Exclusive: Graeme Swann On The IPL & ‘Exceptional’ Strauss Appointment

I was hopeful that England could have won the series in the West Indies but sadly it wasn’t to be.

The third Test was something of a letdown after we’d played some good cricket in the first and then won the second in Grenada largely thanks to the brilliance of Jimmy Anderson, but Barbados was a disappointment.

The start of the second innings on the second day – which we ended 39/5 – was really disappointing, and we lost too many cheap and quick wickets – with the West Indies spinner Veerasammy Permaul taking three.

Credit to the West Indies though. They could have hung their heads after Grenada but they picked themselves up, dusted themselves down and got a really deserved victory to ensure that the series ended level.


All Change!

The ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy at the NatWest T20 Blast Final : News Photo

Since then, it’s been all change at the head of the ECB, and a man I know well has come into the frame.

I think the appointment of Andrew Strauss as England’s Director of Cricket is an absolutely exceptional move. I played under him for a long time and he’s a really good man manager.

Those who say he’s ‘too establishment’ and won’t make the tough decisions simply don’t know Straussy. He won’t take personal opinions into account when he’s making the difficult calls. He’ll pick what’s best for England and he’ll waste no time in showing that he means business.

There should be optimism around the camp again, and that’s great.

Check out Unibet's whole host of markets for the England-New Zealand series


Moores Moves Over

I don’t think Peter Moores did a bad job as coach, but he’s just not the right man to serve England under Strauss.

It’ll be interesting to see who gets the job now, but I think whoever it is is coming in at an exciting time. There’s a rebuilding job to be done, but I don’t think it’s a drastic one. We just need to get back to where we were two years ago.


AB Delivers

CRICKET-WC-2015-RSA : News Photo

Moving on to the IPL, and I want to talk about two Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen who have really taken the tournament by storm in this past week.

AB de Villiers hit a brilliant 133 not out off 59 balls against the Mumbai Indians to register the highest score of the tournament so far, and it was a knock which underlined why I think he’s the best in the world right now.

The way he bats almost removes his stumps, as he wanders around the crease and makes life so difficult for the bowlers he’s up against. For the life of me I can’t believe why he bats so low down the order for South Africa in One Day cricket, as I’d have him opening and heading for scores of about 250! He’s incredible.

Bet on De Villiers To Finish as The Top Runscorer in the IPL here


Gayle Force

CRICKET-WC-2015-NZL-WIS : News Photo

The other RCB batsman in the news has of course been Chris Gayle, who has now registered two of the top five scores in this season’s IPL thanks to his 117 off 57 balls against the Kings XI Punjab.

We all know about Gayle. He’s an absolute nightmare to bowl against and especially on those small Indian grounds where the outfields are rapid and there is literally no stopping him.

As a bowler you try and stay one step ahead but it’s hard if players like Gayle are picking up your variations. You just have to get it in the right areas and hope they mess up. Failing that, they might just hit a full toss straight to a fielder!

Once Gayle gets in a zone and just goes for it it is almost too easy for him, but the same goes for De Villiers and the other great players.

RCB have loaded up their top order and I think that will serve them really well the longer this tournament goes on.

After all, who want to be a bowler against players like that?! 


Read more from England Cricket Legend Graeme Swann