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
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before