Swann confident pitch will hold

  • Last Updated: August 3 2013, 19:47 BST

Reaction from day two of the third Ashes Test.

Swann: Took five wickets in Australia first innings
Swann: Took five wickets in Australia first innings

Graeme Swann believes the Old Trafford pitch will not offer too many surprises for the remainder of the third Investec Test.

Australia skipper Michael Clarke declared at 527 for seven shortly after tea, with England closing on 52 for two in reply and facing a long-haul batting task.

However, Swann, who took figures of five for 139 in Australia's first innings, does not expect any dramatic turn as the match continues.

"It's a very good pitch," Swann told Sky Sports 1.

"Where you might get a bit more movement is the foot holes - so obviously Mitchell Starc to the right-handers - but I think the main part of the pitch will stay true for five days.

"There is certainly more than there was at Trent Bridge. That (pitch) was as dead as a dodo. Lord's was a good wicket. Sometimes you get lucky with a wicket and you like to think you have got a potential to take wickets."

Swann also enjoyed his battle with Clarke, who made his Ashes-best 187, but is confident England's batsmen can get in the runs themselves despite losing the early wickets of Joe Root and nightwatchman Tim Bresnan.

"He's a very good player and I always enjoy bowling against him. We have a bit of a battle in the middle," Swann said.

"Hopefully we can bat well tomorrow and into day four, get a lead and bowl them out.

"Come the morning the ball will be softer. It's about 30 overs old now and it should be a great pitch for batting again tomorrow."

Clarke congratulated his men after four previously poor shows with the bat.

"To win the toss and then spend some time on the wicket, all the boys should be proud," he said.

It was another massive knock from Australia's premier batsman, but he did not want to dwell on it too much yet.

Clarke succeeded by being able to get on top of England's lively spinner Swann and said: "I was brought up (to play) that way. My father taught me to move my feet and growing up at the Sydney Cricket Ground, I was used to playing spin.

"Ask me in three days if I'm proud. If we win the Test I will be, if we don't, it's useless. We have three big days ahead."


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