Graeme Swann, who according to Shane Warne is the best spinner in the world today, said it was a dream to take 200 Test wickets when he dismissed Harbhajan Singh on the second day of the second Test here on Saturday.
“It was only a dream. Five years ago, I never even thought about it. I’m absolutely over the moon the way my career has panned out. It’s changed at the top just at the right time for me and it’s been a great four years,’’ he said.
The off-spinner believed that Panesar bowled magnificently on Friday.
“I am loving playing with Monty. I grew up in Northampton where he first started. I loved the way he reacted after the Sachin Tendulkar dismissal. I never seen him so animated. Me and Monty love playing together but our record playing as a team hasn’t been very successful. We are looking to change that,’’ he added.
The crafty off-spinner described Cheteshwar Pujara as a stand-out performer in the series so far.
“He uses his feet very well and plays each ball on its merits. I think the runs he scored tells its own story. It’s nice to finally dismiss him. It doesn’t usually take us three innings of a Test series innings to get anyone out,’’ he said.
On whether Pujara was playing better than other Indian batsman against him, he said, “Not particularly. He’s got a game plan that works for him. He doesn’t hit the ball in the air and uses his feet well. He is a fine player.’’
Swann felt that Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen batted well in the middle.
“You don’t want to see, especially in the first innings, the spinners being dominant and a team being 30 for 4 or 30 for 3. It sends shockwaves to the dressing room. Conversely, when batsmen are batting well, it does have a calming influence.’’
Regarding the wicket, Swann said that it’s a pitch where batsmen, once well set, can notch up good scores.