Swann’s ‘off-break’ stated as ball of 21st century

Published: Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 14:10 [IST]
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'Ball of  21st century'?

London: England spinner Graeme Swann"s brilliant off-break to dismiss Pakistan opener Imran Farhat in the visitor"s second innings at Edgbaston, has been declared as the ball of the 21st century by most English dailies.

Swann clean bowled Farhat with a marvelous off-break, the third ball of a match-winning spell of 6/65 off 37 overs during England"s second Test victory by nine wickets at Edgbaston.

Swann's delivery is being compared to the ball that Australian leg spinner Shane Warne bowled to claim the wicket of Mike Gatting in 1993, with some papers saying that Swann"s delivery was the better of the two.

The Age quoted Swann as saying: "That's the best ball I've ever bowled, but it was a bit of a fluke. You try to put the ball in the right place, but don't expect it to pitch outside leg and hit off. I''m delighted."

The off-spinner Swann is shaping to be a key player in the upcoming Ashes series. He was relatively expensive the last time he played against Australia, his 14 Ashes wickets costing 40 a piece, but he twice took vital four wicket spells to play a key role in series-defining double win at Lord"s and The Oval, and has continued to rise ever since.

Commentator and former Test star Rodney Hogg calls Swann "England's only X-factor" in the upcoming Ashes series.


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