Swann an injury doubt but Onions relishes return

 

Dubai

England were waiting anxiously last night for news of Graeme Swann's tight quadriceps. The world's leading off-spinner was bouncing around as ever like the Easter Bunny, if only metaphorically. He seemed blissfully unconcerned about the extent of the injury which forced him to miss most of the last day of the first practice match on Monday.

He was sent for a scan on the area yesterday and the results were sent for assessment by the ECB's medical team at home overnight. The management will be desperate for Swann to play in the second and final warm-up, against a Pakistan Cricket Board XI, which starts today.

Swann is a bowler who needs plenty of overs to find his range and his rhythm. He looked decidedly lacking in fluency during England's narrow victory against the ICC Combined XI. With figures of 2-99 and 1-33, the improvement in the second innings was obvious but the opposition were mischievously eager to point out that he did not turn the ball. Given his crucial role in the Test series against Pakistan starting next Tuesday, Swann needs all the bowling in the middle he can get. But England will not dare risk aggravating his injury.

Graham Onions, who has replaced Tim Bresnan in the squad, seems certain to be given a game with Chris Tremlett still suffering from an eye infection. It would be an overdue return for Onions, who showed himself to be of true international class in the eight Test matches he played, before he was injured in Bangladesh almost two years ago.

Forced eventually to have surgery on his back which now has a pin inserted in it, he missed a year of cricket. He worked his way back to form last season and is undoubtedly touched to be on the verge of a return. "After surgery I didn't feel I'd be here again," he said. "But if I get selected for the warm-up match and take five wickets there's a serious opportunity for me to get into the first Test side.

"I did a lot of hard work but always at the back of mind was that when I bowl that first ball, what if I'm not quite right? That was quite a hard thing to take but on the other hand it always made me train a little harder. I don't think about the back now."

It is difficult to see Onions making the team for the first Test but considering the dramatic nature of his surgery it is astonishing that he is realistically contemplating an international return at all.

Meaker at the four to skittle Bangladeshis

Four wickets from Stuart Meaker set England Lions on their way as they levelled their seven-match one-day series with Bangladesh A at 1-1.

The Surrey fast bowler removed Rony Talukder and Raqibul Hasan early and returned to snare the last two wickets in successive deliveries as Bangladesh were bowled out for 176 despite Nazimuddin's unbeaten 99.

Jonny Bairstow led the Lions' chase with an unbeaten half-century as they wrapped up a six-wicket win with more than 12 overs to spare.

Meaker struck with the fourth ball of the match, bowling Talukder, before leaving Nazimuddin stranded short of his century when he bowled Enamul Haque and then Robiul Islam at the first time of asking to finish with 4-47 from eight overs.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine