Full support for Monty!
Last week, England announced fifteen out of their sixteen
who will tour India in a little over a month's time
. The list was notable for the decision to delay naming the third spinner
until Giles' injury
status was sorted out.
There is a lot of discussion on whether it was right to delay naming the final member, and the identity of who it would be. Reports and columns in The Independent
, The Guardian
and The Telegraph
reckoned that Northamptonshire's Mudhsuden Singh Panesar
, aka Monty Panesar, was the best choice. What goes against Panesar is the fact that most of his wickets have come on spin-friendly pitches. To add to the problem, Duncan Fletcher apparently insists that England's bowlers should have the ability to field well and bat reasonably well. Panesar would thus not be high up on his list because of those shortcomings.
Given England's lack of spin options
, it would be stupid to not take Panesar along. I haven't obviously seen him bowl, but from whatever I've read, he is rated highly as a bowler. Even if he doesn't actually play a test, he will improve as a cricketer, especially as a bowler. England have a couple of tour games to try him out in.
In my opinion, England would be much better off picking a specialist spinner rather than picking someone who could bat and field and allegedly bowls. Hang on, they already have Ashley Giles who fits that description
, Jenny Thompson
and John Stern
pitch in with their opinions over the issue.