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Samit Patel — whose three innings on this tour so far had fetched him scores of 104, 60 and 67 — thrust his front foot down the pitch and raised his bat over his shoulder. The ball veered a fraction into the right-hander in the air and continued on along that trajectory, skidding off the pitch and into Patel's knee-roll. Monty Panesar yelped.
Patel jogged out of the net and moved into the adjacent one. Before Jonny Bairstow could take his place, Panesar bowled to an empty net. The ball retraced the same trajectory and cannoned into off stump.
Two balls into his session, Bairstow poked forward at Panesar. The ball dipped on him and fizzed past his outside edge.
The left-arm spinner continued in this vein through the rest of the morning, and provided an insight or two into the English batsmen and their comfort levels against spin.
If the Indian camp had sent someone early to the Motera nets for a spot of reconnaissance, they will have learned a few things.
Bairstow looked good when he got to the pitch and drove, but less convincing when he defended, planting his front foot a touch heavily and pushing his hands at the ball.
Nick Compton was extremely tentative, and struggled to read the length. Kevin Pietersen stepped out of the crease at every opportunity, and looked in ominous touch, manipulating his hands and wrists beautifully to control his drives through the off side.
And nobody got on top of Panesar, who — if Steven Finn doesn't prove his fitness in time for the first Test — made an eloquent case for his inclusion if the look of the Motera wicket provokes England to field two spinners.
Two frontline spinners in Graeme Swann and Panesar, that is; not the compromise of Swann and Patel's all-round competence at number six.
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