Swann prepared for centre stage

ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010

Graeme Swann has a hunch that the success of England’s two spinners in Bridgetown could prove decisive in ending their search for a limited-overs title.

England face the old enemy Australia in tomorrow’s ICC World Twenty final at the Kensington Oval, following a superb unbeaten run to the final through matches in Guyana, Barbados and St Lucia.

Central to their success on generally slow Caribbean wickets have been Swann and Michael Yardy, England’s two orthodox spin bowlers.

And while Swann refuses to rank the occasion higher than England’s Ashes win at the Brit Oval, he is under no illusions with regards to the potential importance of a trophy.

“I can’t wait, to be honest,” Swann told ECBtv on the eve of the match in Barbados.

“Coming over here, I said we genuinely had a chance of winning this thing. I think we’ve played some unbelievable cricket to get to the final.

“It’s the final we all wanted to play in; what better way than an Australia final?

“It’s a massive game. I don’t think for me or any Englishman it’s as big as a game to win or lose the Ashes.

“That game at the Oval was the best thing I’ve ever been involved in, but hopefully tomorrow this game can be up there and rival it.”

Michael Yardy and Graeme Swann

As predicted, spin has proved decisive in the World Twenty20, with Michael Yardy and Graeme Swann shining examples

Swann’s list of victims at Bridgetown already includes Pakistan’s Salman Butt, along with Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers and Mark Boucher of South Africa, part of a crushing win seven days ago that seemed to demonstrate England were serious challengers.

“I think it might bounce a bit, I’m not sure it’ll be that quick. It’s going to be a good and used wicket, so it will turn, so I’m quite excited about bowling on it.

“I think it’s always key in Twenty20, the middle overs. People talk about the start and finish, but those middle overs with the two spinners on can win or lose you the match, so hopefully me and Yards can do the business.”

Barbados has become renowned as a bastion of English support during England’s recent tours to the West Indies, and Swann hopes for much of the same tomorrow at the venue where Australia won the 2007 World Cup.

“It’s going to be pretty pro-English. Barbados is like an English second home when we play against the West Indies.

“There’s hopefully going to be a lot of England flags and support, so hopefully we can send them home happy.”