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Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Ashes: England spinner Graeme Swann relishes build-up

Tour match, Adelaide, 11-13 November:
South Australia v England, play starts Wednesday 2330 GMT
Coverage: Scorecard updates every half hour on and regular bulletins on BBC Radio 5 Live

England's Graeme Swann
Swann hopes to play in two of England's three warm-up games

England's Graeme Swann has said the squad will not waste energy focusing on this month's first Ashes Test until the end of their warm-up games.

The tourists play South Australia and Australia A before the Brisbane Test gets under way on 25 November.

"There's always an eye on what's coming up and team selection is geared towards the Test," Swann told BBC Radio 5 live.

"But we will focus 100% on that game a week before and no earlier because it would be a wasted effort really."

Swann admitted he struggled physically during last week's six-wicket victory over Western Australia and said the tour matches were crucial for him to get back to top form.

"The first week of the tour was a bit of a nightmare," said Swann, who took 4-101 in the second innings at Perth.

"The first innings was appalling and from a pain point of view it's never hurt that much to bowl.

"I certainly want to play in two of the first three games before the Test series, and the first two games are the best to play in, to get your body back into the swing of things so it doesn't hurt to bowl any more.

"Perhaps in an ideal world we'd have had a few more days before that game but we didn't."


England have not won a Test in Brisbane since they won the Ashes back in 1986/87, but Swann said the squad was using last year's victory at Lord's - which became a springboard to regaining the Ashes on home soil - as inspiration.

"It's a huge game, there's no denying it," added the Nottinghamshire off-spinner.

"The chance to get a leg up in the series is a massive one and the fact that we've got such a poor record there is something we'll relish.

"We won't forget that going into the Ashes at Lord's, our record there was equally poor, if not worse, and we sat down and said 'let's reverse this, let's make this a place where no-one wants to play' and we all know what happened there.

"I think it's inevitable that there's a lot of pre-Ashes hype, but everyone's just so excited by the first game and no matter what's happened in years gone by, ball one will be a fresh sheet of canvas."

Listen to the Ashes live on Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and online (UK users only) - series starts 25 November 2010. Archive: Relive past Ashes series

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see also
Wednesday's Ashes gossip column
10 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Flower has faith in batsman Cook
09 Nov 10 |  England
Strauss ton sets up England win
07 Nov 10 |  England
Australia finally end losing run
07 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Ponting eyes end to Aussie 'doom'
05 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket

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