England lucky that top Indian batsmen out of form: Swann

Published: Monday, August 22, 2011, 9:45 [IST]
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England lucky in India series: Swann

London, Aug 22: England have put up exceptionally consistent performances to outwit India in the ongoing Test series but spinner Graeme Swann feels the hosts have also been quite lucky to find the visiting side's top batsmen struggling for form.

Barring Rahul Dravid, who has scored three hundreds so far, no other Indian batsman has clicked in the series and Swann said England can thank their lucky stars for the scenario.

"The main thing is just form. Dravid has been in exceptional form and when you're in good nick and you might play like he has, you look so much better than everyone else", Swann said after the fourth day's play in the fourth and final Test here.

"We were lucky when we played Australia in the winter, we managed to get three or four of their best players in really bad form at the same time. To a certain extent, that's happened this summer. We certainly haven't seen the best of guys like (VVS) Laxman and (Gautam) Gambhir."

Swann said he is looking forward to playing a big part in his team's push for a 4-0 whitewash of India on the final day.

"I look forward to it, having to play a big part in a potential victory for England. It's going to be a hard day, make no bones about that."

In India's second innings, Swann dismissed two key opposition batsmen, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag, and he would be looking to do more of the same on the final day.

"The way Dravid has been this summer he has just been exceptional. It's very satisfying to get him out tonight. He was one wicket we were really gunning for. We're very happy to see the back of him."

About Sehwag being clean-bowled, Swann said, "Bowling people through the gate only happens three or four times a year. It's always one to savour, especially when it's a player of his repute and standing.

"When it comes out of your hand, you know it's in the right place. But when you actually see it go through the gap, it's a wonderful feeling," he said.

Swann could have had Tendulkar out stumped as well but wicketkeeper Matt Prior did not appeal for it.

Asked about it, he said, "What can I say? I'm at the bowler's end so I can't see. I'm a bit surprised Matty Prior did not because he appeals for everything."


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