SPINNER Graeme Swann is set to return to the England bowling attack against Sri Lanka today, captain Alastair Cook has confirmed, as they look to seal their spot in the Champions Trophy semi-finals.
Swann missed Saturday’s 48-run win over Australia with a back injury, but is expected to return at the Oval in place of James Tredwell, who proved to be England’s most expensive bowler with figures of 1-51 from his 10 overs.
And the inclusion of the 34-year-old is likely to be the sole change for England with Joe Root set to bat at four, despite being the victim of an alleged assault from Australia’s David Warner last weekend.
“Swanny is fit,” Cook confirmed. “His injury was a strange one. He must have jarred his back in training and woke up with a stiff back the next day.
“That can happen but at the moment he is back and available for selection.”
Australia’s match against New Zealand at Edgbaston yesterday was abandoned with no result due to persistent rainfall, earning the teams one point each in Group A.
It means England can progress to the last four with victory over Sri Lanka with one match to spare.
Such a scenario would make England’s final group game against New Zealand on Sunday gratefully irrelevant for the hosts, who lost a recent ODI series 2-1 against the Black Caps.
Should England still require a result going into their final match however, Cook is confident his team would be capable of progressing.
“The first two games against New Zealand seem to be out of the way,” he said. “We seem to have recovered a bit of form and confidence now.”