Outburst shows that Swann is still fired up for the one-day game

England spinner performs with usual guile – and has usual rant after Bresnan drop

The Oval

Graeme Swann has expressed enough reservations about one-day cricket to suggest he has an uncertain future in the international 50-over game, yet his commitment and his importance to England's improvement in this format cannot be questioned.

Swann's candour is an essential element of his competitive nature and in recent times, he has delivered trenchant assessments about 50-over cricket. The off-spinner sympathised with Kevin Pietersen's decision to retire from England's one-day side and he is worried about the time he will spend away from his young family during the coming winter.

Swann also said last year that he would have rather played a fourth game against South Africa, who arrive later this month for a three-Test series that will determine who ends the summer at the top of the world Test rankings, than this five-match 50-over contest against Australia.

Swann's words were sufficiently strong to persuade coach Andy Flower to seek out his best slow bowler and ask him whether he retained the desire to play for England in all forms. Flower left those discussions convinced of Swann's dedication, and the 33-year-old's performance yesterday should have satisfied him further.

During his opening seven-over spell, Swann bowled with typical intelligence and control. His patience and skill disrupted the rhythm of the Australian batsmen and cost Swann only 17 runs, and brought the wicket of Shane Watson. The tourists added only 50 runs between the last ball of the 20th over and the penultimate delivery of the 37th over, testament to the influence and guile of Swann.

It was an exemplary display of slow bowling, but what happened in Swann's final over of the innings demonstrated even more eloquently that the fire still burns fiercely within him. The last delivery of his eighth over was launched towards the midwicket boundary by George Bailey. Tim Bresnan, running round the boundary, flung himself towards the ball. It would have been a magnificent catch and it looked a fine effort from Bresnan, yet his failure to hold on sent his team-mate into a rage.

Swann and Bresnan are close friends but Swann was in no mood to spare his pal. With hands on hips and an expression as menacing as the clouds above The Oval before the two rain delays, Swann told the world exactly what he thought of the escape England had granted Bailey.

Is it productive or wise to castigate a team-mate for a mistake? It sometimes makes for uncomfortable watching, but England expect much of each other and the results – England are top of the world rankings in Test and Twenty20 cricket – indicate that the end justifies the means.

Swann and Stuart Broad, the Twenty20 captain, are two of the quickest to let their feelings be known and the "double teapot" – the sight of an England bowler with hands on hips after a fielding error by a team-mate – is a common sight. It was particularly apparent during the World T20 in the Caribbean two years ago, a competition England won.

Swann might have gone too far this time, but his rant was not the act of a man who has become indifferent about England's form in 50-over matches. Perhaps Swann was wrong to be so annoyed with Bresnan, but his anger was born of a desire to see England succeed.

Furthermore, Swann's invective did Bresnan no appreciable damage. In his opening spell, the Yorkshire bowler had struggled but he played an important role later in the Australian innings and struck twice in the 47th over.

A full, in-swinging delivery proved too good for Bailey, and three balls later, Matthew Wade's attempt at a reverse-flick brought a simple catch for Broad and presented Bresnan with another victim. Two wickets in four deliveries for the seamer.

Had Swann's verbal assault had a positive effect on Bresnan's bowling? Never shy to offer a wry observation, Swann would doubtless claim the credit for it.

 



Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
News
Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives his annual televised question-and-answer session
peopleBizarre TV claim
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit