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Page last updated at 08:38 GMT, Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Ashes: Vaughan backs spinner Swann to rediscover form

Australia v England, second Test
Venue: Adelaide Oval Date: 3-7 December. Match starts 0000 GMT on 3 Dec Coverage: Listen live on Test Match Special on BBC Radio 4 LW and 5 live Sports Extra; text commentary on BBC Sport website and live on Sky Sports 1


England off-spinner Graeme Swann
Swann had little success in the first Test at Brisbane

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has backed Graeme Swann to have a big impact on the Ashes series despite his poor performance in the first Test.

The off-spinner returned figures of 2-161 as England drew in Brisbane but Vaughan does expect Swann to improve.

"If there are runs on the board he'll get confidence. In one Test he'll produce, I'm confident," said Vaughan.

"He'll get better as the series goes on - the toss will be important in [the second Test at] Adelaide."

Swann, who was named on the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Monday, was expected to be one of the main weapons in England's attack. But he made little impact in the first Test, where England battled back from a poor first day to earn a morale-boosting draw.

Vaughan said it had not been one of Swann's better performances, but conditions had not helped him.

"His length was pretty poor - they attacked him which is the main reason he didn't bowl as well," he commented.

"The pitches are good - he's not going to get the spin and the drift he got in England with the Duke ball he doesn't get with the Kookaburra. Finger spin in Australia hasn't had huge success, he's just got to improve."

England coach Andy Flower also expected more from Swann

"Historically, the Adelaide Oval wicket turns and does give the spinners a little bit of help so yes of course [we expect more]," said Flower.

"He's a really experienced campaigner, Graeme Swann, and I think if anything that fires him up, so that'll give him chances."

Flower will be able to devote his full attentions and energy to the second Test after missing two days of the opening encounter for surgery to remove a potentially cancerous mole from his face.

He went for medical treatment on the recommendation of team security official Reg Dickason and admitted the result of the biopsy had been "a little bit of a surprise," but following treatment he had received good news.

"They had to whip some of that stuff away. I got some good results yesterday, so there are no issues in the immediate future," he said..

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Flower said the England team had shown "particularly strong character" to battle back for the draw in Brisbane, and their recent experience of playing a warm-up game in Adelaide was ideal preparation for the second Test.

"We played a really good three-day tour game here a little while ago against South Australia and it was really valuable to play on the Test square, and our guys enjoyed playing on that surface," he stated.

England's Ashes campaign got off to a poor start with captain Andrew Strauss being out for a duck after only three balls in the first innings at Brisbane, but he was one of three centurions in the second innings as they staged a spirited fightback to earn the draw.

He admitted the result had given the team a huge confidence boost, but said it was important that they transferred the feeling of positivity into something more tangible in the second Test.

"There'll be a spring in our step going to Adelaide but you've got to transfer that to the pitch," Strauss said.

"It's all very well strutting around the hotel but you've got to make sure that turns into runs and wickets.

"This time we came out with a good solid draw in the end. None of it counts for anything unless we take advantage of it."



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