Graeme Swann was yesterday named as England's fifth captain in a month. Swann will lead the team in two Twenty20 matches against West Indies at The Oval next week. His unexpected elevation was prompted by shoulder injuries both to the T20 captain, Stuart Broad, and his deputy, Eoin Morgan.
Whilst Swann's nomination came as a surprise it also makes perfect sense. The selectors might have been tempted to turn to the one-day captain, Alastair Cook, but his inclusion would have necessitated tinkering with the batting order. Swann is sure of his place in the side and has an acute cricket brain. His breezy personality does not automatically make him suited to leadership, but equally it may temper some of his more mischievous traits.
It was noticeable that he had nothing to say yesterday on Twitter where he is usually loquacious. The selectors have chosen two uncapped cricketers, Danny Briggs, the Hampshire left-arm spinner, and Jonny Bairstow, the Yorkshire batsman. Briggs would be the first England player from the Isle of Wight.
Jimmy Anderson, has been recalled, presumably to cover for Broad. There is no place for Kevin Pietersen, who is said to be continuing his rest. It still seems mighty mysterious. Swann will join Andrew Strauss, Cook, Morgan and Broad in being captain of England in Tests, one-dayers and T20s this season.
England T20 squad GP Swann, JM Anderson, JM Bairstow, RS Bopara, SG Borthwick, TT Bresnan, DR Briggs, JC Buttler, JW Dernbach, ST Finn, AD Hales, C Kieswetter, SR Patel, BA Stokes.