Monday, July 31, 2006

Discrimination against Monty ????

After having questioned the usefulness of Monty Pannessar, Fletcher seems to stay cool after like a true sikh Monty forced them to eat their own words. As I pointed out in the previous posts, a big question mark arises as to if the Native Brits are stiil sceptical about the allegiance of the off springs of Non Britain born individuals.The best clue to such a question is the article on Sajid Mahamood.Before coming to that , let me reproduce the article from CRICINFO on Fletcher satying cool on Monty.

Bob Woolmer says left-armer is the 'bee's knees'
Fletcher stays cool over Panesar
Cricinfo staff
July 31, 2006
The Sunday Telegraph
While the British media could hardly contain their praise of Monty Panesar in the aftermath of the Old Trafford Test, it fell to Duncan Fletcher, England's coach, to pour cold water on the celebrations.
"Monty bowled very well, no doubt about it," Fletcher told reporters. "The wicket really suited the spinner and quite often you get on a wicket like that and try too hard. He bowled a good line and length and spun the ball on occasions a great deal."
(With appologies to the cricinfo writers, I make my comments where it is necessary in the content of their article.Have a look at how Fletcher belittles this man's effort. He seems to be giving the idea that Monty excelled because the wicket really suited spinners. Just like a tailor made spin track in the land of Monty's forefathers)
But he then made it clear that Ashley Giles, who has not bowled a ball in anger all summer, was not out of the Ashes reckoning. "Let's have a look at Monty when he bowls on other wickets and let's make a decision when Gilo is ready,"( Still, Fletcher seems to be unconvinced or is his liking for Anglo saxon blood come to the surface.In another article in British press , It was highlighted even if Gilo will be ready, still Monty should tarvel to Down under. How much this man needs to prove his ability.It is no wonder Murali is still not given the due credit after having passed 600 test scalps plus a combined harvest of 1000 scalps in test and ODIs) Fletcher said. "It was a good wicket for Monty to bowl on and he bowled damned well ( Isn't this rubbish also?).
"But what wickets are we going to play on? Would we need Monty on a green top? We have to look at the balance of the side and it's very important that we look at Monty on wickets that don't help him as much as it did today." ( Let him have this chance and I am too confident that he will prove beyond doubt. This is what is instilled in Khalsa soliders by its founder Gobind Singh gurun ji. By the way, Monty has sought the support of Sikh elder who has showed him the way of success through sheer concentration. Traditional sikh ways of life make a person tough and adjustable to any condition. This is the secret of sikhism surviving all onslaughts. The other cricketer who uses similar religious approach to batting is former Windies captain, Chanderpaul)
"I think Monty is a very good bowler, but we have to produce 11 players who can produce two of the departments efficiently, whoever is playing for England," said Fletcher. "I still have slight reservations about his batting and his fielding, but he's an outstanding bowler and doing a job for us because there's no-one else at the moment who can fulfill that role ( Again Fletcher's words reflect his dis containment with Monty.It raises the question as to if he is being used as no suitable option is available?). He needs to work hard at it because if you work hard at your fielding you can really improve that a great deal. It's not easy to turn you into a No.6 batter, but I just think you need to work at those two areas."( That is absolutely correct.He may not be a Lara.But still some contribution is useful tahn nothing . Definitely Monty has to improve his fielding) Giles, capable of taking some sharp catches in the gully, had developed into a handy lower-order batsman with an average just over 20.

