Panesar is shaking but not stirred before Test - Cricket - Sport - The Independent

Panesar is shaking but not stirred before Test

Monty Panesar was shaking yesterday when he spoke about England's defence of the Ashes. Fortunately for Andrew Flintoff's side, his actions were not in fear of the prospect of taking on Australia, or in rage at comments made by Glenn McGrath who suggested that the left-arm spinner was soft for needing to see a sports psychologist before his visit Down Under.

Panesar was shaking because he was cold, sat in nothing more than a T-shirt on a bandstand in Ruskin Park, Brixton, where the England and Wales Cricket Board announced that npower, at a cost of £10m, would continue to sponsor Test cricket in England until the end of 2009.

Brixton and Brisbane have little in common, but it will be in hot, humid Queensland in just over three weeks where Panesar's reputation as one of the best finger spinners in the world will be put to its severest test yet.

The return of Ashley Giles, who was declared fit to tour on Sunday, will ensure that competition for the solitary spinning spot in Brisbane is keen, but it is to be hoped that England opt for Panesar who offers far more with the ball than his team-mate. Panesar was tactful when asked whether he thought Giles' presence placed him under increased pressure.

"This will be the first time that Ashley has been in the same squad as myself and I am keen to learn from him," he said. "He has vast experience and I will watch the way he prepares and goes about his business.

"There is a chance that we will play two spinners in Sydney and Adelaide, and possibly even in Perth. A lot will depend on our team tactics and our seam attack, which is probably our strength out there. I know that I am not guaranteed a spot in the first Test and I will be doing my best to adapt to the conditions, along with the different ball we use, in the warm-up games. It is then up to the coach and the captain to decide."

Panesar has experience of playing in Australia, he was at the National Academy in Adelaide in 2002-03 and that ought to help him to acclimatise quickly, giving him an advantage over Giles who has not bowled competitively for almost a year. Getting sledged by McGrath indicates that Panesar's bowling last summer has made an impact within the Australia ranks.

"It is quite flattering," Panesar said. "Eighteen months ago people in Australia had probably never heard of me, but now they seem to know who I am and what I do. It's just typical pre-Ashes stuff. It is something we have to accept."

* The Pakistan Cricket Board has demanded that the International Cricket Council investigates the actions of the umpire Darrell Hair during and after the fourth Test against England. Hair accused the Pakistan team of ball tampering which led to them refusing to take the field and the Test being abandoned. The PCB believes an inquiry will have a bearing on the £800,000 compensation claim the England and Wales Cricket Board is making against it. Hair's actions will be discussed at the ICC executives' meeting which begins in Dubai on Friday.

Life and Style
tech
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week