England no `dominant force` in world cricket, says Swann
Johannesburg: England off-spinner Graeme Swann has said that England did not regard themselves as a `dominant force` in world cricket ahead of this season`s Ashes series.
England, third in the world Test rankings behind leaders South Africa and second-placed India, begin their bid for a third straight series win over Australia at Nottinghamshire off-spinner Swann`s Trent Bridge home ground on Wednesday.
According to the report, although many cricket greats have forecast a 5-0 series rout for England and even a `10-0` for England, should they sweep the Australians in the return series starting in November, England is making no such claims on their own behalf, despite climbed to the top of the Test rankings after a series win over India.
Dismissing reports of his side being a dominant force, Swann said that although they have climbed up to number one in the world, they are continually aiming to improve, as they did not retain their place for long.
The premier England spinner also said that until they play in the series, they would not call themselves as a dominant force, adding that like them, the Australians have also been looking forward to the series for a long time.
Meanwhile, Swann, known as more of a joker than a sledger, played down suggestions of verbal intimidation by England`s bowlers, although the report said that it would be no surprise if there were some frayed tempers on the field given how well the teams know each other and how often they are due to meet in the next few months.
Stating that any altercations they have had with the Australians are a thing of the past, Swann, set to be a key member of England`s attack given the number of left-handers, said that a player needs to show his performance on the field instead of picking a fight or causing a rumpus
However, Swann joked that he hoped that any irritation that may arise because of hot weather or frustrated bowlers would be on the Australian side.