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Starc could be key if Swann is to be England’s best Ashes bowler

| 08.07.2013

Australia’s decision to leave Mitchell Johnson out of their Ashes squad may have surprised a few, but given the way left-handed fast bowlers have aided Graeme Swann in England’s second Test with New Zealand, this may prove a smart move.

The footmarks created by the follow-throughs of New Zealand quicks Trent Boult and Neil Wagner have been ruthlessly exploited by Swann and have made him far more of a danger when bowling at right-handed batsmen than was previously deemed the case.

Swann has always been considered a greater threat at left-handed batsmen, taking 102 wickets against them at an average of 26.17 and this boded well for the Ashes as the majority of Australia’s top-order batsmen are left-handed.

Meanwhile, he has taken more wickets of left-handers than any other England bowler liable to make their Ashes squad.

However, if Swann wants to be England’s top wicket-taker in the Ashes, which can be backed at 7/2, dismissing the tail would take on added incentive and most of these are right-handed.

Given that a far greater number of Test cricketers are right-handed, Swann’s current return of 118 wickets at 33.74 is not especially spectacular.

But what the clash with New Zealand at Headingley has shown is that he could pose a greater threat if getting the ball to turn out of footholes created by left-handed fast bowlers.

Mitchell Starc and James Faulkner fulfil this criteria for Australia even despite Johnson’s absence and the former at least looks a likely starter.

Therefore, if England are bowling in the fourth innings of a Test and Starc has got through a decent number of overs in his two contributions with the ball, the conditions should suit Swann in wreaking havoc among the Aussie tail.

After sending most of the left-handed recognised batsmen back to the pavilion first of course.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.