… as a reference to the “Sheikh of Tweak” for Shane Warne
The Beard to be Feared
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.