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Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar.jpg
Personal information
Full name Mudhsuden Singh Panesar
Born 25 April 1982 (1982-04-25) (age 27)
Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Nickname Monty, Monster, The Sultan of Spin, The Sikh of Tweak[1]
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Batting style Left-handed
Bowling style Slow left arm orthodox
Role Bowler
International information
National side England
Test debut (cap 631) 1 March 2006 v India
Last Test 8 July 2009 v Australia
ODI debut (cap 200) 12 January 2007 v Australia
Last ODI 13 October 2007 v Sri Lanka
ODI shirt no. 77
Domestic team information
Years Team
2010 - Sussex
2001 - 2009 Northamptonshire (squad no. 7)
2009 - 2010 Highveld Lions
Career statistics
Competition Tests ODIs FC OD
Matches 39 26 113 54
Runs scored 187 26 802 126
Batting average 5.50 5.20 8.26 10.50
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0
Top score 26 13 39* 17*
Balls bowled 9,042 1,308 25,249 2,437
Wickets 126 24 364 51
Bowling average 34.37 40.83 33.09 35.68
5 wickets in innings 8 0 19 1
10 wickets in match 1 n/a 3 n/a
Best bowling 6/37 3/25 7/181 5/20
Catches/stumpings 9/– 3/– 26/– 10/–
Source: CricketArchive, 12 December 2009

Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, known as Monty Panesar (born 25 April 1982 in Luton, Bedfordshire), is an English cricketer. A left-arm spinner, Panesar plays Test and one-day cricket for England, and played county cricket for Northamptonshire until 2009, when he departed that team and joined Sussex County Cricket Club for the 2010 English county cricket season.[2] He also plays for Lions in South Africa. He is the 631st player for England in Tests, and has the number 77 on his ODI shirt.

Born in Luton to Indian Punjabi Sikh parents, he is the first Sikh to represent a nation other than India in Test cricket.[citation needed] He wears a black patka (a smaller version of the full Sikh turban) while playing and training.[3] He is a crowd favourite in England, and many fans have worn patkas and fake beards while watching him play.[4]

During international matches Panesar often receives loud cheers whenever he comes on to bat or bowl and when he fields the ball, the latter due to his history of less than skilful fielding. When first selected for England he was widely said to be a particularly inept batsman and fielder, which may have contributed to this reception; the TMS commentator Henry Blofeld once accidentally referred to him as Monty Python,[5] a mistake possibly encouraged by his comic reputation. However in more recent matches he has lived down these claims, and gained further popularity with his characteristic wicket-taking celebration, which consists of him gambolling down the pitch and high fiving his team-mates.

Contents

Personal life

Panesar, a devout Sikh, has a large supportive family both in England and Punjab, his parents having migrated to England from India in the late 1970s.[6] His father, Paramjeet Singh Panesar, who moved to England in 1979, is a builder. His mother is Gursharan Kaur. Panesar has a younger brother, Isher Singh Panesar, and sister, Charanjit Kaur Panesar. His family lives in Luton. Panesar is a devoted Luton Town fan and is often seen at matches.[7]

Panesar has been quoted as saying, “I follow Sikhism, and maybe I’ve channelled the discipline that religion creates into my cricket. There’s discipline with any religion, and you can take it into a game or into anything else." (The Sunday Times, August 6, 2006).[8] Away from cricket, Panesar went to St. Matthew's Infant and Junior Schools and Stopsley High School, Luton. For Sixth Form, he studied at Bedford Modern School. He also has a degree in computer science from Loughborough University.[9] Panesar has uncut hair and a full length beard, which is a fundamental part of the Sikh identity and way of life. He won the 2006 Beard of the Year competition run by the Beard Liberation Front.[10]

Nicknames for Panesar include "The Montster", "The Python" (a reference to Monty Python), The "Sikh of Tweak" (probably a humorous reference to Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne's - mispronounced - sobriquet, 'The Sheikh of Tweak)',[11] "Montastic", "Parmesan Tony" (an anagram),[12][13] "The Beard to be Feared", or "The Turbanator" (though this generally refers to Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh, and both he and Panesar wear a patka, not a turban, while playing cricket); however, he is most commonly known simply as Monty.

