kohli, Marcus Stoinis, India vs Australia 2019
Virat Kohli has set an example as a skipper. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Dom Bess Will Go Loony If He Picks Virat Kohli’s Wicket In Chennai Test

Dom Bess, England’s off -spinner, ahead of the 1st Test against India, said that he would ‘go loony’ if he managed to bag Virat Kohli’s wicket.

In his career spanning 12 Test matches since his debut in 2018, before stepping into the 1st Chennai Test, off-spinner Dom Bess had never played against India. Ahead of his first ever Test match in the subcontinent nation, the 23-year-old shared what he is most looking forward to.

Dom Bess
Dom Bess. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Dom Bess Will Go Loony And Run Off If He Managed To Bag Prized Scalp Of Virat Kohli

Dom Bess said that he would go ‘loony’, when asked about his reaction if he managed to bag Indian captain Virat Kohli’s wicket. Virat Kohli returned to lead India after the paternity leave which saw him miss 3 Tests in Australia.

“I will go loony, be running off!” Dom Bess said, talking to TalkSport radio.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Opposition leader  Joe Root is playing his 100th Test at Chennai. He is coming after a brilliant series in Sri Lanka where he was leading run-getter with 426 runs averaging 106.5 in 2 Tests. England are 263/3 at stumps after 1st day’s play with Joe Root scoring 128 not out while opener Dom Sibley was the last man to be dismissed after scoring 87.

Dom Bess Hasn’t Bowled Lot Of Overs In His Life Which Means He Is Not As Consistent As He Might Be In Future: Graeme Swann

England’s finest spinners, now cricket experts and commentators, haven’t shown immense faith in Dom Bess despite his run in Sri Lanka. While Monty Panesar would pick Moeen Ali over Dom Bess, Graeme Swann believes that he lacks consistency but believes in a bright future ahead for the 23-year-old off-spinner.

“Jack Leach is likely to play since India have a lot of right-handers and I will pick Moeen Ali over Dom Bess as the off-spinner in the eleven as he has done well in India and has the required experience. He can also bat,” Monty Panesar told PTI from the UK.

Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“The fact that Dom is still young and hasn’t bowled a great number of overs in his life means that he’s not as consistent as he might be in the future. It’s a tricky one, because Bess is a wicket-taker,” Graeme Swann said.

Before stepping into the 1st Test against India at Chennai, that began on Friday 5th February, Dom Bess impressed with a 5-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in Galle. He bagged a total of 12 wickets across the 2 Tests in Sri Lanka.

For India, Ishant Sharma is playing alongside Jasprit Bumrah who is playing his first Test at home while Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar are the spinners.

The bowling of Jack Leach and Dom Bess could be key to England’s prospects in the series. The performances of the duo may turn it around for England as Indian batsmen showed their class against spin in Australia where spinner Nathan Lyon conceded 496 runs averaging a poor 55.11 and picked only 9 wickets in 4 Tests.

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