Declaring himself fit for the third cricket Test against India, England off-spinner Graeme Swann said given the momentum his team has, it is well on course to completing a 4-0 series whitewash against the world number one visiting side.
Swann had been in doubt for the Test starting August 10 after being hit on his left hand while batting but scans have ruled out any major damage.
England lead the four-match series 2-0 after dominating displays at the Lord’s and Trent Bridge and Swann said the hosts could well make it 4-0 in the final analysis.
“I’d like to think that it’s possible to win 4-0. A lot of things have to go in our favour, but if they do, it’ll be a nice thing to aim for. We’re the only team who can win it 4-0,” Swann was quoted as saying by the ‘Daily Telegraph’
“The way we’ve played in the first two games, they’ve not been perfect performances and we’ve still won them very well. If we can iron out those areas and do everything else right, we’re going to be a very difficult team to beat,” he said.
The flamboyant bowler, who is yet to make an impact in the series so far, joked about how his mind wanders when he is not competing.
“When I’m on my own for six hours, my mind goes to some very dark and dodgy places. At one point I was thinking if I could possibly murder the guy in the crowd who was shouting abuse at me and get away with it,” he said.
“I watch CSI, so I was thinking about how I could dispose of all the evidence. And that’s when I realised that I needed to get back in the slips. You get the odd idiot. He probably wasn’t saying anything untoward. I think he was a Leicestershire supporter or something, having a go at my beautiful Trent Bridge,” he recalled.
Swann said he bowled badly in Trent Bridge but promised a better display at the rather helpful Edgbaston track.
“It’s easy to make the excuse that I was hit on the hand. But I just had one of those days. I got out of bed the wrong side that morning. Rahul Dravid has played me very well this series. But I don’t think they needed to play me particularly well at Trent Bridge, I bowled so badly.”
“I’m looking forward to Edgbaston, because it did turn a little bit last year,” Swann said.
“Hopefully it will spin, because then you turn up to the ground in the morning knowing you’re going to play a more active role. Turning up knowing you are a bit-part player does not always fit well with someone who likes to be the centre of attention,” he added.
Swann recalled the bizarre run out of Ian Bell in the Trent Bridge Test and revealed how confused everyone was in the England dressing room before he was reinstated following requests by host skipper Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower to the Indian camp.
“It was a very strange atmosphere. Belly had taken off his pads. He thought he was out. Then rumours came upstairs that they were talking about whether to ask him back in. So people were saying ‘put your pads on’, and someone else was saying ‘no, don’t bother’ It was bizarre, really,” he said.
“But what happened in the end was the right thing. India could have upheld the appeal, but it would have put a very bitter taste on the series. We don’t want it descending into the sort of scenes we had at the end of last year.
“We really didn’t like the Pakistan team by the end of the series, and they didn’t like us. But so far this year, the atmosphere between the two teams has been exceptional,” he added.