Upbeat Swann’s itching to get started

GRAEME SWANN cannot wait to open the final window of his Ashes advent calendar as the excitement and anticipation builds towards a crescendo ahead of the first Test at the Gabba on Thursday.

The world’s premier spin bowler has been patiently ticking off the days ever since the touring party landed in Perth at the end of October.

Swann has been identified by none other that Aussie legend Shane Warne as the key to the destination of the famous urn and like a child at Christmas desperate to open their presents, the Nottinghamshire twirler can’t wait to rip into Australia’s batsmen.

He said: “When we first got over here I daren’t think of the first Test match – because I was like a kid on 1 December, with an Advent calendar,” said the 31-year-old.

“I couldn’t wait for the 25th to come along. It’s really building now. I go back to my room at night and I bounce off the walls.

“It’s going to be amazing come Thursday – I just can’t wait.”

Meanwhile, Kevin Pietersen has dismissed the suggestion that Aussie wild card pick, Xavier Doherty, has been selected to specifically target him.

England’s stellar batsman has struggled against left-arm orthodox spin in the past, but the South African-born talisman is not concerned by the threat the 28-year-old Ashes rookie poses.

“I don’t have technical glitches, I’ve sorted them,” said Pietersen. “It’s something people have talked about but it wont bother me.

“I have seen Doherty bowl a couple of overs against Sri Lanka in the one-dayers. He looks a good bowler but it will be interesting to see if they play a spinner or the four quicks. But that’s for everyone else to talk about.”