Blogs & Opinion


Shane Warne:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Ashes 2013/14: Graeme Swann is a loss but England must fight in Melbourne

Shane Warne - Shane Warne Posted 23rd December 2013 view comments

The Boxing Day Test is a unique experience and something all international cricketers want the opportunity to play in.

It's a special time of year; Christmas, with family and friends watching, and to walk out into an incredible atmosphere at the MCG, with 80,000-odd people there, is amazing.

I've been lucky to have a few fantastic playing memories of the Boxing Day Test but my last one, in 2006/07, has to be my favourite.

Loss: England will miss spinner - and dance conductor - Swann, says Warne

Loss: England will miss spinner - and dance conductor - Swann, says Warne

I took my 700th Test wicket (Andrew Strauss) and 5-30-odd on the first day of a Test match when England were cruising.

That day started for me at 5.30 in the morning for the Shane Warne Foundation, raising money for seriously unwell and under-privileged children.

I was exhausted when I arrived at the ground at half eight but, after losing the toss and taking five wickets, it was pretty amazing!

England have got to come out and fight. It's no disgrace losing, but it's the way England have lost that has been disappointing.

Shane Warne
Quotes of the week

This year, England have got to come out and fight.

It's no disgrace losing, but it's the way England have lost that has been disappointing. Australia have set them over 500 runs three times in a row which is sheer dominance.

If England continue to play the way they are, with that lack of fight and lack of spirit, then it's going to be a whitewash.

Australia are not going to take their foot off the throat, they are going to continue to play the way they're playing and if England don't show more willing and do something different, it will be 5-0.

Swann

England need a lift because they're not playing well enough and they're not showing enough spirit or character, but this is a perfect opportunity for them to show how good they are.

Now is the time for England to enjoy their cricket. They've not been able to enjoy the tour so far because they have played so badly and Australia have been fantastic.

In terms of England's line-up, I wouldn't be changing the team too much if I was them.

I'd be saying to the guys, 'show me what you've got and show us that you want to play Test cricket for England' because what we've seen so far has been nowhere near good enough.

That's going to be harder to do without Graeme Swann, who announced his retirement over the weekend.

What an amazing player he's been; he's probably one of the best off-spinners I've seen and in the last few years he's been the best off-spinner in world cricket.

Opportunity

It's disappointing he's not going to be there for the full series, play it out and try to get something back in the last two Test matches.

But he obviously thought his body couldn't do it and he wanted to give an opportunity to somebody else.

How England cope with his departure is important because if they are not careful they are going to lose five or six players at the same time and they'll go through what Australia had to go through for a couple of years when everyone started to retire.

But now is a great opportunity for Alastair Cook, as the captain, to stand up and take charge, which he hasn't done enough in this series.

When you look at the Australia team you know who's in charge, when you look at the England team there are three or four people waving their hands around telling people where they should be fielding.

Cook needs to take charge and now is as good a time as any.

back to top

Other Cricket Experts:

Latest Posts in Cricket:

Latest News RSS feeds

Trott ready for England return

Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott says he is ready for an England recall.

Div One: Middlesex collapse

Middlesex were reduced to 64-7 in reply to Somerset's first-innings 523-9 declared on day two at Taunton.

Benn spins Windies to win

Sulieman Benn claimed 5-72 as West Indies beat Bangladesh by 296 runs in St Lucia to complete a 2-0 series victory.

Div Two: Essex win, Hants toil

Hampshire were favourites to secure promotion, but Kent's resistance and an Essex win have complicated matters.

Clarke to miss Pakistan series

Australia captain Michael Clarke will miss the one-day series against Pakistan because of a hamstring injury.

Features

Sky Sports reviews the week in sport with the best and worst performances

Sky Sports reviews the week in sport with the best and worst performances

Some big prizes were handed out this week but, as always, for every gloating winner there are a number of losers counting their losses.

Yorkshire can dominate

Yorkshire can dominate

Yorkshire could dominate four-day cricket for years to come after winning their first County Championship title since 2001, says Dominic Cork.

Sportswomen Podcast: England cricketer Heather Knight on the show

Sportswomen Podcast: England cricketer Heather Knight on the show

Listen to this week's edition of Sky Sports News HQ's Sportswomen show with guest Heather Knight as a podcast.