Panesar refusing to get carried away
Monty Panesar still considers himself England's second spinner despite continuing his comeback with another five-wicket haul on day one of the tourists’ warm-up match in Colombo.
Panesar has been in a rich vein of form since being restored to the international set-up this winter, celebrating five-fors in each of the four matches he has played.
That run includes 5-57 against a PCB XI in Dubai, a total of 14 wickets in two Tests versus Pakistan and now 5-37 against a Sri Lanka Board XI, who were bowled out for 169 today.
In that period, he has looked a more potent threat than Graeme Swann, who returned 0-47 at the Premadasa Stadium, but remains one of the most highly-rated slow bowlers in the world.
Panesar, though, insists Swann is still England’s main spinner and is just enjoying having a tweaker to bowl in tandem with.
“Yes, he's the number one spinner. Absolutely,” said Panesar. “We work together as partners out there and I'm guided by him. I ask him ‘should we do this?’ and ‘what shall we do here?’
“We work very well out there in tandem. It’s something we did quite well at Northamptonshire together and we’re reconnecting out here.”
While he is not ready to go to head to head with Swann, Panesar does believe he is a different and better bowler than he was in his previous spell in the side.
“I think you’ve just got to stay disciplined, not look to over-attack,” he said. “Before, when I was younger, I used to (attempt too much), now I don't think like that. I'm a lot more patient, just trying to be disciplined.
“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.
“It's a place you can see a couple turn quite big and you want to over-attack because you think you can get a few wickets. But they're very good players here so you have to hold on, create pressure and not get carried away.
“I just focus on a simple process of trying to bowl maidens - I don't try and do anything expansive.”
England, who will resume tomorrow on six without loss after managing only seven balls of their reply before bad light came, started the day by losing Stuart Broad to injury.
The seamer was named in the XI but pulled out after spraining his ankle while tripping over a boundary rope.
England are not concerned about his involvement after this match and Panesar is confident his spell on the sidelines will be brief.
“It was just a slight trip, he should be all right by tomorrow morning and he's icing it now,” added Panesar.
“It's early in the tour so it's probably a sensible decision to rest it.”