England take lead in Pakistan serie
PAKISTAN coach Bob Woolmer could all but heap praise on British Asian sensation Monty Panesar after watching the spinner crush the might of his team to give England a 1-0 lead in the Test series.
The Northants left arm spinner took 8-93 in the second-Test win over Pakistan to give his side a slender lead in the four match series.
Speaking to reporters after his team’s defeat, he described his team’s nemesis as the “bee’s knees”.
“I thought Panesar’s performance was terrific,” he said.
“He has loop, in-dip, spins the ball, beats people on both sides of the bat without actually having the doosra.
“He is a very fine prospect. If he bowls like this, he could do well in Australia, too, because the wickets are more bouncy there. He’s the proper article, the bee’s knees.”
He also urged England fans to take the spinner seriously after some reports suggested he was a figure of fun amongst the teams loyal fan base.
“The crowd might think he’s a bit of a joke but we don’t think of him like that”, he said.
“What the crowd should do is take him seriously because he’s right up there with the classic English spinners. People laughed at his fielding but that looks like it has improved.”
Panesar will now be hoping to cement his place in the Ashes tour squad which will be announced at the end of the Pakistan series.
He faces tough competition from veteran spinner Ashley Giles who is undergoing rehab following a hip operation.
Giles admitted he would have to work twice as hard if he was to push Panesar out of the squad.
“Monty is the man in possession and I have to get my place back – that’s the danger if you do get injured”, he said.
“My recovery is going OK, it is just frustrating. I cannot bowl and cannot run but the rehab is going well. “Monty is a brilliant technician and works extremely hard. He is able to land the ball in good areas and put batsmen under pressure.”
The third Test in Headingly will begin on 4th August.