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Graeme Swann remains in confident mood

Richard Hobson Times Online 19.07.2009 18:58
Graeme Swann remains in confident mood - Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann believes that Australia still have “a mountain to climb” to score the 209 remaining runs they need to complete a world-record chase and win the second npower Ashes Test.

He denied that the decision of Andrew Strauss, the captain, to call the players into a huddle before taking the second new ball was evidence of panic as Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin clawed their way back.

“With the ball still new and everybody fit, fresh and ready to fire in the first session I think we are very confident,” Swann said. “We still have a very big lead. In England if our football team is 4-0 up at half-time, people still worry about the second half. We always get nervous even if we are winning, but with the new ball we have the momentum.”

Tim Nielsen, the Australia coach, said that Clarke and Haddin have already “batted out of their skins” in their sixth-wicket partnership. “I am very pleased that in adversity the team is fighting,” Nielsen said. “At the moment we are going back to the hotel feeling pretty good about our position. About a week ago we scored nearly 700 at Cardiff for six wickets down. There is a feeling of excitement in our camp at the opportunity to do something great.”

For England, concerns remain over the fitness of Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen, who both spent time off the field to receive treatment despite undergoing jabs on their injuries before the game.

Pietersen was struggling with his back rather than his Achilles tendon and Flintoff remains troubled by his knee.


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