England v Australia, 3rd ODI, Manchester June 29, 2010

Swann thanks Flower for 'joyous' approach


Graeme Swann has credited the coach Andy Flower as the architect of England's rise over the past 18 months, after they earned bragging rights over Australia in all three formats. England's ODI win at Old Trafford on Sunday handed them the series, and over the past year they have also taken the Ashes from Australia and beaten them in a World Twenty20 final.

Although the Australian line-up is undermanned, with Mitchell Johnson, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle all injured, they would still find it devastating to concede a series whitewash over the next week. That would be a major achievement for England, who over the past decade have won fewer than 30% of their ODIs against Australia.

"The satisfying thing for us is that we sat down 18 months ago and said we want to be number one in all formats and asked how are we going to do it," Swann said. "We have plotted our way to this point and everything has gone well. We have won the Ashes, won the World T20 and won this series after just three games, which you might expect against some teams but possibly not Australia, which is testament to the way we are playing.

"The great thing Andy Flower had done is to instill a confidence in everyone to back their natural ability and perform on the big stage like they do in the county games. That was exemplified in the T20 the way we went out, not with carefree abandon, but it was certainly almost a joyous approach compared with how England teams have approached T20 the previous three years."

England's confidence has been apparent over the past week, especially in the way their bowlers have built pressure on Australia's experienced middle order. Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey have failed to have an impact in this series, while Cameron White and Michael Clarke have each played one good innings without being able to make it a match-winning effort.

James Anderson has led a miserly pace attack, while the spin of Swann and Michael Yardy has kept the Australians tied down during the middle overs. Swann collected four wickets at Old Trafford and said he enjoyed being able to attack Australia in tandem with a fellow slow bowler.

"I think it is a formula [playing two spinners] that should work in all one-day cricket," Swann said. "I'm in favour of bowling as many spinners as you can, especially in Twenty20. The way Yards bowled in the World Twenty20 got him into this one-day squad and he has been exceptional in these three games."

While Swann joked that England should be the No.1 team in the world now, having beaten the side ranked the best in ODIs, he brushed off suggestions that a clean sweep could give England an edge for the Ashes. Each team has two Test series to play before the battle for the urn, by which time Swann believes this result will be long forgotten.

"It is a completely different game," Swann said. "When you look in our changing room there are only three, four or five players involved in the Test team. For us to win this series is great but once November 20 comes round it wouldn't matter if it this is 5-0 to us or 5-0 to Australia, no one would give a monkey's. That first ball at Brisbane it is a whole new ball game."

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on June 30, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    Allrite... Bragging rites given or rather in the rite context "won" by the english.. I do want to bring something to spotlight for Swanns career. I certainly know that Graeme Swann is one of the best students that England have produced. I say student just because of one reason, coz he has rectified his problems after each game where he has been hit for runs. I still remember his debut test, the one where India dramatically won because of the gracious hoicking done by Virender Sehwag.. It was awesome to see him and his balls fly out of the park then! Though he did try to work on his game then after the game and in the next test he performed better. Ever since he has improved. Though I still feel he has to go long untill he gets the tag of "World Class" off spinner. Coz I and many other indians would never; never hesitate in comparing him with our very own Ramesh Powar. Swann there is still time, learn it now, or get thrashed in Australia. The Aussies leave it loose once, not always!

  • Godfather007 on June 30, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    @Something_Witty Please stop crying & appreciate some good cricket from the Englishmen in particular from Swann,he tormented the Aussies last time & this series is no different.He had an excellent away series against SA & right now one of the best spinners gracing the game.Moreover before criticising him it would be better if u look at the quality of the Aussie spinners.Nathan Hauritz doesn't know how to turn a cricket ball,Steven Smith dreams of becoming the next Shane Warne............LOL..............Its simple u don't have a world class spinner.So please Shut up.

  • RC24 on June 30, 2010, 1:29 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle all injured. Australia now has the only option of bringing back Shane Warne and Mcgrath.

  • dummy4fb on June 30, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    go england go........................

  • ihaq1 on June 29, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    well this england team has four batsmen that can be depended on and a couple of bowlers like bresnan who can hit the winning runs...in the past england used to play too many medium paced alrounders and their spinnners were not of any real quality...but to win u need confidence and ability both which this england team has...probably the aussie bowlers might not be the best with nannes one that i can think of and they probably lack a couple of top level batsmen apart from the alrounders...

  • Something_Witty on June 29, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    I don't mind Swann. He's ugly and he's over rated, but there's a simplicity to him that makes him impossible to hate. Two of those three traits he shares with Doug Bollinger. I'll let you guys decide which two.

  • CricketPissek on June 29, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    @ Vilander - Swann is a character, it's not a rant. and he performed excellently on his tour to sri lanka in 2008/09. he has the goods to back his words up. good on him. the game needs more characters like him instead of players who just say 'we played our natural game' and 'i just put the ball in the right areas' Zzzz....

  • dummy4fb on June 29, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    englans truly has australia's number at tthe moment.icnt wait for ths years ashes down under,aus are truly gna be made to sweat hard by england.my prediction is england to reagin the ashes 3-2.england have a strong side tht will beat australia in their own den.australia;s world cricket dominance is over!

  • bharathonnegowda on June 29, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    dougie bollinger and shaun tait are the best bowlers australia has at the moment. having peter siddle, ben or even brett lee would have not made any difference to this team. so aussies stop complaining and give the credit to the england team for a wonderful thrashing performance.

  • SirWilliam on June 29, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    " ... perform on the big stage like they do in the county games". Maybe I've missed something, but when do they actually play for their counties?

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