My man Graeme Swann (well, after Ceci and Mel have finished with him) has made a little bit of history, by becoming the first English spinner to take 50 wickets in a calendar year. The highest previously, or so I am told, was Jim Laker with 48 (in fewer matches, admittedly). He's trusted with a pretty new ball, given the fields that he wants and does the job for Straussy pretty much every time. And he's got some quality batsmen on his list of victims, including Shiv Chanderpaul three times in five matches. If Mitchell Johnson hadn't got undeserved wickets in the Ashes (he really should have offered them exclusively to the fielders for all the rubbish he bowled in that series), Graeme Swann would be at the head of the wicket tally for 2009. In my mind he is.
Admittedly he has a preference for left-handers, but he's still picked up wickets off the righties, including batsmen like Kallis, (P)Ricky, Clarke, Amla, AB, Dravid, VVS, Viru, Sarwan, Bouch and Hadds. Pretty damn good, if you ask me. The Swannster had better keep this up and not go the way of the Mont-ster, though. Or I will be one miserable little chicken come next Australian summer.