Arguably one of the most impressive spinners of all-time, Graeme Swann, was a specialist in the Test format of the game. With his lethal spin, he often found a way to bamboozle rival batters and get the vital scalps. The prolific spinner was tremendously consistent with his line and length, which was unplayable for batters on most occasions.
However, midway through the 2013-14 Ashes series, the offie announced his sudden retirement from international cricket at the age of 34. He concluded his career with 255 Test wickets in 60 appearances and got 104 and 51 wickets in 79 ODIs and 39 T20Is respectively. On the occasion of his 43rd birthday, let’s take a look at the three of his top spells from his international career.
8/158 vs Australia, 5th Test, 2009
In the Ashes 2009, the Northampton-born spinner made life difficult for the arch-rivals as he struck repeated blows in the fifth Test. After the home side posted a daunting target of 546 runs, Ricky Ponting and Co. were no match to the English bowling attack. Facing the likes of Stuart Broad and Swann, the Aussies succumbed under pressure. Notably, Swann picked up two four-fers to snare eight wickets across the two innings.
5/28 vs Australia, 7th ODI, 2009
Australia toured England for a seven-match ODI series in 2009. While the series turned out to be a nightmare for the hosts as they lost the first six matches, the final game however was won by England. The Aussies were dismissed for 176 thanks to a scintillating bowling performance by Swann, who scalped five wickets and gave away just 28 runs in his 10 overs.
9/164 vs South Africa, 2nd Test, 2009
Against the Proteas in 2009, Swann took the rival team by storm with a majestic bowling performance in the second Test match. Playing at the Kingsmead in Durban, Swann was adjudged Player of the Match as he scalped nine wickets across both innings, including a five-for in the final innings. England eventually won by an innings and 98 runs thanks to the spinner’s sensational performance.