Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Monty Panesar's good days


Monty Panesar has been all over the cricket press lately. He was instrumental in finishing off the West Indies team in the just-ended npower Test series in England. He's also become the highest rated spin bowler for England in 30 years.

Read this account of Monty's performance yesterday, one of the highlight moments of the Test: Panesar spins England to victory

{source: CricInfo has this an other excellent photos.}

The West Indies captain Daren Ganga praised Panesar's skill at keeping the pressure on his batsmen. An article in the Gulf Times quotes him as saying “He’s definitely there in the top three (spinners) as he’s winning games for England." “He’s having a heavy influence in terms of test matches that England have won. I definitely think he’s a top-class spinner.” The article says Panesar, 25, is trying not to put too much pressure on himself and says he recognized that the playing field favored his style.

There is much comment in the press about Monty's emotionalism and the rebuke he received from the umpire for his excessive celebrations. “He was saying that I should appeal before I start celebrating,” Panesar said with a smile. “I guess I get a little excited while I’m out there.”

AFP has a good overview of Monty's achievements: Panesar to keep Monty mania in check. A couple of excerpts:
Off the field Panesar, the first Sikh to play Test cricket for England, is ... a non-drinker and non-smoker, unlike [another exuberant] left-armer whose private life became the subject of some lurid newspaper headlines.

Panesar has been mocked for his poor fielding and now, in England at least, every time he succesfully gathers and returns the ball he is cheered, albeit in a supportive if patronising fashion, by spectators. However, on Monday, he surprised a few people by dismissing Darren Sammy caught and bowled following the all-rounder’s well-hit drive.
Monty has been characteristically modest about his success, crediting the advantageous pitch and his own luck as well as skill and perseverance.

{caption: Bell (right) executes a smart catch to end Corey Collymore's brief innings and hands Panesar his 10th wicket of the match; source}

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