Cricket: Graeme Swann has warned his England team-mates of an Indian backlash in the fourth and final Test which starts in the early hours of Thursday morning.
England lead the series 2-1 and have a golden chance to win a Test series in India for the first in nearly 30 years.
Swann is expected to play a crucial role alongside fellow spinner Monty Panesar, and the 33-year-old expects the hosts to come out fighting as they bid to stop England ending a difficult year on a high.
A drawn series is the best India can achieve, but Swann said: “It is tough, but sometimes it’s a good position to be in.
“If there’s only one possible result you can get, you can go all out fighting. The last Test of a series, if you know the result hangs on it, is normally a very exciting one.”
India have dropped three big names from their squad after last week’s second successive defeat in Kolkata, but Swann is expecting a stirring response in Nagpur.
“I’m sure India will come out fighting because they have to win the game,” he added. “Equally so, I’m sure we’ll approach the game thinking attack is our best form of defence. I think that’s what has proved crucial in the last couple of games.”
Swann can draw on his own experiences with England when they turned a 2-1 lead into a 3-1 victory in 2010-11 to clinch the Ashes in Australia for the first time in almost a quarter of a century.
“Back in Australia, we didn’t carried away before that Sydney game,” Swann said. “We spoke of how important it was to keep our feet on the ground.
“People saying there is something special happening and things like that are very easy distractions to get caught up in. We’ll make sure we don’t do that.
“We’re not taking anything for granted, we don’t sit down and pat ourselves on the back and say ‘Look how well we have played the last two games’. That’s a very dangerous place to get in.
“On Thursday morning we’ll assess the pitch, play accordingly and hope to win this game, because we obviously want to get home for Christmas having won this series 3-1. Whatever the pitch is we’ve got to try and win the game, that’s all we ever try and do.”
Should England win the series Swann believes it would in no small part be down to the wave of positivity that arrived with new captain Alastair Cook, who took up the role two months ago.
“We have really tried to embrace India and embrace the series and believe we can win it and I’m not sure that has always been the case,” Swann added.
“I have only been on one Test tour here before, but there certainly seemed more belief from the outset on this one.”
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