Monty Panesar on Thursday insisted that he is still England's second best spinner after again upstaging Graeme Swann.
The 29th first-class five-for of Panesar's career, complemented by James Anderson's four-wicket haul, was at the forefront of the tourists' dismissal of the Sri Lankan Board XI for a mere 169 all out in Colombo, where the teams are locked horns for a three-day tour fixture ahead of the first Test.
Without reward through two threatening opening spells, Pansear returned to the attack to secure figures of five for 37. Meanwhile, Swann - 25 spots higher than his team-mate in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers - went without a wicket.
While Panesar has enjoyed a prolific return to the England fold this year, including 14 wickets in two Tests against Pakistan and Thursday's five-for, Swann has endured somewhat of a lean 2011 despite his tag as the arguably world's best spin bowler.
"Yes, Graeme is 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 in county cricket together and we're reconnecting out here."
The 29-year-old was delighted that patience paid off at the R Premadasa Stadium, where he toiled across the turning conditions to little avail prior to lunch before the middle session brought him two victims and three more after tea.
"I think you've just got to stay disciplined, not look to over-attack," added Panesar.
"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. 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 were without the services of Stuart Broad after the fast bowler withdrew from the fixture shortly before its start in the wake of an ankle injury. Panesar, however, shrugged off suggestions that the injury was of a severe nature and would have Broad in doubt ahead of the first Test, which gets underway in Galle on 26 March.
"It was just a slight trip, he should be okay by Friday and he's icing the ankle now. It's early in the tour, so it's probably a sensible decision to rest it," concluded Panesar.