Pakistan v England: Swann wants Panesar in Test side

Pakistan v England, first Test

Venue:
Dubai
Date:
Tuesday, 17 January
Start:
0600 GMT
Coverage:
Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio Four on 198 LW or online at bbc.co.uk/cricket; live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles

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Swann backs spin twin Panesar

Graeme Swann is keen to be partnered by fellow England spinner Monty Panesar in next week's Test against Pakistan.

Panesar, whose last Test match was in July 2009, staked his claim by taking eight wickets in Friday's warm-up win over the Pakistan Cricket Board XI.

Swann told BBC Sport: "I like the rhythm of spinners at each end and I'd go with two in this part of the world.

"Monty has done himself no harm and given [coach] Andy Flower and [captain] Andrew Strauss a tough decision."

Left-arm spinner Panesar took 5-57 in the first innings and followed that with 3-46 as England won their second and final practice match in Dubai by 100 runs.

The Sussex bowler took the final two wickets in the second innings but he also dismissed Usman Salahuddin to break a 71-run fourth-wicket partnership that had threatened to derail England's hopes of victory.

"He's shown he can be a match winner when he's back to his best," Swann added.

"I spin the ball in, he spins it away and a partnership like that can be formidable."

Swann also said that the key wicket for the bowlers in the three-match Test series would be Younes Khan.

"If we can get him out and get on top of him I think the rest of their batting will struggle," Swann, who played with Younes at Nottingham, stated.

"He's the lynchpin, their best player and the one we need to make sure we are on top of."

However, Swann is not as concerned by the much talked about 'mystery' delivery that Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has promised to deliver during the series.

Ajmal said back in August that he was working on a "special delivery" for this Test series.

But Swann laughed: "I spoke to Ajmal and we had a giggle about it. I'm looking forward to seeing it as much as he is.

"[Former Australia spinner] Shane Warne was a classic for it.

"He'd come up with a new ball every Ashes series and the media and the batsmen would look for it for the first three Test matches and then suddenly realise he'd taken 25 wickets with legspin and the Ashes were already gone.

"We'll be taking any talk of a new mystery ball with a pinch of salt."

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