ICL: Indian Cricket League

Vaughan tells Monty to carry on appealing


vaughanEngland captain Michael Vaughan has told Monty Panesar to carry on appealing saying any attempt to curb the left-arm spinner’s natural enthusiasm risked diminishing one of modern cricket’s leading characters.

The exuberant Panesar took 10 for 187 in England’s 60-run third Test win against West Indies at Old Trafford, which gave the hosts an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

Panesar, whose haul meant he was the first England spinner to take 10 wickets in a Test for a decade, has been his side’s leading bowler this series with 17 wickets at under 21 apiece and has been Vaughan’s ‘go-to’ player when his quicks have proved expensive.

On the final day at Old Trafford, Panesar was spoken to by umpire Aleem Dar who told the Northamptonshire slow bowler to observe cricket etiquette by appealing to him first before charging down the pitch to celebrate a wicket.

Under the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Code of Conduct, players risked being fined or even suspended for excessive appealing.

But Vaughan, speaking on the eve of the fourth and final Test which starts at Riverside here on Friday (today), insisted he had no problems with Panesar’s conduct.

“We’re in a position of maybe taking characters out of the game,” Vaughan told reporters at Riverside here on Thursday. “We all love Monty Panesar — he appeals, he celebrates with a high-five, he misses the odd high-five and he’s brilliant for the game,” he remarked.

“We don’t want to see that taken away,” Vaughan stressed. “Now if it gets too much and he’s appealing every ball, yes we’ll maybe say something. But at the minute he’s a young lad bowling brilliantly and entertaining a lot of people. Let him continue,” said Vaughan of Panesar, whose enthusiasm and skills have made him something of a cult hero with crowds around the world.

“Monty’s very approachable and if you say to him ‘just calm it down a little bit’ he will do,” he added.

Panesar, who has now taken 59 wickets in his 16 Tests at an economical average of under 30 apiece and is now ranked twelfth in the ICC Test bowling rankings, has been the mainstay of a four-man attack in the absence of injured all-rounder Andrew Flintoff.

“It does put quite a lot of pressure on your spinner at some stages but fortunately he is standing up to that pressure tremendously well for a 25-year-old who’s not played a huge amount of cricket,” Vaughan explained. “I think he’s going to improve pretty quickly, he’s certainly a quick learner,” said Vaughan.

This match is set to see Matthew Hoggard, Vaughan’s Yorkshire colleague, replace Liam Plunkett in the attack after the swing specialist missed the last two Tests with a groin injury sustained in the drawn series opener at Lord’s.

Plunkett was particularly wayward at Old Trafford and Vaughan hopes Hoggard, eighth in the ICC rankings, can restore an element of control.

“I’m delighted to have Matthew Hoggard back because I know what consistency he brings and how easy he is to captain,” Vaughan said.

England’s batsmen have collectively been in fine form this series, scoring eight hundreds in three Tests. However, opener Andrew Strauss has managed just one century in his last 17 Test innings.

“I’ve been in that position where I’ve been playing great in the nets but in the middle it hasn’t happened for me,” said Vaughan.

“He just has to focus ball by ball. One thing you do sometimes when you are struggling for runs is look too far ahead, saying ‘I desperately need a hundred’. You go out thinking about the hundred before even getting to ten,” he explained.

“If you break an innings down, and he gets to five, gets to 10 and knock it down a little step by step he’ll be fine. He’s got a lot of mental strength and he’s a good player,” he added.

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