Broad: Swann's the best I've played with

England

England fast bowler Stuart Broad has named team-mate Graeme Swann as the best player he has shared a dressing room with, saying the spinner's ability to take wickets on pitches that don't suit him make him invaluable.

England fast bowler Stuart Broad has named team-mate Graeme Swann as the best player he has shared a dressing room with, saying the spinner's ability to take wickets on pitches that don't suit him make him invaluable.

Swann, when fit, is almost impossible to leave out the side, no matter the track, and Broad thinks this stability in terms of selection has helped England become one of the best Test sides in the world.

Broad said in an interview with Askmen.com: "The best player I've played with would be Graeme Swann, just because he's proved that regular finger-spinners can take wickets in international cricket for England.

"There have been a lot of spinners take wickets who've been quite unorthodox but Swanny is an orthodox off-spinner and he's had huge success.

"He's brought an amazing balance to the England side in that he can take wickets on the first day of a Test match so a lot of our recent success in the last four or five years has been down to the balance he brings to the team."

When asked who the toughest batsman to bowl to was, Broad said:" I found Ricky Ponting the hardest to bowl to and it was a great pleasure to play against him as he was genuinely one of the best that's ever played and a really tough competitor as well.

"He hated you when you were on the field but he always shook your hand and was the epitome of 'play hard but play fair.'"

Broad was also asked about Yorkshire batsman Joe Root, who has recently become more of an all-rounder with his effective off-spin. Broad said Root's success was down to his mature and calm attitude.

He said: "Rooty's very good, most important of all he's got a sound head on his shoulders and being able to keep calm in international cricket is exactly what you need. He's obviously a fantastic player and he deals with the pressure of international cricket really well.

"His bowling's an added bonus and especially in this series so far with the wickets turning as much as they have been; he could be very useful when we need to go double-spin or if Swanny needs a break.

"His wickets are a bonus to the side but most importantly his 180 helped to set up the Test match at Lords. Being 33-3 we were in trouble and he showed a calm head. He'll be delighted with his contribution and we're hoping to see a lot more of him, not just in this series but for many years to come."

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