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Monty Panesar goes back to basics for England's Ashes trial

John Westerby, Richard Hobson Times Online 29.06.2009 20:53
Monty Panesar goes back to basics for England's Ashes trial - Monty Panesar - Cricket

Monty Panesar has abandoned plans to broaden his repertoire for the Ashes series and is reverting to the bowling methods that brought him success early in his Test career.

After more than two years as England's first-choice spinner, Panesar lost his place to Graeme Swann this year and has been criticised for the lack of variety in his bowling.

He has been experimenting with changes of pace and flight while playing for Northamptonshire this season, but has taken only six first-class wickets at the exorbitant cost of 86.66 runs each.

The buzzword for Panesar now is “reconnect”, which signals a desire to return to his natural game, whatever its limitations.

“My strength is that I have a natural ability to bowl a certain pace, to bowl lots of overs and get a lot of maidens,” he said yesterday. “I've got to reconnect to that natural bowling style.”

The focus will be firmly on the left-arm spinner when England play Warwickshire in the three-day Ashes warm-up match, starting at Edgbaston tomorrow. Of the 11 players selected, he is the only one whose place is uncertain for the first npower Test at Cardiff next week.

England may opt to play a fourth seam bowler, probably Ryan Sidebottom or Graham Onions, and even if they pick two spinners, Adil Rashid is breathing down Panesar's neck. The latter's lack of form this season effectively makes the match against Warwickshire a personal trial.


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