Question now is if England only play one spinner, as you assume they'll do in the West Indies and at home next summer - who do they pick?
It comes down to what job(s) you expect your spinner to do. In English conditions, I'd list the requirements (in order of importance) as: -
- Provide an element of control, ideally in a long spell, which gives the quicker bowlers the opportunity to work in short bursts at the other end.
- Exploit whatever turn there is in the pitch.
- Bowl a batting side out on a wearing pitch on day five, if the opportunity is there.
- Score useful runs down the order, or at least hang around to support better batsmen if the situation calls for it.
- Be effective enough in the field so you don't have to be hidden.
As things stand, based on that job description, I reckon Swann is a better bet than Panesar. I reckon Pietersen is starting to think that too.