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England spin bowler Graeme Swann was full of praise for the returning Monty Panesar at the close of play on day one of the second Ashes Test, but believes dropped catches could cost the side dearly.
Panesar made his first international appearance for nine months as he stepped out to try and pick up some early wickets for the tourists. He ended the first day with respectable figures of one for 68 from 24 overs, but things could have been much better had his fielding skills been up to scratch.
The spin bowler had the chance to claim George Bailey when he had scored just 10, leaving Australia on 190 for five. However, the Tasmanian was able to hit a maiden Test 50 and shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 83 with captain Michael Clarke.
There was set to be more heartache for Andy Flower’s side in the field as Ashes debutant Michael Carberry also put down an easy catch, which would have seen Brad Haddin walking back to the pavilion.
Swann admits that coming away from day one with the score at 273-5 is by no means a disaster, but he believes his side have to be more clinical when the chances arise.
Swann said: “Having lost the toss at Adelaide you always fear the worst as a bowler but I think five wickets in the day is a pretty good return.
“Obviously six or seven would have been a lot better and we missed a couple of half chances that we’ll rue. There’s always a sense of frustration when catches go down. But we’re certainly not pointing fingers.
“We still have to field well and catch them, but those chances have helped us.”