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Graeme Swann makes India v England prediction and reveals big ‘worry’

Graeme Swann expects India to edge England in a closely-fought Test series (Picture: Getty)

Graeme Swann admits India are favourites in the upcoming Test series against England but has backed Joe Root’s side to avoid a whitewash in what he expects to be a closely-fought contest.

Root’s England will attempt to end India’s long unbeaten run at home in a four-match Test series which starts in Chennai on Friday.

Last month, England clinched a 2-0 series sweep in Sri Lanka, but India also come into the series in form, having stunned Australia to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Swann is backing England to win the day-night Test in Ahmedabad but thinks India’s knowhow in home conditions and spin prowess will see them emerge on top.

‘I think England can nick a Test,’ Betfair ambassador Swann told

‘That day-night match excites me because even though India have got magnificent seam bowlers these days, [Jasprit] Bumrah didn’t play the whole series in Australia and we’ve still got [Stuart] Broad and [James] Anderson in the form of their lives.

‘I think we’ll nick the day-night match. But that experience in those conditions and their spin prowess will show, so I think it will be 2-1 to India. But I hope it’s the other way around!’

Joe Root’s side will be up against it in India (Picture: Getty)

Swann was impressed by England’s victory in Sri Lanka and says they can take some ‘big positives’ from the tour.

However, the 41-year-old is still ‘worried’ by England’s spin-bowling options, with Jack Leech and Dom Bess expected to retain their places for the series opener in India.

‘England did well to win those two Test matches. They have to take some big positives from that tour,’ Swann said.

‘The thing that worries me is the spin options. The spinners did well in Sri Lanka and took wickets, but everyone is aware that it wasn’t as comprehensive as it might have been.’

India stunned Australia to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Picture: Getty)

India overcame an alarming injury crisis to defeat Australia and Swann says it was a tour in which many players ‘came of age’.

The former England off-spinner was particularly impressed by batsmen Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant.

Swann added ‘Pujara is a very good player of spin and will try hold the innings together. I think Gill is a brilliant player.

‘I’ve seen a lot of these guys in the IPL and I know their ability is phenomenal. But I also know the English lads can compete with them.

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‘I wasn’t sure whether players like Gill would be able to transfer their skills to Test cricket but they did that in Australia.

‘Pant could very well get five ducks on the bounce, but he could get five hundreds as well. He’s a mercurial player.

‘I’m not sure you can pick out any one of them as the dangerman because so many of them came of age in Australia. You’ve got to take them all seriously. That’s why it’s going to be tough for England.’

For more from Betfair Ambassador Graeme Swann, head to his blog on Betting.Betfair.

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