Weather to aid England's chances ? Swann
Graeme Swann feels the early-season weather will give England an edge in the upcoming Test series with the West Indies.
England are due to play three five-day matches against the men from the Caribbean, with the first encounter due to begin on May 17 at Lord's.
Games at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston follow, with a one-day international series and a one-off Twenty20 clash to conclude the tour.
England are still ranked as the number one Test team despite their struggles over the winter while there has been a definite improvement in the Windies' form over the past 12 months.
Darren Sammy's men have just fallen to a 2-0 series defeat to Australia but the score line does not tell the whole story and they more than matched the Baggy Greens for long periods of the series.
And they will be hopeful of competing with Andrew Strauss' men to finally try and get over the line after several near-misses in recent times.
But Swann believes that playing a side that are used to operating with the sun on their backs in conditions that will suit England's bowlers will give the hosts the edge.
"The great thing for us is the time of the year we are playing, which should suit our bowlers," he told reporters. "We've shown we can be lethal, with our seam attack, at the start of the summer."
The Windies suffered a 2-0 Test defeat on their last tour to England, with both matches played early in the season.
They can expect seamer-friendly pitches once again due to the amount of rain that has fallen in the past few weeks and is forecast to continue this week.
But, despite backing his team to succeed, Swann admits that it is difficult to tell which West Indian side will turn up, while admitting that they have a bowler who could cause some serious damage to the England line-up.
"They are always a bit mercurial. You never know what you're going to get," he added. "They have one of the best fast bowlers in the world in Kemar Roach.
"I always enjoy playing against the West Indies. I think it is going to be a great series."