Cricketing ability

Over the last few years his abilities in the field and with the bat improved steadily, but it was Panesar's ability with the ball that has enabled him to retain the role of England's number-one spin bowler before being replaced my Graeme Swann in 2008. He was mentioned early in his career by former England head coach Duncan Fletcher, who, although initially reluctant to single out Panesar, described him as "the best finger spinner in the world"[14]

Panesar at Lord's playing for England v New Zealand May 2008
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Bowling

Panesar has certain physical attributes that help with his spin bowling. Firstly he has an unusually large hand, measuring 10 inches (250 mm),[15] and can also rotate his hand at his wrist through 360 degrees.[16]

Panesar demonstrated his ability to take Test wickets in his first match in Nagpur, India, where his first Test wicket was that of the highly respected Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar. He also bowled batsmen Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Kaif. In the 2006 Test Series against Sri Lanka, Panesar claimed his first five-wicket haul for 78 runs, in the third Test at Trent Bridge. Monty went on to take 5 for 92 and 3 for 145 in the 3rd Test match in Australia, in December 2006, despite England losing the match.

In an interview with the UK newspaper Daily Mirror, Panesar stated his intention to develop a left-handed version of the doosra, the off-spinner's version of the googly:

I am working on my version of the doosra — a ball which turns the other way — but we will just have to see what happens with it. As I gradually add things, it is one of my ambitions to be the best. It would be nice one day to be recognised as that.
Panesar bowls in the nets at Adelaide Oval

On 11 June 2007, Panesar became the first English spinner to take 10 wickets in a match since Phil Tufnell when he returned match figures of 10/187. This was achieved against the West Indies in the Third Test at Old Trafford. He took his 100th Test wicket on 25 May 2008, against New Zealand, also at Old Trafford.

Batting

Panesar has shown signs of potential, but he is not yet a confident batsman, averaging about seven runs per innings. His best international innings was against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge in 2006, when Panesar scored 26 off 28 balls by employing the sweep shot, including a swept six off Muttiah Muralitharan albeit in a losing cause. In the 2006 Perth, Ashes Test Match, Panesar scored an unbeaten 16 runs, putting on the biggest partnership of the innings with fellow bowler Steve Harmison. His batting performance was also noted in the Ashes First Test in 2009, when a partnership of Panesar and James Anderson stayed in for 40 minutes to earn 19 runs, requiring Australia to potentially bat again, thus surviving 69 balls instead of around 81 to finally secure a draw, which was greeted by rapturous applause from both his team and supporters.[17]

Fielding

Panesar's fielding has been the subject of much discussion. Former England coach Duncan Fletcher had previously gone so far as to suggest that this could keep him out of the side if it does not improve. At the start of his Test career, this led to loud sardonic cheers from the crowd for completing even the simplest fielding tasks. Many commentators believe that his fielding has since improved somewhat; he held an impressive catch in England's third Test match against Pakistan at Headingley in 2006.

Concerns over his fielding were highlighted in the third Test match against India when a skied hit from Mahendra Singh Dhoni came towards him at long-off. He seemed to lose the ball in the background and the ball landed five yards away from him, missing what should have been an straightforward catch. He did however atone for that error when he caught an identical shot from Dhoni a few minutes later at long-off. In the season of 2006 (after the first Test at Lord's against Pakistan) it was discovered that Panesar required a different type of contact lenses to the ones that he had been wearing previously, it is unknown whether these helped his fielding, despite his remarkable improvement.[citation needed]

Work ethic

Panesar loves training and is becoming renowned for being a fastidious worker, regularly leaving the practice ground after everyone else. According to reports, one day Monty and Australia's Mike Hussey spent a whole day in the nets, which shows remarkable determination for a bowler. According to Andrew Strauss, who has captained him in four Tests, Panesar "will be on the ground earlier than anyone, getting (ex-assistant coach) Matthew Maynard to hit catches to him. He will then bowl through most of the net session, before staying out long after most of the guys are back in the comfort of the dressing room, working on his batting, learning new shots, and perfecting those he already has."[18]

Domestic career

Originally a medium-pace bowler, he shifted to spin at around sixteen following advice from the Northamptonshire coaching staff. Paul Taylor, the former Northamptonshire seamer, suggested he switch to spin during a schools coaching session.[19]

As a schoolboy Panesar played cricket at Bedford Modern School for Stopsley High School, Dunstable Town CC and Luton Indian CC before being selected for the England Under-19 team. His first-class debut came in 2001 at the age of 19. His appearances over the next few years were limited, partly because of his commitment as a full-time student at Loughborough University. After graduating, he became a more important member of the team and had a fine season in 2005, taking 46 County Championship wickets at an average of just 21.54.

