Leeds: England's surprising omission of Graeme Swann for the Headingley Test has thrown up several challenges for player and team, as they seek to overcome their crisis of form this year.
Both Andrew Strauss, the team captain, and Andy Flower, Team Director, had mentioned in the days running up to the must-win second Test that an all-seam attack was a realistic option. Most scribes asking the questions, however, felt such a move was unlikely and was merely the team covering themselves against all possibilities, against a backdrop of five defeats in nine Tests this year.
Even on a sunny morning, minus the dark clouds that can sometimes encourage captains to favour seamers in selection at mysterious Headingley, England still decided to end Swann's streak of playing 43 consecutive Tests - the first time he had been dropped in over three years. The last time England omitted their lead spinner, against South Africa in 2003, they suffered defeat by 191 runs.