What he said:
“I can’t make speeches like Churchill and I’ll try to be as natural as I can.”
Graeme Swann—the comedian—takes over from Stuart Board as skipper of the English T20 squad for two matches against West Indies next week.
It’s a Twenty20 series with a lot of young lads so I’ll have to change the way I am from the Test side.
I’m very much the joker in the Test team, I’m there for a stupid quip at the end of the session. With this Twenty20 side, I’ll naturally have to be more grown up and mature about things.
But I don’t intend to be deadly serious and change too much. I believe a fairly high-spirited approach has made me the cricketer I am.
I’ll certainly look to keep that going within my own game and, if that’s infectious to others, then great.
What Swann really meant:
“I have games to win, not speeches to make.”
What Swann definitely didn’t:
“I’ll just get the Windians to fall over—laughing their guts out.”
If the Spirit of Cricket were a kite, then we all know who should be holding the strings, sending it soaring into the stratosphere.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni made Indians (and connoisseurs of the game) proud with his decision to rescind the contentious appeal made against Ian Bell at the break of tea on the third day of the third Test at Trent Bridge on Sunday, the 31st of July, 2011.
The contrast between the two sides was not more readily apparent than last evening.
One side has gone to town with allegations about ‘bat-fixing’ with Vaseline to fox ‘Hot-Spot’, the other exhibited that the spirit of the game was more important than winning at all costs.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni had this to say about the first Test loss at Lords: “What could go wrong, went wrong.”
The Indian skipper attributed the defeat to three factors: Zaheer Khan’s injury, the lack (consequently) of a third seamer (the Jharkhand native rolled his arm over) and misfortunes (Gautam Gambhir’s elbow blow and Sachin Tendulkar’s viral flu) that forced the reshuffling of the batting order in the final innings.