‘Spin king’ Underwood backs Swann to surpass his record

London: England’s legendary spinner Dereck Underwood has urged Graeme Swann to break his record of being country’s most successful spin bowler by surpassing his wicket tally.

Having eased past fellow off-spinner Jim Laker to take 206 Test wickets so far, Swann only has one more man in his sights i.e. Underwood, and the former left-arm twirler has backed Swann to beat his bar of 297 wickets, as long as he stays fit enough to play the matches.

“Graeme has a real chance to go on and get to 300 Test wickets if he has no injury problems. There is no doubt he has benefited from the referral system, but he has bowled bloody well and has deserved the wickets he has got,” the Daily Mirror quoted Underwood, as saying.

“I’d be absolutely delighted if he were to go on and get past me for the most wickets taken by an England spinner, and I would be the first person= to shake him by the hand. He’s still got a little way to go yet, but at the rate he is going another couple of years should do it and I don’t see why he can’t do that if he stays fit,” he added.

“He’s been a terrific cricketer for England, he can catch and he can score useful runs with the bat so he’s a good man to have in the team. One of the great things about Swanny is the amount of times he has come on to bowl and immediately got a wicket,” he said.

Underwood added: “That is really impressive and goes to show the control over his craft that he has. He gets it right on the money from the start and that is a credit to him.”