London: Graeme Swann might be carrying huge burden of expectations on his shoulders during England's tour of India but the offspinner has warned that his bowling will not be the lone decisive factor in his team's attempts to improve on its just one Test win in the country since 1985.
During his debut Test match in Chennai four years ago, Swann had taken two wickets in his first over and since then has added another 190 to his tally. And the spinner knows that the expectations would be higher this time around, especially when it comes to sub-continent wickets. "As a spinner it stands to reason that when you go to the subcontinent people are going to look to you and how you bowl. But if we do turn up just expecting the spinner to win the series for us then we're screwed," Swann told the 'Independent' before heading off for England's training camp in Dubai.
Although Swann has taken 39 wickets in 2012, his 10 victims during the English summer came at an average of 59 and he was dropped for the first time in more than three years when England opted to play four fast bowlers against South Africa at Headingley. Moreover, a chronic elbow injury, which has needed periods, has also hampered his chances but Swann can take confidence from his impressive record in Asia that includes taking his second 10-wicket haul in Tests against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
"The key to Test cricket is that the more you play the more confident you get and the more confident you get, you bowl more consistently. Having looked at the schedule, I know two of the pitches might turn, in Kolkata and Mumbai. I'm not sure about the other two. I have been reliably informed that Nagpur is the flattest wicket ever devised by groundsmen but that was by Cooky, who got a hundred there on his debut," said Swann.
Recalling his memorable debut in India in 2008, Swann said, "It all started for me there and I can't quite believe it has come round again so quickly. It all seems like a dream when I think about the start of it. I remember the smells that were wafting over the ground when I took the ball. It's all very romantic when I think back. The rose-tinted glasses are removed of course because of the fact that we had 360-odd chased down at a canter by Mr Tendulkar. But it's got fond memories for me personally because I did well.
"To realise that you can compete at a level that you have always had a sneaking suspicion that you weren't good enough for is one of the greatest weights ever to be lifted off your shoulders. I will be indebted to those first two Test matches for making me realise it was just another game of cricket," said Swann.