Colombo: Though praised by England cricket captain Andrew Strauss, Indian-origin left-arm spinner Monty Panesar is realistic enough to admit that he remains firmly behind off-spinner Graeme Swann in the spinners’ pecking order.
Having claimed five wickets for 57 against the Sri Lanka Board XI in a match in Colombo on Wednesday, Panesar has claimed his fourth five-for in as many matches since he was restored to the side in January in the UAE.
But Panesar maintained he has not yet done enough to challenge Swann as the first choice, despite his rival returning a disappointing 0-47 in stifling heat and humidity at the Premadasa Stadium.
Asked whether he still considered himself behind Swann, the Daily Express quoted Panesar, as saying: “Absolutely, he is the No.1 spinner. But we work very well in tandem. It’s something we did well at Northamptonshire together and we’re reconnecting out here.”
Panesar’s second coming has gone better than either he or England might have expected.
In four matches – two Tests against Pakistan and two warm-up matches including this one – he has taken 27 wickets.
He believes he is a better bowler now than he was during his first stint in the national squad.
“You have to stay disciplined and not look to over-attack. When I was younger, I used to, but now I don’t think like that. Now, I’m a lot more patient. If it does happen quite early, then I try not to get excited and start trying to bowl magic balls. You can get carried away,” he added.