Swann happy with Panesar competition
Says it is good for the team's fortunes and will keep him on toes.
Happy with Panesar's presence
Although they may well find themselves competing for the same spot in the England side for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka, Graeme Swann says that he is delighted
that Monty Panesar has returned to the International arena.
Swann has been England's first choice spinner for the past four years, since he, ironically, replaced Panesar in the team, and has since gone on to become one of the most consistent performers in world cricket in all forms of the game, from test matches through to Twenty20 internationals.
However, since his surprise recall earlier in the year, as a back up spinner for the series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Panesar has been in outstanding form.
Playing in the last two Tests of that series, Panesar took 14 wickets in the losing cause, and has since produced a five wicket haul in the first warm up game that England played in Sri Lanka.
Swann insists that he is pleased for Panesar, and is unconcerned about the possibility of an unhealthy starting up between the two slow bowlers. He believes that whichever of the two of them is in the better form, should be he player selected for the team, if the side's selectors decide that only one spin bowler can be found a place in the team. Although of course, Swann hopes that he will be that player picked.
Although purely in terms of wickets taken since he returned to the side, Panesar has out bowled Swann, by his own admittance, he still seeks advice from his rival.
Swann took three wickets in the second innings of the warm up match, and is happy with his own form. And at this stage of the tour, he believes that it is more about becoming acclimatised to the heat and humidity, and getting the right feel o the ball on delivery, than it is about results, and Swann is hoping that he will hit peak form when the Tests start in a couple of weeks time.
England will be keen to erase the memories of the three nil whitewash that they suffered to Pakistan, but realise that in the conditions to be faced in Sri Lanka, it will not be easy to gain victory, especially against the exceptionally strong and experienced Sri Lankan batting line up.