Swann - England up against it
Graeme Swann concedes England have an "absolute mountain to climb" if they are to claim victory in the final Test against Pakistan.
Last Updated: 05/02/12 4:25pm
Graeme Swann concedes England have an "absolute mountain to climb" if they are to claim victory in the final Test against Pakistan in Dubai - but insists he and his team-mates are determined to make amends for what has gone before in the series.
England need to pull off the second-highest run chase in their Test history to avoid a 3-0 whitewash against Pakistan, whose bowlers ripped through the England order in the first two matches.
Andrew Strauss's team are again staring down the barrel after Azhar Ali's painstaking career-best 157 helped Pakistan to 365 all out on the third evening at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Chasing 324 for victory, England reached 36-0 loss at stumps, with openers Strauss and Alastair Cook enjoying their best partnership of the series, and spinner Swann believes England's batsmen will have a point to prove.
"We've certainly started in the right vein - 30 or 40 [runs] at the end of play, that's what we hoped for," he told Sky Sports.
"We can't be thinking about records and what's been done in the past. I know it's a tired old cliche but you have to play every ball as it comes.
"On current form I'd say it's an absolute mountain to climb, but I think a lot of our guys have got a point to prove in this series and are champing at the bit to get out there."
Swann finished with figures of 3-101 as England laboured to end Pakistan's second innings, but he has promised to shine with the bat if required over the next two days.
"The individual batsmen have got their game plans and I'm sure a few of us have look at ourselves and decided that what we did in Abu Dhabi was not up to scratch, so I think you may see a change in approach from a couple of players," he said.
"I can only speak for myself, but if it gets to me having a bat, I'm looking to be fairly gung-ho I think."
Should Pakistan wrap up a series whitewash, the plaudits will on this occasion be reserved for a batsman rather than a bowler, with Azhar's stint at the crease - which spanned six sessions and almost nine hours - crucial in taking the game away from England.
"When you score runs and it helps your team get into a strong position it is very satisfactory for me and I was quite ecstatic today," the 26-year-old said.