Swann backs `sore back` Cook to counter Clarke`s `gauntlet` at Old Trafford

London: England bowler Graeme Swann has backed his team`s batsmen `100 percent`, and said that he is confident that captain Alastair Cook will be `as right as rain` to carry on after a good rest following his two-and-a-half hours batting with a sore back.

According to the Mirror, Cook, who battled hard for just over two hours to take his team to the close at 52-2, is as desperate for a big score as Australian captain Michael Clarke was even though he has not been required to weigh in heavily with runs yet in the series.

The report further said that Clarke completed a brilliant 187 on day two of the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford as part of his side`s huge 527-7 declared.

However, Swann, who took his 17th five-wicket haul in the match, expressed confidence that his team can still regain control of the series, saying that the fact that Cook is yet not out and is due for a big score is a good sign for the team, especially after the way he batted more than two hours with a sore back.

According to Swann, Cook just needed a good night`s sleep to be ready to carry on the game forward, and the report said that Cook is aware that if he can overcome a sore back and match the gauntlet thrown down by Clarke with his own blade, the Ashes will all but be retained.

Swann further said that the team is happy with their batting line-up, of which more is yet to come in the game, adding that the way to win this game is to go past the Australian total and get some control as the Test has still two days to finish.

Meanwhile, the report said that nightwatchman Tim Bresnan, who, along with Joe Root, were the two from England to fall, could have survived with a review as shown by the replays.

However, Swann defended his teammate, saying that Bresnan mistakenly assumed that the noise of the ball from Peter Siddle brushing his trousers was the under-edge of his bat.

The report further said that Australia`s score put Cook`s men under pressure, knowing that 20 wickets is all that stands between an unexpected lifeline and yet more Ashes heartbreak.


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