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.
Yesterday he took five for 37 against the Sri Lankan Board XI, who were bowled out for 169.
He has looked a more potent threat than Graeme Swann, who returned nought for 47 but remains one of the most highly-rated slow bowlers in the world.
At the moment there is no obvious rivalry between the pair, with England committed to playing two spinners in Sri Lanka.
That will almost certainly drop to just one in the summer, but Panesar is not laying claim to Swann’s place yet.
“Yes, he’s the number one spinner.” said Panesar.
“We work together as partners out there and I’m guided by him.”
SCORES: Sri Lanka Board XI 1st Inns: 169 (Silva 66, Panesar 5-37, Anderson 4-19); England XI Ist Inns 6-0.