The Sikh of Tweak …

… as a reference to the “Sheikh of Tweak” for Shane Warne
The Montster
The Beard to be Feared
Parmesan Tony
The Python
The Spin Doctor

It does not matter what name you choose, Mudhsuden Singh Panesar is the flavour of the season. He’s Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2007. If you don’t believe me, check out his profile on his website. Cricketer of the Year ? One of year’s best 5 ? From a team that lost 0-5 ?  How many wickets did he get ?

Monty Panesar has 65 Test wickets. At 28.4 apiece.
Maybe its because he got 23 in this last series against West Indies. Or because he was the first English spinner in a decade since Phil Tufnell (and we know what wonderful things he went on to) to get ten wickets in a match. Or because Darren Ganga who got 105 runs in 8 innings without facing spin that much reckons Monty is among the top three spinners in the world. Or maybe because you cannot find a single piece on Monty that does not say that Sachin Tendulkar was his first Test Wicket.

Whichever way you cut it, if you listen to what they are saying, he can do no wrong.

Each time the method has been the same. Find the line, find the length, repeat until the cracks appear. Sometimes they are in the surface, other times in the batsmen. Never, as yet, have the cracks appeared in Panesar himself. He’s loving this international cricket lark, as he loves to demonstrate with his marvellously mal-coordinated wicket celebrations. But when the ball is still in his hand, absolutely everything is channelled and focussed.


A month from now is the real test. Its perhaps a measure of India’s assessment of Monty that they don’t even have a left arm spinner in the side. Someone who can bowl to them at the nets and give them a feel for what Monty might dish out. Unless Yuvraj qualifies.

The English press meanwhile, think Monty’s the Real Turbonator.

From the infinite wisdom of the movie, Wall Street :
Kid, you’re on a roll. Enjoy it while it lasts, ’cause it never does.


14 thoughts on “The Sikh of Tweak …

  1. Malvinder,

    Cheers …

    I didn’t (and don’t) mean to bring his being a sikh in any way into it , but I think its early days in Monty’s career and the real Tests lie ahead … in many ways…

  2. Tendulkar & Warne (aka H_m_r and R_h_l),

    So I’ll assume you reckon Monty’s not going to perpetuate the “Sachin-has-a-problem-against-the-left-arm-spinner” theory..

  3. Hmmmm ….. I guess somewhere in there is a backhanded compliment to Harsha Bhogle.
    The point is this though. My own view, is that Monty Panesar’s benefitted enormously from a low expectations start… I think that always helps.
    His stats say this :
    v India (away) – 3 games – 5 wkts @ 62.40 – best 2/73.
    v SL (home) – 3 games – 10 wkts @21 – best 5/78
    v Pak (home) – 4 games – 17 wkts @ 30.29 – best 5/72
    v Aus (away) – 3 games – 10 wkts @ 37.90 – best 5/92
    v WI (home) – 4 games – 23 wkts @ 18.69 – best 6/129.
    Somewhere in those stats are the highlights – Sachin as 1st wicket; Inzy, Younus and Yousoof in the same innings, 6 five-fors in 17 tests, 1st ten wickets by a spinner in a decade, 1st sikh to play for england …. Its heady stuff but a lot of that is the last series and its important for his own sake that he does not get carried away.
    Andrew Miller & Harsha both suggest that there is a lot to learn (altho you gotta read a lot between Andrew’s lines)….
    That being the case why we’re in a hurry to bracket him alongside Warne or Kumble or Murali (or even dare do that with Vettori) , I don’t know …

  4. I think Monty has done really well so far and he won’t get carried away, even if others do, thou his appealing is going that way, much like his wicket taking celebrations.Love his photo.

    He works hard on his game, is a favourite with the crowds and yes has a way to go before he can be compared to the greats but so far so good.

  5. sportsnob (welcome here, thanks for stopping by and the comment) & Rashmika….
    Am glad somebody brought up the pic. I was told offline that maybe it was a bit too big. The pic is actually just a blowup of one of his celebrations but the idea was to highlight his present larger than life persona – and his infectious zest.
    There is one more thing. Monty’s a tall fella. 6ft 1. With long, strong fingers – assets for a finger spinner – and while I may say that India’s shrugged off taking along a spinner who could give them a feel for it at the nets, the problem is that we don’t seem to have that dimension in quality anymore / at the mo. They’ll probably get Murali Kartik to drop in and bowl a few at them but if there’s one thing thats uniform about the English attack all summer, its that its coming from a height …

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