London: England off-spinner Graeme Swann has said that new Indian cricket team coach Duncan Fletcher could "come a cropper" if he tries to use his intimate knowledge of players such as Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss against them this summer.
"Fletcher knows a few of our players better than some other coaches would," Swann conceded on Thursday, in between bites of halloumi at an Indian restaurant in east London.
The Telegraph, however, quoted him, as saying: "But there`s a hell of a lot of our team he doesn`t know at all. I think that will work to our advantage, because he might be trying to double guess us a little bit and come a cropper." Swann also said that he bears no grudge against Fletcher for overlooking him during his time as coach of the England cricket squad between 1999 and 2007.
When Fletcher was in charge, he always thought of Swann as an arrogant young off-spinner.
"If I (Swann) was a coach 10 years ago, I don`t think I would have picked me, and I wouldn`t have particularly liked me being on that tour," Swann mused.
Swann had to wait seven years for that second chance - seven years in which he swapped the spin-friendly pitches of Northamptonshire for the Test ground of Trent Bridge.
He learnt the art of patience and control - qualities that did not come naturally.
He finally made his one-day return in September 2007, contributing strongly to a rare England series win in Sri Lanka.
But his full blossoming - which has carried him to the heights of No 2 in the world rankings - would have to wait until after Andy Flower succeeded Peter Moores early in 2009, and promoted him to England`s first-choice spinner ahead of Monty Panesar.
"I`d heard a rumour last week that Andy was taking the India job," Swann said. "I was a bit mortified when I heard that. I love the job he does, because he always picks me.”
"Then Jimmy Anderson texted me to say that Duncan had been appointed. It`s nice for him to come back to England, because he`s got a fine record with the England team. Now he will get a chance to pit his wits against this new England side during the summer," Swann said.