Reaching No.1 spot is not the end of the journey: Swann

August 4th, 2011 - 3:16 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 4 (IANS) England’s front-line spinner Graeme Swann feels that becoming the No.1 Test side will not be enough for the Andrew Strauss-led side.

England, who lead the four-match Test series against India 2-0, can dislodge the visitors from the No.1 spot if they win the series by a margin of two Tests.

“England are close to becoming the No. 1 ranked Test team in the world - but that will not be enough for this group of players. We want to create a dynasty, a long-term era of success and to be remembered as one of the best England teams ever,” Swann wrote in his column in The Sun.

Swann feels reaching No.1 in the world is not the end of the journey, it will be only the beginning.

“We are not there yet, of course, and our prime objective at the moment is making sure we are fully focused for the Third Test at Edgbaston next Wednesday. Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower will stop any of us taking our eyes off the ball,” he said.

Swann said that having taken a 2-0 lead in the four-match series against India, England must make sure to win the series and things such as rankings would take care of themselves.

“Yet we make no bones about wanting to be the top team and the exciting thing is the guys who are performing right now will be around for many years. The likes of Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad and Ian Bell - who all played brilliantly in our win at Trent Bridge - are well under the age of 30. It gives England the chance to be a top side for a long time to come,” Swann said.

“I know Flower’s view is that we don’t want to have a brief glimpse of what it’s like to be top dogs. We want to lay the foundation for a prolonged period at the summit,” he added.

Swann wants fans to remember the current England team like they did the Australian team of the 1990s and the West Indies team of the 80s.

“I want people in future to talk about the England team of the teenies - or whatever this decade is called! It’s hard for me to say how good we are.

“But I do know we have huge self-belief and an incredible team spirit. That is key - there might have been England teams with better individuals but not many play better as a team,” he said.

Swann said the greatness of the England team lies in the fact that even if they are in trouble there are players, who can bail the team out.

“In the second Test, we were struggling desperately at 124-8 and again when India were 46 runs ahead with only four wickets down. Broady was brilliant with bat and ball and then Belly’s sublime 159 allowed us to build a big lead - and very quickly,” he said.

Comparing the current crop with the 2005 Michael Vaughan-led team that won the Ashes, Swann said:”England’s Ashes-winning team of 2005 was a hell of a side and you never know how great they might have become. But the likes of Andrew Flintoff, Marcus Trescothick, Simon Jones, Michael Vaughan and Ashley Giles did not play much afterwards.

“Strauss and Bell were around then, but are much better players these days. There’s a case for saying Kevin Pietersen is better, too, because his double century against India in the First Test at Lord’s was a fantastic innings.”

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