In the 2009-10 season he signed to play for the Highveld Lions in South Africa.[20]

In the 2010 English county cricket season, Panesar will play for Sussex after leaving Northamptonshire at the end of the 2009 season.

International career

Test selection

Due to his performances in 2005, many prominent figures called for Panesar's inclusion in the English Test squad for the 2006 tour of India.[21][22][23] For a place as back-up spinner to incumbent Ashley Giles he faced competition from left-armer Ian Blackwell and off-spinners Shaun Udal and Alex Loudon. It was suggested that his reputation for poor batting and fielding might hamper his chances of selection, but earlier in 2005 he had attended the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide in order to address these issues. He was selected in January 2006 for the tour to India, and made his international debut in the first Test against India in Nagpur. He took three wickets, including India's two best batsmen, Sachin Tendulkar and captain Rahul Dravid. The former, who Panesar states was his childhood hero and was the spinner's first international Test wicket, later signed the cricket ball that dismissed him and presented it to Panesar.[24] Panesar went on to play in the second and third Test matches, in Mohali and Mumbai with thirty-five of his family members attending the Test at Mohali, Punjab.[25]

Sri Lanka and Pakistan in England, 2006

On 11 May 2006 Panesar made his maiden Test appearance in England against Sri Lanka at Lord's. He played a small role in the first and second Tests, taking only five wickets.[26][27] He was to fare better in the third by claiming his first five wicket haul with bowling figures of 5/78.[28] He followed this up with an explosive innings of 26 from 28 balls that included a swept six, adding 37 for the final wicket with Liam Plunkett. This was not enough to affect the result as Sri Lanka won the Test by 134 runs.[29]

Panesar took three wickets in the first innings of the Test against Pakistan at Old Trafford, Manchester, on 27 June 2006. His wicket-taking was overshadowed by Steve Harmison who took a six wicket haul to get Pakistan all out for 119 in the 1st innings. However, Panesar took 5-72 in the second innings, and Harmison 5-57. The pair took 19 of the 20 Pakistani wickets in the match (the other being a run out) in an innings-and-120-run victory. This was the first time two bowlers had taken all bowling wickets since Jim Laker's record match figures of 19 for 90 again at Old Trafford. In the second innings Panesar took the wickets of five of the six specialist batsmen, including Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf.

In the first innings at Headingley, Panesar picked up three wickets including that of Inzamam-ul-Haq, who overbalanced and dislodged the bails with his stomach to be dismissed hit wicket. In the second innings Panesar had figures of 3 for 39. Panesar was given some credit for responding to criticism from England coach Duncan Fletcher.[30] Despite his performances in the Test arena against Pakistan in the summer of 2006, Panesar was overlooked for the 30 man ODI squad for the 2006 ICC Champion's Trophy in India.

England in Australia, 2006–7

The likelihood of Panesar playing against Australia in the 2006-07 Ashes series led to media commentary by some Australian players, who indicated that they would take an aggressive approach towards him[citation needed]. Australian captain Ricky Ponting said, "We'll try to make some sort of impact on him early on, and we won't let him get on top. The way our left-handers, especially Justin Langer and Matty Hayden, play spin is to be fairly aggressive." However, he was also praised by Ponting. Ponting told the Sunday Age, "He (Panesar) didn't look like he was scared to throw the ball up a little bit and actually try to get you out. He's got good, subtle changes of pace and, watching the other night (against Pakistan), a really good arm ball as well.". The former Australian Test player Darren Lehmann said "He's probably a more attacking bowler than Giles was, and a wicket-taking option for them, more so than Giles was." Commenting on the possibility of Australian crowds targeting Panesar because of his poor fielding and batting, Lehmann stuck up for Panesar saying "He should have no worries at all... He's a beautiful lad.".[31] It also emerged that Panesar had been seeing a sports psychologist and talking to former England left-arm spinner Phil Tufnell, another English spinner who was poor at fielding, about the ribbing he is expecting to get from the Aussie crowds on the tour, and how to prepare himself mentally for the task.

