England, who sit third behind India and South Africa in the Test rankings, welcome Darren Lehmann’s Australia to Trent Bridge for Wednesday’s first Test with a view to extending their grip on the urn for another two years, having retained it in Australia following home glory in 2009.
England became the best Test nation in the world in August 2011 following a Test series victory over India, but an Ashes victory would be key if they are to hold any hope of replacing South Africa at the top this year.
Nottinghamshire spinner Swann played a key role in England’s recent Ashes victories — claiming the best individual bowling figures of the 2009 series — but he will not take anything for granted this time around.
He told Sky Sports News: “I don’t think we see ourselves as a dominant force. “We climbed up to number one in the world, which was a feat we aimed to do and we were pleased with, but we didn’t stay there for long so we’re continually aiming to improve.
We want to get back up there and until we are we won’t see ourselves as a dominant force. I’m sure there’s 11 players in our dressing room and 11 in theirs that have been looking forward to this for a very long time.