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England will play like lions, not pussycats: Swann

Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009, 14:12 [IST]
 
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'England will play like lions, not cats'

Johannesburg: Off-spinner Graeme Swann insists that England will play like lions, not pussycats when they face the Australians in the first semi-final of the Champions Trophy on Friday evening.

While admitting that England produced some shocking cricket during their 6-1 drubbing in the recent NatWest Series, Swann said he was convinced things would be different when they clash with Ricky Ponting's side in the Champions Trophy semi-final.

The Aussies scrambled to a last-ball victory over Pakistan yesterday to set up the re-match with England. Their nervy batting performance has increased Swann''s belief that England can win the semi-final.

"We were awful in the first few one-day games against Australia at home and we knew it. We talked about playing a fearless brand of cricket but were as timid as pussycats. We're very unpredictable and I guess that's what makes us exciting. But something has clicked here in South Africa. I've no idea what it is. There has been no inspiring team talk or special magic moment or meeting with a guru. To be honest, coming off six defeats, we were thinking we'd have three days out here then go home for a bit of a break before the South Africa tour," The Sun quoted Swann, as saying.

"But as soon as we arrived, everyone seemed lifted. We''ve beaten two of the best teams in Sri Lanka and South Africa, so why can''t we win the whole thing?

Swann, however, admits he would have preferred to save Australia for the final.

He explained: "I'm English, the biggest opposition are Australia and I'd have liked to play them in the final. The way we played in the first two games here, we could beat anyone. England have never won a world one-day event but history was against us at Lord''s where we hadn''t beaten Australia in a Test for 75 years. And look what happened."Johannesburg: Off-spinner Graeme Swann insists that England will play like lions, not pussycats when they face the Australians in the first semi-final of the Champions Trophy on Friday evening.

While admitting that England produced some shocking cricket during their 6-1 drubbing in the recent NatWest Series, Swann said he was convinced things would be different when they clash with Ricky Ponting's side in the Champions Trophy semi-final.

The Aussies scrambled to a last-ball victory over Pakistan yesterday to set up the re-match with England. Their nervy batting performance has increased Swann''s belief that England can win the semi-final.

"We were awful in the first few one-day games against Australia at home and we knew it. We talked about playing a fearless brand of cricket but were as timid as pussycats. We're very unpredictable and I guess that's what makes us exciting. But something has clicked here in South Africa. I've no idea what it is. There has been no inspiring team talk or special magic moment or meeting with a guru. To be honest, coming off six defeats, we were thinking we'd have three days out here then go home for a bit of a break before the South Africa tour," The Sun quoted Swann, as saying.

"But as soon as we arrived, everyone seemed lifted. We''ve beaten two of the best teams in Sri Lanka and South Africa, so why can''t we win the whole thing?

Swann, however, admits he would have preferred to save Australia for the final.

He explained: "I'm English, the biggest opposition are Australia and I'd have liked to play them in the final. The way we played in the first two games here, we could beat anyone. England have never won a world one-day event but history was against us at Lord''s where we hadn''t beaten Australia in a Test for 75 years. And look what happened."

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