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Swann: England wary of wounded India

ESPN staff
December 11, 2012
Graeme Swann fears a backlash from India after back-to-back Test defeats at home © Getty Images

England off-spinner Graeme Swann has urged caution ahead of their final Test against India, warning that the hosts will be desperate for a victory in Nagpur that would tie the series.

Back-to-back wins in Mumbai and Kolkata have left England on the verge of their first series victory in India since 1985, and while Swann expects to play a prominent role alongside Monty Panesar on another spin-friendly pitch he recognises the danger of playing a team looking to salvage their eight-year unbeaten run at home.

"It is tough, but sometimes it's a good position to be in," said Swann of India's position. "If there's only one possible result you can get, you can go all out fighting. The last Test of a series, if you know the result hangs on it, is normally a very exciting one."

India have rung the changes ahead of this week's final Test as they look for a response from their under-fire squad. Batsman Yuvraj Singh and seamer Zaheer Khan have been dropped, while spinner Harbhajan Singh misses out despite playing no role in the defeat in Kolkata.

"I'm sure India will come out fighting because they have to win the game," Swann added. "Equally so, I'm sure we'll approach the game thinking attack is our best form of defence. I think that's what has proved crucial in the last couple of games."

Swann and a number of his England colleagues have been in a similar position before, winning the final Test in Sydney in 2011 to claim a 3-1 Ashes victory in Australia, England's first triumph Down Under in almost a quarter of a century.

"Back in Australia, we didn't get carried away before that Sydney game," Swann recalled. "We spoke of how important it was to keep our feet on the ground. That's all we're doing here."

"We're not taking anything for granted, we don't sit down and pat ourselves on the back and say 'Look how well we have played the last two games'. That's a very dangerous place to get in.

"On Thursday morning we'll assess the pitch, play accordingly and hope to win this game, because we obviously want to get home for Christmas having won this series 3-1. Whatever the pitch is we've got to try and win the game, that's all we ever try and do."

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