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India vs England 1st Test Chennai

Graeme Swann has encouraged Jack Leach to follow Rangana Herath’s lead in England’s first Test in Chennai this week, telling him that he needs to be “metronomic” and “boring” if he wants to take wickets against India’s batting line-up.

Leach took 10 wickets at 35.50 in England’s two-match series in Sri Lanka last month, nine of them across the two third innings after he had performed a holding role in the first. He bowled better than his figures might suggest, but will be playing a Test match in India for the first time this week against a side boasting exceptional records against spin in their own conditions.

Swann, who was England’s leading wicket-taker in their 2-1 series win in India in late 2012 – India’s most recent home series defeat – said that the ideal gameplan for Leach to follow entailed being “deadly boring” and bowling tight lines for long spells.

“What you see is what you get with him,” Swann said. “He’s a no-frills left-arm spinner, who runs up and pitches it on the stumps. I’d tell him very simply to watch what Herath used to do for Sri Lanka. That’s the blueprint for Leach: run up, put it on the spot, be metronomic, and be almost deadly boring in the way he operates in India.

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