Monty Panesar, England’s very popular left-arm spinner, has rated the ball that bowled Younis Khan in the second innings of the Headingley Test as his “best ball in Test cricket”.
With Pakistan chasing 323 on the final day, Panesar grabbed three key wickets, but none was more special than Younis’s, who was looking good for his 41. The ball that bowled him, turned out of the rough, pitching on middle and leg. Younis came forward and missed as the ball turned to hit the top of off stump, just nicking the bail.
“I was just trying to do the basics and get the ball in the right area and bowl some tight lines, but that ball just held its line and gripped a bit and hit the bail,” Panesar told the website Sportinglife.
“When I was younger I just thought if you can’t get the batsman out you just try to bowl magic balls. But I learned at the Academy from Rod Marsh that that’s not the answer, and you’ve got to bowl tight and apply pressure. It’s not as simple as bowling every ball outside leg and hitting off stump.”
Panesar, 24, felt that his bowling had improved as a result of bowling a lot more and being given extra responsibility: “As I’ve matured as a spinner I’ve realised you’ve got to be able to apply pressure.” And with Andrew Flintoff out for the entire series, Panesar shouldered the burden of taking opposition wickets along with the three fast bowlers.
“Having a four-man attack puts more responsibility on the spinner,” he admitted. “Being in that frame of mind means I bowl with more patience and more control.”
Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, was pleased with Panesar’s performance and felt that he had staked a stronger claim to be part of the team which will play in Brisbane on November 23.
England won the third Test by 167 runs and clinched the series 2-0 with the final Test to be played on August 17 at The Oval.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Saturday, August 12th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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