Swann captained a youthful Twenty20 side in two matches against the tourists over the weekend, winning the first handsomely before slumping to 88 all out on Sunday night to end a fine summer with a 25-run defeat. That was England’s lowest total in the format to date and, coming against a second-string West Indies side, provided a timely wake-up call to a set of players who had hitherto looked more than comfortable with their promotion to international cricket.
Ben Stokes top-scored with 31 but the likes of Jos Buttler, Alex Hales and Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow will all be disappointed with their efforts, as will more experienced hands such as Ravi Bopara and Samit Patel.
The one-day squad for India will see the likes of captain Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott return to the fold, meaning some of the new faces must miss out.
For those that do, Swann’s words will be painful to hear.
“We’re an honest team and a very honest group. Playing for England, it’s not a nice Second XI game where you all say ‘bad luck lads, we’ve got another game tomorrow’,” said Swann. “It’s a harsh environment in international cricket and you find out a few things about people when they are under the pump.
“Here, one or two guys didn’t respond that well.
“I’d love to find an excuse for them and say they’re inexperienced but they’re not inexperienced in Twenty20 cricket. I’m not just blaming the top six, I’m blaming the 11 players with the bat because we were appalling.
“For all the positives on Friday night there were quite a few negatives that now need to be ironed out before we play on similar tracks over the next 12 months.”
Much of the squad will pick itself for the five one-day matches against the world champions, who will be looking to avenge their defeat on these shores over the summer.
Craig Kieswetter is a certain pick to open the batting alongside Cook, with Warwickshire pair Bell and Trott sure to feature in the middle order.
Kevin Pietersen should return after being rested for the limited overs action which followed the Test series against India, but injury to Eoin Morgan means there is an extra spot in the batting ranks, with two of Bairstow, Stokes and Buttler likely to travel.
Stuart Broad is absent with a shoulder injury so Steven Finn should make up the numbers alongside the usual seam options.