Swann eager to ruffle Aussie feathers

Updated: 14 May 2009 09:18 IST

England off-spinner Graeme Swann cannot help thinking about the Ashes even though the West Indies series is still up for grabs.

Swann eager to ruffle Aussie feathers

Chester-Le-Street:

England off-spinner Graeme Swann cannot help thinking about the Ashes even though the West Indies series is still up for grabs.

Swann was named man-of-the-match in England's crushing 10-wicket first Test win at Lord's after making a maiden Test fifty and taking six wickets, including dismissing star batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul for nought and four, on his home debut.

Victory left England 1-0 up in a two-match series and the Test that gets underway at Durham's Riverside ground here on Thursday will be England's last until their opener against oldest rivals Australia at Cardiff on July 8.

The 30-year-old Swann, asked if he had started thinking about the Ashes, replied: "Well, I'm not allowed to ... but of course I do."

However, the Nottinghamshire bowler added: "It's not just a party line when we say we've got to focus on the cricket we're playing now - because obviously if you don't and you play badly you're not going to be in the Ashes.

"But every time you go to sleep at night, it's always there at the back of your mind."

Swann's rise has led to speculation that England, who appear to have the edge in slow bowling over Australia, could yet play two spinners against their oldest foes.

And that could see Swann, who began his career at Northamptonshire, playing Test cricket alongside his old county colleague Monty Panesar - the left-armer whom he has currently replaced as England's leading specialist spin bowler.

It had looked as if international cricket was going to pass Swann by.

But he has responded superbly since being handed a Test debut against India at Chennai in December - where he took two wickets in his first over - and has taken 33 in all in his six Tests to date.

Swann said he had no problems with having had to wait for his chance as an international bowler.

"I wasn't good enough 10 years ago," he explained. "I wouldn't change anything going back. There were a few rough years, but I think they've all added together and made me a better bowler.

"I always had in the back of my mind that I could play (Test cricket), because when I used to play against the overseas players - invariably Test players - I had a knack of getting them out and bowling well at them."



Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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