Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press
Just one year ago, Graeme Swann was considered the finest spin bowler in the world. His accomplished twirling helped propel his country to victory against Australia in the England-hosted Ashes, taking a series-high 26 wickets.
After impotent performances in the first three Australia-hosted Ashes tests, Swann stunned the cricket world by retiring from all forms of the game.
His absence has left a gaping void in the England team, who are yet to find a suitable replacement—if one exists that is. At Nottingham, with one wicket required to dismiss India in the first innings, Swann’s ability to mop up the tail might have seen their game-swinging, 10th-wicket partnership of 111 extinguished much earlier.
Renowned for being able to inflict damage on unresponsive pitches, Swann could have also been a menace to India in their second innings on the fourth and fifth days. To his credit, Moeen Ali bagged three wickets in the second dig, but he was unable to maintain pressure over long periods. His overall return of 4-202 demonstrates his mostly ineffectual bowling.
Although his home County arena for many years, Trent Bridge was not Swann's happiest hunting ground. But his experience, as well as 14 career Test wickets there at under 40, could have made a big difference as England struggled to take Indian wickets.