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Page last updated at 13:35 GMT, Wednesday, 30 June 2010 14:35 UK

Graeme Swann hopes England can be 'golden generation'

England spinner Graeme Swann
Swann celebrates after his fourth wicket at Old Trafford on Sunday

Spinner Graeme Swann hopes England's cricket team can become a "golden generation" - a label often applied to the nation's much-vaunted footballers.

England, ICC World Twenty20 winners in May, lead world champions Australia 3-0 in their five-game one-day series, with game four at The Oval on Wednesday.

"It would be nice to think that we are the golden generation rather than the footballers," Swann, 31, said.

"We wanted England to do well in the World Cup, that was a big let-down."

Nottinghamshire off-spinner Swann took four wickets on Sunday as England beat Australia by one wicket at Old Trafford to take an unassailable 3-0 series lead - at the same time that their football counterparts were routed 4-1 by Germany in the World Cup second round.

Slow left-armer Michael Yardy also took an Australian scalp on Sunday, prompting Swann to call for England to continue to pick two spinners in their line-up.

"I think it is a formula that should work in all one-day cricket," the Nottinghamshire man added.

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"I'm always a massive advocate of getting two spinners playing, and it is proving right at the moment.

"The way Yards bowled in the World Twenty20 got him into this one-day squad, and he has been exceptional in these three games."

And while England supporters are hoping to win the series 5-0 to put down a marker ahead of their Ashes defence this winter, Swann knows the Australians will be eager to start winning.

"In this series we have been the best team - but we have only just scraped over the line," he stated.

"We trounced the Australians for 90 overs [in Manchester] but almost lost - which shows their character.

"It also shows how far we have come, with Tim Bresnan keeping his head at the end. In the last 15 years, that is a game we would have lost."

Meanwhile, left-arm paceman Doug Bollinger hopes Australia - who led last year's one-day series 6-0 before England won the final game - can prevent a clean sweep this time around.

"We'd love to stop them, 5-0 would be devastating," Bollinger reflected.

"We've just got to go out there and do everything properly and hopefully win the next two - 3-2 would still be disappointing but it would be two good wins.

"We can't whinge about it, we just have to try and finish well in these two one-dayers before the Twenty20s and Tests against Pakistan."

England released batsman Ian Bell and seamer Ajmal Shahzad to play for the second-string England Lions against West Indies A at Northampton on Tuesday, but the pair rejoined the full squad for Wednesday's game.



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see also
Strauss relief after England win
27 Jun 10 |  England
England win series despite wobble
27 Jun 10 |  England
Broad inspires England to victory
24 Jun 10 |  England
Superb Morgan leads England home
22 Jun 10 |  England
Australia in England 2010
04 Jul 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket


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