English spinner Graeme Swann had an untimely retirement from the game, but one can never forget the kind of impact he had for England, more specifically in the longer version.
Always rated as a spinner who stuck to his basics and never did anything extravagant to pick wickets, Swann’s key strength was his accuracy. Post the catastrophic Ashes tour of 2013/14 in Australia, Swann announced that he will be hanging his boots with immediate effect.
Yet, in a short span, he proved the world that good results can be reaped by sticking to the basics. He became the only spinner in English history to pick up 50 wickets in a calendar year in 2009.
Swann took some time to decide his favorite 11 of all time. There were few surprises in the list but his picks were clearly confined to the players against whom he had played during his career.
Some notable absentees in the list are Brian Lara, Kumar Sangakarra and Virender Sehwag. Yet, he had his own explanations to his selection. He opted for Mark Boucher over Kumar Sangakarra as the wicket-keeper and his partner in crime Mahela Jyawardena made it to the side.
Rahul Dravid, Grame Smith, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and Jayawardena comprise the top 6, followed by Boucher. Saeed Ajmal is the lone spinner in the side alongside 3 fast bowlers, Dale Steyn, Tim Southee and Mitchell Johnson.
Definitely, it looks one solid side but few Indian fans might get disappointed considering how entertaining were the duels between Sehwag and Swann in the past. Yet, not many can argue with the presence of these legendary individuals in the side.
Graeme Swann’s Dream Team – Rahul Dravid, Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Sachin Tendulkar, Mahela Jayawardena, Mark Boucher, Saeed Ajmal, Dale Steyn, Mitchell Johnson and Tim Southee
Dravid, G Smith, Ponting, Kallis, Tendulkar, Jayawardena, Boucher, Ajmal, Steyn, Johnson, Southee https://t.co/goH09uAm5w
— Graeme Swann (@Swannyg66) December 27, 2016