Fletcher's remarks were in direct contrast to those of Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach and a former England allrounder.( He may be having a broader view of players having worked with PAKS and Proteas.He transformed Proteas to be a superside.Perhaps fletcher is got to listen to him) "I thought Panesar's performance was terrific," he enthused on Saturday. "He has loop, in-dip, spins the ball, beats people on both sides of the bat without actually having the doosra.
"He is a very fine prospect. If he bowls like this, he could do well in Australia, too, because the wickets are more bouncy there. He's the proper article, the bee's knees."
Woolmer also dismissed claims that Panesar was something of a figure of fun.(I wonder if British media is trying to make fun out of him as they were the ones who first created funny side of Monty.This was picked up by Aussie Media who thought Monty will be an ideal target for them in Ashes. As I wrote in a previous entry, hurt sikh may be really dangerous like a wounded Bengali tiger.consequences may be dangerous for aussies and good for England.Beacues of the approach of British press , Monty is improving at a rpaid pace.This is because his pride is at stake and Mnty the lion is rising like a true sikh)"The crowd might think he's a bit of a joke but we don't think of him like that. What the crowd should do is take him seriously because he's right up there with the classic English spinners. People laughed at his fielding but that looks like it has improved."
Meanwhile Giles, speaking on BBC Radio's Sportsweek programme, admitted he had a fight on his hands. "Monty is the man in possession and I have to get my place back - that's the danger if you do get injured. My recovery is going OK, it is just frustrating. I cannot bowl and cannot run but the rehab is going well. It is going to be another four or five weeks until we reach that point." Giles also paid a generous tribute to Panesar, saying: "Monty is a brilliant technician and works extremely hard. He is able to land the ball in good areas and put batsmen under pressure."
© Cricinfo
I wonder if Britain still is reluctant to accpet contributions of South Asians.Though officially, racism is banned, is there a hidden racisim in top spots against South Asians? I do not know as I am not a Britt.More I read simialr things in British media, more I am convinced that there is such a phenomenon.I may be wrong but still I am sceptical.
There have been many articles which appreciated Monty's contribution as opposed to Fletcher's views
This is what other reputed cricketers in the British press had to say on say on monty's remarkable performances
Derek Pringle on 02.08.2006 in his Telegraph column
Monty Panesar's stirring performance against Pakistan at Old Trafford will have been a fillip for spinners all over Britain. A dwindling breed, mainly due to loss of habitat, they need all the help they can get if they are not to go the way of the Cat's Cradle and spiky rubber batting gloves.
At least that is the view of those with vested interests, like the England and Wales Cricket Board and their recently appointed spin-bowling coach, David Parsons. An off-spinner from the Birmingham League, Parsons has decided to give talented young spinners a helping hand by staging a two-day match on a worn pitch, and they will be the only bowlers present.
As an innovative idea it has a certain curiosity value, though one that smacks of artifice. Spinners need to find ways of surviving on a level playing field with other bowlers, not one tailored to make them look good. After all, England coach Duncan Fletcher said he could not decide if Panesar or Ashley Giles was his number one until he had seen Panesar bowl more on pitches that didn't help him, as opposed to ones like Old Trafford that did.
Panesar roughs up the pecking order
By Derek Pringle
(Filed: 31/07/2006)
A test-match victory against a team as talented as Pakistan, especially one as crushing as that at Old Trafford, is always to be celebrated. But when a young English spinner plays such a prominent role in the win, as Monty Panesar surely did, it should be shouted from every rooftop, something England coach Duncan Fletcher appears reticent to do.
Panesar took eight for 93 in his team's comprehensive pummelling of Pakistan by an innings and 120 runs in the second Npower Test. If he was the greater beneficiary of the deadly symbiosis between himself and fast bowler Stephen Harmison, with whom he shared all but one of the 20 opposition wickets to fall, it was not by much - not when the other bowlers in the match, on both sides, managed to take just nine wickets for 593 runs between them.
On a hard, cracked pitch, he spun the ball sharply enough on Saturday to dominate then dismiss three batsmen in the top 10 of the world rankings - Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan. When that happens you would think the coach would sing Ode to Joy afterwards rather than Ode to Billy Joe.
"Monty bowled very, very well, there's no doubt about it," said Fletcher, suggesting that somebody somewhere did have some doubt. "There was a lot of pressure on him as an individual, but the pitch really suited a spinner.
"I still have slight reservations about his batting and his fielding, which he needs to keep working hard at, but he's an outstanding bowler who's doing a job for us because there's no one else to fulfil that role."
The combination of victory and strong personal contribution brings a huge surge of confidence to players but they still thrive on praise. Yet the difference in tone between Fletcher's 'eulogy' and the one delivered in defeat by Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was as different as flat and sparkling lemonade.
"I was very impressed with Monty, it was a terrific performance," Woolmer said. "He's got a superb loop, nice in-dip, very good pace changes, and he spins the ball when bowling at a brisk 58 mph. That causes a lot of problems for batsmen who don't have time to use their feet.
"Derek Underwood was unique, but as a classic left-arm spinner, Monty's right up there. There's a danger of thinking that he's a bit of a joke because that's the way the crowd treat him, but they should start taking him seriously. He's making a terrific effort with his fielding but English cricket can say - we've got a spinner now."
It might never have happened and there is strong circum-stantial evidence that Fletcher preferred off-spinning all-rounder Jamie Dalrymple in the days leading up to the Test. In the end, Strauss, determined to be his own man now that he has some breathing space as captain, got the team he wanted and was rewarded with a first Test win.
Fletcher is liked and respected by his players, mostly because he shows them loyalty. But at what point does that loyalty, in this instance to the injured Ashley Giles, blind you to new possibilities? Surely Monty's shortfalls with the bat and in the field, improving albeit at glacial pace, will not prejudice his place when he can bowl like he did in Manchester?
"We'll decide who the No 1 spinner is when time comes and Ashley Giles is fit again," said Fletcher, as if issuing the naysayers a challenge. "Let's first have a look at Monty when he bowls on other pitches, then we'll make a decision when Giles is ready again."
Giles is a solid performer with ball and bat and has good hands at gully. He has rarely let England down. The kind of all-round cricketer Fletcher likes, Giles' contributions to England successes have mostly been the sum of those three parts rather than one resounding performance, though he has two eight-wicket and two nine-wicket hauls in his 52 Tests.
Compared with the Panesar we saw at Old Trafford, Giles is a one-trick bowler who tries to induce error by keeping it tight and hitting the rough on or outside leg-stump. Panesar, in contrast, gets many more revolutions on the ball, which is why it dips then grips, and not only the parts of the pitch churned up by bowlers' footsteps.
There is another difference to consider and that is delivering the goods when conditions suit you. When asked about the wear of this Old Trafford pitch and the one used in last year's Ashes series, groundsman Peter Marron thought them very similar. In that match Giles took three for 193, none of them in Australia's second innings.
In Pakistan's second innings on Saturday, Panesar, visibly thriving on the expectation, took five for 72.
Their differing styles complement one another and it is not out of the question that they could play together in the Ashes at spin-friendly venues like Sydney. If Giles is eventually restored to working order, the old pecking order with him at the top cannot. The man in the black patka is No 1 now, and anyone who saw him bowl in Manchester knows it.
Mark Nicholos in his column in Telegraph wrote:
Our new and hungry talent bodes well for the future
By Mark Nicholas
(Filed: 31/07/2006)

