• The Ashes

Swann: England can retain Ashes twice

ESPN staff
December 19, 2012 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Graeme Swann says he is already preparing his mind for a challenging 2013 © Getty Images
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England spinner Graeme Swann says there is 'no doubt' England can retain the Ashes on home turf next summer - and keep a hold of the little urn next winter as well.

Swann played a crucial role in England's first series win in India in 28 years, taking 20 wickets in four Tests and holding up his end with the bat.

And the 33-year-old believes that the team's comeback from a disastrous loss in the opening Test in Ahmedabad shows they have the steel to see off Australia in back-to-back series.

England first take on Australia in Durham on July 1 next year with the second series starting in Brisbane on November 21.

Swann now has the winter off and intends to use the time wisely to recover from a few niggles, one of which he picked up in the final Test in Nagpur.

But he admits he cannot help getting excited about the challenge which awaits him and the England team in 2013.

"I never apologise about getting excited over the Ashes. We have a huge year ahead and, after our great win in India, we will be ready for the Aussies," Swann wrote in the Sun.

"There is no doubt we will fancy our chances of retaining the little urn when Australia arrive in the summer -- and keeping hold of it when we go Down Under next winter.

"I have a lovely break now until we go to New Zealand in February. It allows me to sort out one or two niggles - I pulled a calf muscle while batting in Nagpur - and fully refresh and recharge for the year ahead."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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