England v New Zealand: Graeme Swann spin tipped to turn game after early struggles with swing


After he and his team-mates struggled to overcome the New Zealand swing bowlers, Jonathan Trott claimed that England's spinner might prove the decisive influence in this match.

While the opening day of the First Investec Test did not set hearts racing, it was easy to admire the work of Trent Boult and Tim Southee. Boult, a left-arm seamer, excelled in the recent Test series between these teams in New Zealand and he performed well again here, producing the ball of the day to remove Trott shortly before tea.

Trott, who made 39, was encouraged, however, by the performance of Bruce Martin. The left-arm spinner took one for 37 from his 24 overs, and those figures, coupled with the nature of the pitch, convinced Trott that Graeme Swann should enjoy himself in the later stages of this match.

"The pitch looks dry and if this game goes five days, I think it's going to spin," said Trott. "It's a bit softer than normal. People always expect high-scoring games at Lord's but this one could be a little bit different. It's an option and it's that sort of pace where the spin bowlers are hard to work away.

"The rough patches were in line with what Graeme can usually exploit. The wicket was a lot slower than everyone was used to, but I thought we did okay. We've spoken about setting up the game in the first innings and we've still got the chance to do that. The new ball will hopefully come on to the bat a bit better on the second day and there is the potential to kick on."

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, the batsmen who remain unbeaten overnight, will be required to guide England into a position of dominance, to allow Matt Prior, Stuart Broad and Swann to attack when their chances come. Yet New Zealand are proving once more that they are difficult opponents.

Boult finished with the wickets of Trott and the captain, Alastair Cook, and he will anticipate more today with the new ball. "It was noticeable midway through the day that England were playing in a pretty reserved way and looking to bat time," he said.

"It looked as though England were trying to outlast us and they certainly weren't looking to dominate. They're good batsmen, and I expect them to respect good balls."

Three bowlers arrested for IPL spot-fixing

Police arrested and took into custody Test bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth and two other Indian cricketers over allegations of spot-fixing during the Indian Premier League.

"It is with considerable regret and anguish that I pronounce the arrest of three players – namely Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila – and seven bookies and their assistants," Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said. "There was an agreement that the players would give away a minimum amount of runs in an over."

Kumar added the bowlers, all of whom play for the Rajasthan Royals, gave signals before giving away the number of runs decided upon. Kumar said up to $110,000 (£71,862) were given for such an over.

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