Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Swann's Back in Action but England Still Have Concerns

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Swann's Back in Action but England Still Have Concerns

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Cricket Correspondent

GRAEME SWANN bowled for the first time in England's Ashes warm-up match against Essex after recovering from the damaged forearm he suffered yesterday.

Swann had an X-ray that revealed he had not suffered a fracture and he was back on the field when play began today. Essex bowler Tymal Mills inflicted the blow on Swann and this morning he hit the off-spinner for two sixes before Swann bowled him.

A final-wicket stand of 47 ensured Essex avoided the follow-on but David Masters was unable to bowl because of an Achilles problem.

Life then became even easier for England's batsmen when Mills had to leave the field with hamstring trouble after sending down three overs.

At lunch, England were 80 for one, with a lead of 215. Joe Root made 26 before he was leg-before trying to hit the leg-spin of Tom Craddock, who took five wickets in the first innings, across the line.

In the match, baby-faced teenager Aaron Beard found himself playing against England as a substitute fielder. The 15-year-old was one of two youngsters pressed into the action from the Essex academy to cover for injuries on day three of the warm-up clash.

Swann's recovery, meanwhile, was good news for England since the injury scare showed that some departments in the team are stronger than others.

This Ashes warm-up is a chance for Tim Bresnan and Steve Finn to fight for the final place in a four-man bowling attack for the First Test on July 10.

Graham Onions is also trying to make his case but were Swann to miss out, where would England turn? James Tredwell was an outstanding replacement in the Champions Trophy, when Swann's back and calf problems restricted him to just one appearance. But while Tredwell is a smart, experienced off-spinner, he is still to take a first-class wicket in five matches for Kent this season.

No matter how many left-handed batsmen Australia include in their top six when the teams are named for Trent Bridge, Tredwell would inspire far less trepidation than Swann. …

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