Swann rested by England
England headed to Durham without the rested Graeme Swann and unable to go to the top of the one-day international rankings in the NatWest Series against Australia.
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But neither of those factors will dampen spirits, on what is forecast to be a soggy northern expedition for the final two matches at Chester-le-Street and then Old Trafford.
Craig Kieswetter was as disappointed as anyone with Wednesday's washout at Edgbaston, which left England 2-0 up with two to play and therefore precluded the 5-0 clean sweep required to knock table-toppers Australia off their perch in the International Cricket Council rankings.
The wicket-keeper is not bemoaning the weather for robbing England of their chance to go top of the world in all three formats, an unprecedented achievement for any country.
He knows, if England are good enough, that opportunity will come again. After a fourth washed-out day of scheduled international cricket at Edgbaston this summer, though, midlands supporters may have to wait a little longer for their just rewards. "It was extremely frustrating," said Kieswetter.
"We want to be playing games of cricket, and especially against Australia.
"At Edgbaston, with the crowd as loyal and patriotic as it is, it would have been a great couple of hours playing some good cricket.
"We were bitterly disappointed - but we can't control the weather."
As for that third number one spot, to go with England's Test and Twenty20 supremacy, Kieswetter is both confident and patient.
"There's been a fair bit of talk flying around that if we beat the Aussies 5-0 we'd be number one in the world in all three formats.
"It's exciting but it's not really something we've sat down and discussed as a one-day side.
"I really wasn't aware of it until we beat the Aussies at The Oval.
"It would have been an amazing, fantastic achievement - but for us it's not something we've highlighted.
"We're just trying to improve our skills as a one-day side.
"It's about trying to keep that winning run going.
"If we can do that then the rankings will take care of themselves. It's not something we're focusing on."
A fit Swann is one of England's most important assets - and that is why, according to national selector Geoff Miller, the off-spinner was always pencilled in for a break during the final two matches against Australia this mid-summer.
Swann, one of three players also released for the final match of last month's 2-0 one-day international victory over West Indies, has a sore elbow on his bowling arm and will be replaced by James Tredwell.
England have also called up, as expected, seamer Chris Woakes - already in the squad for the washout at his home ground Edgbaston, while Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker attended the funeral of their former Surrey team-mate Tom Maynard.
Dernbach will be unavailable for the final two matches too, because of a side strain, and it was therefore an obvious course of action to retain Woakes as England seek to consolidate their lead.
England were planning all along to rest Swann, a vital member of the Test team who will soon put that number one status on the line in three matches against South Africa.
Miller said: "We had earmarked the fourth and fifth matches in this series as an opportunity to rest Graeme, regardless of the result at Edgbaston, because we have to consider our preparations for the Investec Test series later this month.
"Graeme has some pain in his elbow at the moment, and we feel that an extra week's rest will allow his elbow to settle.
"Chris Woakes replaces Jade Dernbach, who has been ruled out with a side strain.
All-rounder Samit Patel was released to play for Notts Outlaws in tonight's Friends Life t20 fixture against Yorkshire - a match in which England's Jonny Bairstow was set to feature for the visitors.
Bairstow will also be available for Yorkshire's Roses match at Old Trafford on Friday, and he and Patel will rejoin England in time for Saturday's fourth ODI at Emirates Durham ICG.
England squad: Alastair Cook (Essex) (Captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Craig Kieswetter (Somerset), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)