Ashes

No 'pointing fingers' - Swann

2013-12-05 14:09
Graeme Swann (AFP)

Adelaide - England will not be "pointing fingers" after dropping three catches to let Australia off the hook on the opening day of the second Ashes Test and should be satisfied with five wickets on a lifeless pitch, spinner Graeme Swann said on Thursday.

Trailing 1-0 in the series, a disciplined England attack held Australia to 273 for five at stumps at Adelaide Oval, after being behind the eight-ball before tea with the hosts having moved serenely to 155-1.

The tourists' could have had Australia on the ropes, however, but recalled spinner Monty Panesar gave George Bailey a life on 10, before Joe Root spilled a tough chance from Australia captain Michael Clark on 18.

Michael Carberry then put down the simplest of catches in the final overs to grant Brad Haddin a reprieve, and the wicketkeeper reached stumps on seven with Clarke on 48 not out.

Swann, however, took a fine catch at backward square leg to remove Bailey but only after the one-day specialist had blasted his third six on the way to 53 and his maiden half-century in his second test.

"There's always a sense of frustration when catches go down but we've taken some great catches on this trip so... we're certainly not pointing fingers," Swann told reporters.

"Obviously (Carberry's) disappointed. Carbs has taken some unbelievable catches on this trip so no one's having a go at him at all. It's just one of those things. Sometimes they don't stick and they just go down.

"The important thing for us is to bounce back, regroup and make sure (if) we get half-chances in the morning, we take it.

"Because if we need to get on top in this game we need to keep them to below 350. A couple of early wickets on Friday, be it one-handed dives or lbws or whatever, will put us in a great position."

Swann enjoyed the rare luxury of bowling in tandem with a second spinner, as Panesar grabbed his chance, if not the catch, with both hands after being out of the team for nine months.

Panesar was overlooked for the year's first Ashes series, which England won 3-0 on home soil, and endured a troubled summer, leaving Sussex after being fined for urinating on a nightclub bouncer during a drunken night out in Brighton.

"Monty's Monty. He's always been a left-field and a bit different to everyone else and it's one of the reasons why we love him so much," Swann said.

Like Swann, Panesar extracted enough turn from the flat pitch to trouble Australia and bowl all-rounder Steven Smith for six.

"We don't care what's happened in the last 12 months off the field. He's one of the boys and we embrace him as ever and we love seeing him do well."

England's decision to play two spinners was exonerated as the seamers toiled, with Swann removing Chris Rogers for 72 to continue his domination of the 36-year-old opening batsman from the first Ashes series.

After Brisbane's hot-tempered opening test, which Australia won by 381 runs, Swann joked that the teams still "hated each other's guts".

"I told Michael Clarke I'd rip his ears off. I don't think stump mike picked it up," he quipped.

"There's always going to be a bit of niggle between England and Australia between certain protagonists on the field. I'm not one.

"What's the point of chirping? You get smashed over your head the next ball."

Read more on:    england  |  ashes  |  graeme swann  |  cricket
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