In-form Panesar eyes Test return

Dubai: England spinner Monty Panesar was eyeing a test comeback after taking five for 57 against a Pakistan Cricket Board XI on Thursday in the final preparation match before next week`s Test against Pakistan.

"I have worked very hard on my game and I am still hungry to play Test cricket," Panesar told reporters.

"I am not a selector so I do not have that headache but if the option is there to play two spinners then they know I am ready to play and there is no doubt in their minds about selecting me.”

"I have bowled a lot of overs so if they go down that route at least I have given myself a good chance and I have got myself familiar with conditions."

Panesar, whose last Test appearance was against Australia at Cardiff in 2009, got through 29 overs and his efforts helped restrict the PCB XI to 200 for nine declared, giving England a first-innings lead of 69.

Jonathan Trott then joined captain Andrew Strauss at the crease and the pair added an unbroken 82 for the first wicket to take England`s lead to 151 with one day remaining.

England are expected to retain an attack of three fast bowlers and one spinner for the Test series which starts on Tuesday. They could, however, opt for two spinners and name Panesar to support Graeme Swann who took one for 49 on Thursday.

"(Graeme) is the number one spinner and he will definitely play," Panesar said. "If they look to play a second spinner then it has been good for me to get lots of overs out there so I can play alongside him."

Bureau Report