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Murali assists Swann in developing his doosra

September 9, 2012

Paul Newman, in Mail Online, 7 September 2012

Graeme Swann has been working on a new, mystery delivery with the great Muttiah Muralitharan as he looks to add another weapon to his armoury in response to the most disappointing summer of his Test career. Swann, 33, returns to the England side for the first Twenty20 international against South Africa at Durham after resting his chronic elbow condition for three matches, with his own version of the ‘doosra’ up his sleeve.

The off-spinner was shown the delivery by the legendary Sri Lankan mystery spinner Murali when the pair met earlier this summer and Swann has been working on it in the nets ever since. “Mentally I am still working on things, new ways of getting people out,” said Swann. “I’m working on a mystery ball that Murali showed me when we did a sponsor’s day.”

‘He said, “Have you tried this?” It’s a really good ball, I think. It’s just a question of when I try it out because I’m worried it’s filth at the moment!’

The new delivery, which will emerge from the front of his hand and turn away from right-handers, remains a work in progress and it is far from certain Swann will unveil it in the three-match short-form series. Yet the fact he is working on it is evidence Swann, who was rested for the Headingley Test last month after enduring his most lean season to date, is an old spinning dog who realises he needs to learn new tricks.

 Pic from AP

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