Indian wrist spinners can do well in England, says Swann

"If they’re (Indian leggies) fit and they’re picked and bowled, they could do very well,” reckons former England off-spinner Graeme Swann.

Left-arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal have been India's bowling linchpins in the spin department.   -  K.R. DEEPAK

Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann believes English batsmen don’t pick wrist spin well and India can exploit the weakness during its much-anticipated tour of England.

The Virat-Kohli led India is scheduled to play five Tests, three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) between July and September 2018.

READ: Kumble: England tour a litmus test for Kuldeep, Chahal

And Swann believes Indian wrist spinners can prosper in English conditions. “Wrist spinners can do well in England. Yasir Shah did well for Pakistan last year. So, the English players don’t tend to bowl wrist spin or pick it very well. If they’re fit and they’re picked and bowled, they could do very well,” Swann told reporters.

“The trick is that in England you’ve to get people on the front foot, because the wicket’s slightly slow, so as soon as you’re slightly short, you get murdered around the ground. Why Yasir did really well for Pakistan is that he bowled quick leg spin..he didn’t allow batsmen to go on the backfoot.

“So, if they heed the advice of Shah, they could have a very good time,” said Swann when asked whether Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will be successful in England.

Swann also feels that England is currently in a transition phase and there is a big gap in its spin department.

“But India’s batting is a lot better. The last time around, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad just threw India away and Moeen Ali bowled really well. This time around, they’ve got Broad and Anderson who’re still brilliant, still world class, but the back-up... Moeen Ali is not even in the team against Pakistan. So, there’s a big gap in the spinners department,” he said.

Talking about India skipper Virat Kohli’s county stint with Surrey, Swann said: “It’s good Virat’s been given a chance to go play for Surrey. He’ll enjoy Surrey trust me. The wickets at the Oval are unbelievable to bat on. He will have a good tour.

“Unless he plays against Jimmy (James Anderson) or Broady (Stuart Broad) in county games, I don’t think it’ll help because they’re so much better than the county bowlers.

“But I think it’s good. I think it’s good that English cricket allowed foreign players to come over and train before,” said the 39-year-old on the sidelines of a promotional event.

“The batting line-up is secured at the top of the order. So England is in a transition and is not as strong as it could be. It all depends how Virat Kohli copes with Jimmy Anderson because Virat had a terrible (outing) in England last time around. He’s the best batsman in the world at the moment And if he goes well, he could inspire Indians very well.

“India’s pace attack is a lot better these days. I’m hoping it’ll be a good series,” explained Swann.

Swann backed England skipper Joe Root to win the battle against Kohli. “I’d back Joe (Root) to win that battle, but I’m a bit nervous about Virat,” he said.