Pietersen: Swann made Cook's captaincy look good

England

Former batsman Kevin Pietersen is adamant England are going to struggle without the retired Graeme Swann during July and August's challenging five-Test series against India.

Former batsman Kevin Pietersen is adamant England are going to struggle without the retired Graeme Swann during July and August's challenging five-Test series against India.

Swann quit international cricket during the tour of Australia last year – and the English have not identified a feasible replacement for the foreseeable future yet. Left-armer Monty Panesar was the incumbent – but has since been dropped by Essex.

Leg-spinner Scott Borthwick was not retained after the fifth and final Ashes Test, while burgeoning all-rounder Moeen Ali was the slow bowler of choice during last month's series against Sri Lanka.

"Alastair Cook struggles to captain the side when opposition batters become established because he cannot toss the ball to Swann, who could defend and attack in equal measure," Pietersen wrote in the <i>Daily Telegraph</i>.

"Swann made Andrew Strauss' captaincy look good and he made Cook's look good, too, by making crucial breakthroughs when the opposition were threatening to take the game away.

"It was down to Swann's genius, and not tactical masterstrokes. The Indians respect Swann hugely, they think he is a fantastic bowler and I know they are licking their lips about facing any other English spinner who bowls to them."

The first Test will get underway at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Wednesday. Lord's in London, the Rose Bowl in Southampton, Old Trafford in Manchester and The Oval in London will host fixtures two, three, four and five respectively.

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