x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Champions Trophy: England will play it safe with Graeme Swann

Alistair Cook happy to go with James Tredwell for rest of the tournament, while Michael Clarke warns David Warner he must work hard to win back the trust of the Australia team and the public back home.

England captain Alastair Cook, right, with teammate Graeme Swann, watch on during England's game against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy. Philip Brown / Reuters
England captain Alastair Cook, right, with teammate Graeme Swann, watch on during England's game against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy. Philip Brown / Reuters

England will continue to play safe with Graeme Swann's aches and pains - even though they are only two more wins away from making history in the Champions Trophy.

The hosts have yet to win an International Cricket Council 50-over tournament, after 38 years of trying. But following Sunday's 10-run Group A win over New Zealand in Cardiff, they are through to a semi-final against either South Africa at The Oval tomorrow or India back in Wales a day later.

Whoever the opposition - and captain Alastair Cook does not mind on that score - England will be prepared to once again err on the side of caution with Swann's injury.

Their No 1 off-spinner, fully recovered from his winter elbow surgery, has missed three of England's last four one-day internationals first because of a sore back and most recently calf trouble.

Cook is confident in the abilities of his like-for-like understudy James Tredwell, however, and will again hand him the responsibility if necessary.

"James has done a fantastic job, and we are lucky in that department to have two outstanding bowlers," he said.

"Tredders is almost unlucky in one way that Swanny has been ahead of him," added Cook.

"Obviously, we are going to play it safe with Swanny. He has a tight calf, and it just depends how he pulls up over the next couple of days. He will not be risked, because we are fortunate enough to have Tredders - and he is more than just a back-up."

Meanwhile, captain Michael Clarke says it will be difficult for errant batsman David Warner to hold his place in the Australia side for next month's first Ashes Test after his bar-room punch-up with England's Joe Root.

Writing in Sydney's Daily Telegraph, he said Warner's actions were an unwelcome distraction at the beginning of a four-and-a-half month tour of England and he must work hard to win back the trust of his teammates and Australian fans.

The explosive opener was fined and suspended until the start of the Ashes series by Cricket Australia last Thursday for the incident during the ongoing Champions Trophy.

Warner will miss Australia's two warm-up matches before he is again available for the first Test against England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, which starts on July 10.

But Clarke said it would be difficult for opener Warner to keep his place, given what has happened.

"David has been punished and must now suffer the consequences," he wrote in his newspaper column.

"David has accepted the punishment and knows he must work hard for the remainder of the tour to win back the trust of his teammates and Australia's cricket-loving public," he added.

"He [Warner] has let the team down and all of those at home who love and support Australian cricket."

* Agencies

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