PakisABU DHABI // Monty Panesar said he felt like he was making "a second debut" on returning to the England team after two-and-a-half years out of the side.
But he was told he was playing 20 minutes before the Test began as England chose two spinners for the second Test against Pakistan at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
"I was a bit nervous," Panesar said. "But I was excited a bit because it was kind of like making my second debut."
Panesar had a fair return; he only picked up one wicket from 33 overs but saw Misbah-ul-Haq dropped at 30.
His best spells came in the morning, as he settled into a rhythm over the morning and post-lunch and regularly beat the bat.
"I was pleased with my bowling today," he said.
"Obviously, bowling that many overs is something I have done for Sussex [his English county side] during the last year.
"I thought I would do a holding job on this first day wicket but I was surprised with the turn.
"I thought that me and Swanny were pretty much involved in the game throughout."
Although his threat dipped later in the day, a long year of assignments in the subcontinent means Panesar remains a key figure in England's set-up.
"Obviously I have been out of the team for three years but now I would like to make the most of it," he said.
"I'm not looking at being the No 1 [spinner in the side] but of bowling in partnership with Swann and helping each other out."