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Page last updated at 08:27 GMT, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 09:27 UK

Shane Warne tips Graeme Swann to star in tight Ashes

Shane Warne's Test farewell
Warne made his Test cricket farewell in the 2006-07 Ashes series

Shane Warne believes England have their best chance of Ashes success in Australia for over 20 years when the teams go head-to-head this winter.

England's last series win down under was in 1986-87 but Warne says they have grounds for optimism and spinner Graeme Swann could be their match-winner.

"It's been a long time since they had the edge on us in all forms of the game," said the Australian spin legend.

"England played outstanding cricket in the recent one-day series."

Warne bowed out of the Test arena after playing a key role in Australia's 5-0 whitewash series win in 2006-07- England's last trip to Australia.


But Andrew Strauss' side regained the Ashes in England in summer 2009 and won this summer's one-day series in England 3-2.

Warne said this should mean that England headed to Australia for this year's tour, starting in early November, with genuine grounds for optimism.

He also admitted Australia's recent home record "hasn't been as strong - they lost to South Africa and drew with India, but it's still a tough ask to win in Australia."

Warne, who took 708 wickets in 145 Tests, picked out off-spinner Swann as the man who could make all the difference for England.

"He is the most improved cricketer," stated Warne.

"He mixes his pace, he's not afraid to be hit, he's learning all the time in difficult conditions.

"As a spinner, he needs to know how to take wickets at the crucial times. There are times to defend and attack. But, if in doubt, attack and that's what I like about him.

"His special ability is his quicker delivery - he spins it. That's rare for a spin bowler. Generally, the slower you bowl, the more you spin it.

"But Swann can turn it when he bowls faster."

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see also
Ashes victory 'vital for Ponting'
02 Jul 10 |  Australia
Ponting keen for Tait Test return
03 Jul 10 |  Australia
Flower plays down Ashes relevance
02 Jul 10 |  England
Australia finish series with win
03 Jul 10 |  England
Swann wants 'golden' England era
30 Jun 10 |  England
England win series despite wobble
27 Jun 10 |  England
'Crazy' comeback delights Swann
05 Jun 10 |  England
Swann named cricketer of the year
24 May 10 |  England
Triumphant England reclaim Ashes
12 Sep 05 |  England
Ponting inconsolable after defeat
23 Aug 09 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket

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