Swann pleased by Panesar progress

Sri Lanka England

Follow England’s Test series with Sri Lanka on ecb.co.uk - click here for all the latest news, exclusive interviews, video highlights and match reports

Graeme Swann & Monty Panesar

The in-form Monty Panesar has received praise from fellow spinner Graeme Swann. "Monty is bowling beautifully at the moment," he said

Graeme Swann is delighted to see Monty Panesar back in the international fold.

Swann has been England's first-choice spinner since taking over from Panesar four years ago, becoming one of the most consistent performers in the world across all formats.

Yet Panesar has soared back to form since being recalled as a second slow bowler against Pakistan earlier this year.

The Sussex man has taken five-wicket hauls in two warm-up matches, one in the United Arab Emirates and one against a Sri Lankan Board XI this week, and picked up 14 scalps in two Tests.

Swann has been pleased by Panesar's return and is not interested in starting a rivalry.

"I'm not (concerned about competition), I think it's quite a sad existence when people start looking over their shoulders," he said.

"If in the summer Monty is bowling better than me and he gets picked then fair play to him.

"Of course I'll be hoping to be the man in possession but if you spend your whole life just looking over your shoulder I think you're a fairly sad individual.

"Monty is bowling beautifully at the moment and that bodes well because we need two spinners over here. If we're both bowling well we can hopefully bowl England to some victories."

In terms of wickets taken, Panesar has led the way since returning to the side but he admitted on Friday that he still seeks advice from Swann.

The Nottinghamshire player is also happy with his own form, having taken three wickets in the second innings of England’s opening warm-up win in Sri Lanka.

"Confidence is sky high," he said. "I thought I bowled quite well in the warm-up match. At this point in a tour it's all about how the ball feels coming out of your hand and it was coming out great.

"I'm just getting used to the heat at the moment. It was too hot for me yesterday and too hot for me the day before. Hopefully when the Tests start in a couple of weeks I'll be ready to go."

England will be hoping to put memories of their 3-0 Test whitewash at the hands of Pakistan behind them against Sri Lanka, but Swann has warned it will be no simple task.

"With the heat and conditions here, it's really brought home how hard it will be for us in the Test series," he said.

"It was pleasing to win the first game and now it's onwards and upwards. We hope to have learned from the mistakes we made in the Pakistan series and put that to bed.

"Sri Lanka are a fairly similar animal and they have exceptional batting, probably more consistent than Pakistan.

"They'll be hard to bowl out and it will be a real war of attrition for us."

Keep tabs on the England team - click here for all the breaking news from the camp, exclusive interviews, match reports and much more