Former England off-spinner, Graeme Swann feels that a Test series win in India for England should be ranked tougher than winning the Ashes in Australia in the current scenario.
Joe Root’s team has a challenging upcoming 12 months. England is currently playing in Sri Lanka after which they will travel to India for a thrilling 4-match Test series. At the end of the year, the Three Lions will fly to Australia for an exciting Ashes.
Graeme Swann, who won 2010/11 away Ashes, believes that England should get over their obsession with an away Ashes victory. Instead, the former spinner suggests them to focus on building a spin cartel to challenge India, who are coming off a historic series victory Down Under, in their conditions.
He points out that India has not lost a Test series at home since 2012 when England beat them. Graeme Swann took 20 wickets in England’s victorious series. Indeed, India has lost just a single Test match at home since the series loss against England.
“England always saying ‘well the Ashes are coming up’. Australia are not the best team in the world anymore. They used to be, by miles, … they’re not now, but we’re obsessed with this,” Graeme Swann told tabloid ‘The Sun’.
“We have to move away from looking forward to the Ashes series. I think beating India in India is a far higher thing to strive for right now. They’re virtually unbeatable in India since we beat them in 2012. Why isn’t that the whole thing?” he asked.
Kevin Pietersen batted unbelievably well in India in 2012: Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann suggests the batsmen take a leaf out of Kevin Pietersen’s book on how to bat on the turning subcontinent pitches. Pietersen averaged 48.28 with a magnificent 186 in Mumbai. The 41-year-old opines that their batters haven’t learned the art of batting on spin-friendly tracks as Virat Kohli’s men beat England by 4-0 in the 2016 series.
“We’re not going to beat India unless spinners are taking wickets and then we’ve got someone batting like we had with Kevin Pietersen. He was ultra-aggressive. Let’s face it KP was a brilliant player and he batted unbelievably well there. We haven’t done it since, we haven’t learned from how Kev batted on that trip and haven’t gone on and used that as the blueprint,” Graeme Swann further added.