End ODIs says Swann as Tendulkar 'fails'


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The Independent Online

England spinner Graeme Swann would like to see one-day international cricket scrapped – but admits he does not expect his "purely personal choice" to find much support.

Swann was top of the one-day bowling rankings as recently as last month before slipping to third, and has taken 90 wickets in 64 ODIs at an average of 25.43. However, he took just two wickets during England's recent 5-0 hammering in India and was left out for the game in Mumbai.

"I think one-day cricket will have to give at some point, hopefully for everyone," he told the BBC. "I don't think that game should carry on for much longer.

"For me it's not as enjoyable to play in. I think Test cricket and Twenty20 are the way forward for cricket. We do play too much cricket and if something had to give my choice would be 50-over cricket, or make it 40-over cricket or something.

"But that's a purely personal choice. I don't think many people agree with me. I think I will finish [playing] before any changes take place so I will carry on playing whatever they put in front of me."

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, Sachin Tendulkar fell just six runs short of his 100th international century yesterday before tailender Ravichandran Ashwin showed him the way with a maiden hundred in the third Test against West Indies.

India were all out for 482 in their first innings, in reply to West Indies' 590, with the tourists making 81 for 2 by the end of the fourth day.

With bat dominating ball throughout the match to make a draw the only likely result today, day four was set up for Tendulkar's landmark innings but he was dismissed by Ravi Rampaul for 94 to the dismay of a packed crowd in his native city. But India's No 8 Ashwin, who had scored just four in two innings in his first two matches, soon lifted the mood with an entertaining 103 in 118 balls before he was last man out.

Then spinner Pragyan Ojha took two wickets with the new ball as West Indies slumped briefly to 30-2 before extending their lead to 189 by stumps.

The Wankhede crowd had seen the 38-year-old national icon – who lost his partner VVS Laxman to Fidel Edwards' first ball in the day's second over – advance at full speed from his overnight 67 to close on what will be an unprecedented milestone before he edged Rampaul to Darren Sammy at second slip.

Having taken six off the day's first over, Tendulkar sped into the nineties by upper-cutting Edwards for six. At that point he had taken 26 from 18 balls but with the script seemingly written, Rampaul played the party-pooper as Tendulkar edged an attempted back-foot drive to Sammy at slip.

Rampaul then squeezed a yorker into Mahendra Singh Dhoni's stumps as a now-rattled India found themselves in danger of following on at 331 for six. But Virat Kohli steadied matters with Ashwin in a productive period before lunch, falling after reaching a maiden Test half-century to give Devendra Bishoo his first wicket of the match.

Ashwin was slapping the ball to the fence at will at the other end – including two sixes off Bishoo – but needed the last man in, Ojha, to hold up an end as he moved to his maiden century.

Dhoni gave Ojha the new ball when the tourists began their second innings and he repaid his captain's faith with the wickets of Adrian Barath and Kirk Edwards before Kraigg Brathwaite and the first-innings centurion Darren Bravo batted out the day.