Saturday, December 20, 2008

''There once was an ugly duckling...''

Question now is if England only play one spinner, as you assume they'll do in the West Indies and at home next summer - who do they pick?

It comes down to what job(s) you expect your spinner to do. In English conditions, I'd list the requirements (in order of importance) as: -

- Provide an element of control, ideally in a long spell, which gives the quicker bowlers the opportunity to work in short bursts at the other end.

- Exploit whatever turn there is in the pitch.

- Bowl a batting side out on a wearing pitch on day five, if the opportunity is there.

- Score useful runs down the order, or at least hang around to support better batsmen if the situation calls for it.

- Be effective enough in the field so you don't have to be hidden.

As things stand, based on that job description, I reckon Swann is a better bet than Panesar. I reckon Pietersen is starting to think that too.

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