Panesar bowls in The Ashes series as Flintoff watches

Panesar was left out of the England team for the first two tests of the series, which led to a petition being started by BBC Radio Five Live, calling out for his inclusion.[32] Panesar was eventually selected to play in the third Test at the WACA in Perth. He finished the first innings with figures of 5 for 92 off 24 overs, with Justin Langer, Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist among his wickets, becoming the first English spin bowler to take five wickets in a Test match at the WACA in Perth, his other two wickets being Shane Warne and Brett Lee. He also performed respectably with the bat, finishing on 16 not out as part of England's best partnership in the innings. He remained in the team for the rest of the series, finishing with a record of 10 wickets at an average of 37.90 and collecting a total of 35 runs. He was the joint third highest wicket taker for England behind Matthew Hoggard and Andrew Flintoff, tying with Steve Harmison, having only played in three out of the five tests. During the Tests Panesar played, he quickly became a crowd favourite for both Australian and English fans, eliciting cheers from the crowd when fielding, bowling or batting.

After the Ashes series, Panesar was selected in the England squad for the Commonwealth Bank series with Australia and New Zealand. He made his ODI debut against Australia at Melbourne on 12 January 2007 and played in nine matches in the series. His attacking style, bowling economically and aggressively in equal parts, worked well, taking nine wickets and conceding 4.60 runs per over.

World Cup 2007

Following his impressive performances in the Ashes and Commonwealth Bank series Panesar was selected in England's World Cup squad. He struggled to pick up wickets, only taking 7 at an average of 40.42, but bowled fairly economically conceding 4.42 runs per over. His best performance came on 11 April 2007 in a Super Eight's group game against Bangladesh where he took 3/25 off his seven overs which included two maidens.[33]

West Indies in England, 2007

Panesar was in the team for all four Tests against the West Indies in May and June 2007. He got his first six wicket haul in Tests during the first innings of the first Test at Lord's when he took 6/129.[34] Five of his six victims were trapped LBW, all given out by the Nursery End umpire Asad Rauf. Panesar's first Test ten wicket haul came in the third Test at Old Trafford, in which he took four first innings wickets, and six in the second innings, for match figures of 10/187. He became the first English spin bowler to take ten wickets in a match for ten years, since Phil Tufnell did so in 1997.[35] He was awarded his first man of the match award for the performance. Panesar achieved his sixth 5-wicket haul in the final Test match, at Chester-le-Street. He took the wicket of the otherwise immovable Shivnarine Chanderpaul wicket to end the West Indies second innings. He finished the series with 23 wickets at an average of 18.69, an achievement which won him the man of the series award.

Panesar was not selected for the following Twenty20 matches, with both sides electing not to include full-time spinners in their sides. He played in two of the three ODI matches taking 1/57 overall at 4.07 runs an over.

India in England, 2007

Panesar played in all three tests against India in July and August. He played fairly well in the first and second Tests but struggled in the third Test. In the first Test at Lord's he took 2/85, trapping Sachin Tendulkar LBW when he was on 16 runs (an identical dismissal to his first Test wicket) as well as having a good appeal for a would have been match winning LBW against Sreesanth turned down (The match ended in a draw due to rain with India 282/9 chasing 380 to win). In the first innings of the second Test at Trent Bridge he took 4/101. In the third Test at the Oval he struggled on a flat pitch, taking 2/217 in the match. He took 8 wickets in the series at an average of 50.37. He played in six of the seven ODI matches performing fairly unspectacularly. He took 6/268 runs overall at 4.78 runs an over.

England in Sri Lanka, 2007-08

In October 2007, Panesar was dropped for the first four matches of the five match ODI series, the England selectors opting to pick Graeme Swann due to his better batting ability. Panesar played in the fifth match, where he bowled tightly taking 1/31 at 3.10 runs an over. There was speculation that Swann would challenge Panesar for the Test place or at least play alongside him on the back of his strong performances in the first four ODIs.[36] However, Panesar was given a vote of confidence from the England Coach, Peter Moores, who called him "(England's) number one Test spinner".[37] In the event, England opted to play Panesar ahead of Swann in the three match series in December. In the first match at Kandy Panesar took 6/178, but in the second Test at Columbo and the third Test at Galle he only managed figures of 2/151 and 0/76 respectively. He finished the series with 8 wickets at an average of 50.63.

England in New Zealand, 2008

In February 2008, England played two 20/20 matches against New Zealand where Panesar was omitted from the team in favour of the spinner Graeme Swann and England won both matches. Following this was the five match ODI series where Swann was again picked ahead of Panesar, although Swann was dropped after scoring only 7 and 1 with the bat in the first two matches yet he was not replaced by Panesar or any other spinner. Panesar was then selected for the three Test matches ending the series with 11 wickets at an average of 30.18, with England winning the series 2-1.

