Graeme Swann Highlights Visitors’ Disadvantage Ahead of Series Decider – SportsMediaz

Veteran England off-spinner Graeme Swann said that the hosts will have a slight edge over the Indian cricket team in the rescheduled fifth Test starting in Birmingham on Friday. India were leading the series 2-1 last year before the final Test was abandoned owing to a COVID-19 outbreak in the visitors’ camp.

The scheme of things will be a bit different for both teams from last time. Both teams have got new captains in Ben Stokes and Rohit Sharma along with new head coaches in Rahul Dravid and Brendon McCullum.

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England have played fearless cricket under new management in Test cricket as they completed a 3-0 series whitewash against New Zealand after winning the third and final Test by seven wickets on Monday

Swann feels that playing just one warm-up game ahead of the series decider is a disadvantage for India as England will be the favourites after the series win over New Zealand.

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“England are in a very good position and I would say they are slight favourites because of that series (against New Zealand),” Swann said in a virtual interaction, facilitated by Sony Sports, official broadcasters of the India-England series.

“And the fact that India just had one (warm-up) game in England, so they are coming in cold (for) the Test match, which is a bit of disadvantage. They (England) have got the three-Test matches under their belt, so that makes them pre-game favourites.”

Swann hailed the aggressive brand of cricket played by England under new captain Ben Stokes and new head coach Brandon McCullum and said this was a “bad time” to face England.

“It is a real bad time to play England because they just played these three games against New Zealand.

“You are going to face an England team where Joe Root is back to his absolute best, where Olive Pope is playing his best-ever for England. Ben Stokes has amalgamated the team and got playing in an ultra-positive and rock and roll fashion,” he added.

Also Read | ‘Would Happily See Cheteshwar Pujara Open The Batting if Rohit Sharma Fails to Recover’ – Graeme Swann

 Swann further highlighted the flaws in the England team as he feels the opening combination is still an area of concerns for the hosts.

“There are chinks in the armour – the opening batting slot is still very weak. But nearly all the other spots had excellent (returns). Even the spinner Jack Leach, who is under a lot of pressure, has got 10 wickets in a match,” explained Swann.

(Watch the LIVE coverage of the much anticipated fifth Test between England and India on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi), and SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels starting from 1st July at 3:30 pm IST.)

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