Swann: I'm fully fit
England spinner will be ready to face Pakistan on Tuesday
Last Updated: January 14, 2012 8:46pm
Swann backs Monty
England's Graeme Swann insists he is "100 per cent fit" ahead of the first Test against Pakistan.
Swann mustered only two wickets, to his spin partner Monty Panesar's eight, in England's warm-up victory over a Pakistan Cricket Board XI.
He was cleared to play in the 100-run success after a scan on a sore thigh and on Saturday he reported himself fully fit. "I was a bit nervous going into the last warm-up game, because my thigh felt like a 32-year-old's rather than a 22-year-old's," he said.
"But it managed to get through and felt great by the end of the game. So, touch wood, I'll be 100 per cent fit for the first Test."
That match starts on Tuesday.
The Nottinghamshire star also insisted he was ready to bowl marathon spells in the slow, spin-friendly conditions on show in the UAE.
"The ball does spin - especially on a six-day old pitch yesterday," he said.
"I should be getting a lot of work out here. It's obviously hot, and the seamers can't do the job they do in England - because it's just not the same conditions.
"I'm looking forward to doing a lot of bowling and, I hope, winning the games for England."
And Swann is hoping England pick Monty Panesar as a second spinner after Panesar took eight wickets in the final warm-up match.
"I love Monty, going back to our Northampton days when we used to bowl together," Swann said.
"I'd love to see two spinners playing. I love the way the game flows with a spinner at both ends and men round the bat.
"From a personal point of view, I'd love to see Monty back - because obviously he's bowling very well.
"He bowled superbly this week - and let's face it, everyone loves Monty don't they?
"I love Monty, going back to our Northampton days when we used to bowl together. I'd love to see two spinners playing. I love the way the game flows with a spinner at both ends and men round the bat."
Graeme Swann Quotes of the week
"My message is always that I'd like two spinners. But the reason I'm not given any responsibility in selecting teams is because I wouldn't be very good at it."
Swann has noticed a new maturity in Panesar, at the age of 29, on and off the field since he last played a Test two-and-a-half years ago.
"Monty's a great bowler. He had a superb season at Sussex, and the pressure was on him to do well down there - and he delivered.
"He's a fine bowler, and it's great to see him back in form.
"I certainly think off the field, as a person, he's just grown up.
"He is maturing, as everyone does.
"A lot happened to Monty at a fairly young age, and I think he'll be the first to admit that he was fairly wet behind the ears.
"He's had a few more worldly experiences. He's got married; he's moved counties; he's done the overseas thing - and all of them have been positive.
"I think it's shown in his bowling. He's back to his best."