New Zealand in England, 2008

In May 2008, New Zealand arrived in England for a three Test series to be followed by a single 20/20 match and a five match ODI series. Once again Panesar was selected for the entire Test series and in the second match at Old Trafford he achieved his best single innings figures to date of 6/37, including the captain Daniel Vettori. He ended the series with 9 wickets at an average of 27.22. Despite recording his best ever innings figures in the second Test, Panesar was once again omitted from the 20/20 and ODI teams in favour of the spinner Graeme Swann.

Australia in England, 2009

Panesar, along with Swann, was selected for the first Test of the 2009 Ashes series, held at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff, as England opted to utilise two spinners. On a pitch which was expected to turn, his bowling appeared unthreatening, only taking one wicket in 35 overs (that of Ricky Ponting, bowled off an inside edge for 150) as Australia amassed 674 for 6 declared, with four centurions. With the bat he and James Anderson blocked out the final 11½ overs of the match, denying Australia their final wicket and salvaging a draw for England. Nonetheless, Panesar was dropped for the remainder of the series.

Achievements

Awards

Test match performance

Test debut: vs India, Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, 1 March 2006.[41]

Statistics correct as of 2008-09-24.
Source: Cricinfo.
Batting[42] Bowling[43]
Opposition Matches Runs Average High Score 100 / 50 Runs Wickets Average Best (Inns)
Australia 3 35 7.00 16* 0 / 0 379 10 37.90 5/92
India 6 29 4.14 9 0 / 0 715 13 55.00 4/101
New Zealand 6 26 3.25 10 0 / 0 577 20 28.85 6/37
Pakistan 4 13 13.00 5* 0 / 0 515 17 30.29 5/72
South Africa 4 11 2.75 10 0 / 0 412 13 31.69 4/74
Sri Lanka 6 30 10.00 26 0 / 0 615 18 34.16 5/78
West Indies 4 21 10.50 14* 0 / 0 430 23 18.69 6/129
Overall 33 165 5.50 26 0 / 0 3643 114 31.95 6/37
A graph showing Panesar's Test career bowling statistics and how they have varied over time.

Man of the match awards

Date Opponent Ground Record/Scorecards
7 June–11 June 2007 West Indies Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester Bowling: 10/187
23 May–27 May 2008 New Zealand Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester Bowling: 6/37

Man of the Series awards

Date Opponents Record/Series link
17 May–19 June 2007 West Indies 23 wickets at an average of 18.69 (1 ten wicket-haul, 3 five wicket-hauls); 1 catch. 4 matches

One-day International performance

ODI debut: vs Australia, Melbourne - 12 Jan 2007[41]

Statistics correct as of 2008-01-24.
Source: Cricketarchive.
Batting[44] Bowling[45]
Opposition Matches Runs Average High Score 100 / 50 Runs Wickets Average Best
Australia 6 1 - 1* 0 / 0 236 4 59.00 2/44
Bangladesh 1 - - - 0 / 0 25 3 8.33 3/25
Canada 1 - - - 0 / 0 35 1 35.00 1/35
India 6 - - - 0 / 0 268 6 44.66 1/28
Ireland 1 - - - 0 / 0 31 2 15.50 2/31
Kenya 1 - - - 0 / 0 28 0 - -
New Zealand 5 6 6.00 6 0 / 0 200 6 33.33 2/35
South Africa 1 2 2.00 2 0 / 0 24 0 - -
Sri Lanka 2 - - - 0 / 0 76 1 76 1/31
West Indies 2 14 7.00 13 0 / 0 57 1 57.00 1/29
Overall 26 26 5.20 13 0 / 0 980 24 40.83 3/25

References

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  36. ^ Giles: Swann is a threat to Panesar, Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
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  38. ^ NBC Denis Compton Award 2001
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  43. ^ "Test Bowling Against Each Opponent Monty Panesar". Cricketarchive. http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/10/10641/t_Bowling_by_Opponent.html. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  44. ^ "ODI Batting and Fielding Against Each Opponent by Monty Panesar". Cricketarchive. http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/10/10641/o_Batting_by_Opponent.html. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  45. ^ "ODI Bowling Against Each Opponent by Monty Panesar". Cricketarchive. http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/10/10641/o_Bowling_by_Opponent.html. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 

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