Swann to mentor England's new spinners

England

Former England spinner Graeme Swann has been asked to mentor the ECB's young slow bowlers ahead of the Test series against India, in the quest to find a front-line spinner since his retirement.

Former England spinner Graeme Swann has been asked to mentor the ECB's young slow bowlers ahead of the Test series against India, in the quest to find a front-line spinner since his retirement.

Swann retired during the Ashes in Australia earlier this year, after 60 Tests and 255 Test wickets. Since then though, England have juggled Simon Kerrigan, Scott Borthwick, Joe Root and Moeen Ali as spinner.

In the Tests against Sri Lanka, Ali was included as a spinning all rounder, but was not entrusted with many overs. National spin coach Peter Such has asked Swann to have a word with the aforementioned players, and also, Adil Rashid.

Swann said: "Peter Such asked me to have a chat and wondered if I'd be prepared to mentor the spinners, to sit down and have a talk with them about what it's like to bowl in Test cricket.

"If they make the step up, they can take whatever knowledge and insight I can pass on. Your mindset is completely different from how it would be in county cricket. Guys in county cricket are often batting with no pressure.

"On a Thursday afternoon at Northampton they can be playing great shots over extra cover and reverse sweeps, but a week later in a Test match it can be the exact opposite, which means you can bowl in a different way

"But the biggest thing I can impart is that even though the level is different, you are bowling with the same ball that you use in first-class cricket. What you do doesn't change. You need to come to terms with that early and start trying to get people out."

Moeen confirmed that Swann's insight would be valuable, saying that he tried to pick the retiree's brain whenever he could: "I try to speak to him whenever I can. He gives me a lot of confidence."

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