Not strange for home team to ask for helpful wicket: Grame Swann

Grame Swann

Criticised in many quarters for his demands for turning tracks in the ongoing Test series against England, beleaguered Mahendra Singh Dhoni got unexpected support from visiting team off-spinner Grame Swann who said there is nothing "strange" about the Indian skipper's request.

"It is not strange for a home team to ask for a wicket to suit their team. We do that when we play in England because we want it to suit our bowlers. The fact that we have won the last two Tests is a testimony about how well we have played and not a lot to do about the pitch," Swann said here today, two days before the start of the fourth and final Test of the series in which the visitors are leading 2-1.

Swann, who has taken 17 wickets from three matches and has complemented left-arm spinner Monty Panesar (16 from 2), also had a lot of praise for the Eden Gardens wicket at Kolkata, venue of the previous Test that India lost by seven wickets and termed it "exceptional".

"I don't know if anyone could look at that wicket we just played on and actually call it a rank turner from day one. It was a very good Test wicket and did very little for the spinners or the pacers on the first two days, gradually broke as the game went on and was turning quite nicely by the end.

Any obsession with the pitch has been banished by that because Kolkata produced an exceptional Test pitch," he said.

"I obviously don't know who is talking about the pitch, whether it is the press. We don't read the press in the changing room. We have missed out on a lot of that," he replied when asked whether the talk about rank turners actually played into England's hands.

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