Graeme Swann joins up with England at World Cup

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The Independent Online

Graeme Swann joined his England team-mates at net practice this morning after arriving in Nagpur last night - and may yet feature in the World Cup opener against Holland tomorrow.

Swann flew in as expected late yesterday, having stayed at home to be at the birth of his first child Wilfred.

Captain Andrew Strauss, who confirmed all England's minor injury concerns have cleared, will wait to see how off-spinner Swann comes through practice before deciding whether he will play tomorrow.

"Graeme Swann has arrived so that completes a full squad that is fit and healthy and ready to go," said Strauss.

"The six days we had in Bangladesh were really good in terms of the preparation for the tournament here.

"We were quite buoyed by our performance [in a warm-up victory] against Pakistan.

"We are excited about what's to come. Once the tournament is under way there is a buzz about things - and we want to get off to a good start."

Swann's participation is likely to be late decision in the morning, with Michael Yardy's left-arm spin also available.

"It is definitely an option for us," said Strauss.

"We will see how he comes through practice today. If we think the wicket will offer turn, it is a strong option for us."

:: England's record-breaking Ashes opener Alastair Cook is preparing for the new season, having been left out of the World Cup squad.

The opener, who made 766 runs in England's 3-1 series win in Australia this winter, is already weighing up the chances of a repeat - and not ruling out another mountain of Ashes runs next time he tries. "The challenge is to do it again," he told the Wisden Cricketer.

"Yes, it's unlikely that I could score that many runs in a series again - but it is possible.

"Now I know that's the standard I can get to, my challenge is to consistently score big hundreds - as all the great run-getters have done."