Swann: England not yet a great side

Thu, 04 Aug 17:19:00 2011

Spinner Graeme Swann has told Eurosport-Yahoo! the England players do not believe the team is on course for greatness despite their recent form.

- Swann: England not great

Andrew Strauss's side currently lead the world number one side India 2-0 in their four-match series and are on the verge of securing top spot for themselves with just a solitary victory at either Edgbaston or The Oval required.

Many former players and pundits have lauded this England team with Andrew Flintoff the latest to predict that they "could dominate world cricket for a long time," but Swann does not think the side can yet be talked of in such terms.

"We do not believe that we are on the cusp of greatness, to be honest," Swann said.

"It is very nice when people say that we could be a great side, and it's obviously good to hear that, but we would never want to catch ourselves thinking such things.

He added: "We don't want to be the kind of people to think great things about ourselves.

"We are happy to be in very good form and playing our best cricket, so long may it continue."

Much has been made of England looking set to achieve their long stated objective of becoming the world's number one side, but Swann believes that a series win over India would trump any rankings accolade.

"We would celebrate a series win more than becoming world number one, but obviously it would be very nice to achieve that goal too," Swann said.

"The rankings will take care of themselves if we simply concentrate on winning matches.

Prior to India's two successive defeats to England at Lord's and Trent Bridge, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side had taken the mantle of Ricky Ponting's Australia, and Swann finds it difficult to distinguish which was the best side he has faced in Test cricket.

"This India side have a very strong batting line up, but I'm not sure how they shape up compared to the great Australia sides we've taken on in recent years.

"Both have different strengths and different weaknesses, but there is no doubt that the two countries are extremely difficult to beat.

"We have had big battles with both Australia and India over the past few years but this India batting line up is very special."

Graeme Swann is an ambassador for Rubicon Exotic Juice Drinks and took on Muttiah Muralitharan in the Rubicon 50p Challenge. See who won at www.youtube.com/rubiconlovecricket

Dan Quarrell - on Twitter: @danquarrell / Eurosport

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