"One of the best days of my life," agreed a rather reluctant Monty Panesar at the press conference in Manchester on Saturday evening. Perhaps he should have stepped out a little more. At any rate, now that he is doing so, such days will become habit. Not since Phil Edmonds 20 years ago has an England spinner been this threatening. Panesar really rips the cricket ball from his long and supple fingers, it's as simple as that, and what a gift it is.
To see those dramatic revolutions on that ball and then to see it land perfectly on the seam and react so fiercely is to see the light at the end of a long spinner-less tunnel. Ashley Giles has been an exemplary slow-bowler for England and may well be so again, but Monty is the real deal, the full house of finger spin, the whole bang tweaking match.
He has a good action, a good mind and a good temperament. Clearly, he is brave and thoughtful. He has emerged from the storm of ridicule to be revered. His almost childlike, transparent enthusiasm is an irresistible attraction for an audience that craves a centre for their attention. Here is a sportsman unspoiled, an uncomplicated man who is not afraid of being seen to try hard. He does not field well enough so he works on it till raw. Questions are asked about his batting so he goes to the nets. He will not be diverted by anything except failure. If it comes, he will address that, too.
And our very own English Sikh of Tweak is not alone. Essex boy Alastair Cook is more of the same but without the exotic past and the patka. Cook's devilishly good and strikingly boyish looks conceal a street fighter's attitude. It is no surprise that he cites Graham Gooch as his role model and follows his teaching. "If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail," Gooch loved to say, and Cook was listening.
He bats at No 3 as if it is an opportunity not a curse. The same would apply were he at four, five or six. Yet he has opened all his life, made two hundreds there for Essex against Australia last summer and a hundred on his debut for England in Nagpur from that position. But numbers do not matter to him, at least, not the ones to the left of his name on the scorecard. He cares only for the numbers on the right. He is unflashy and unfazed, an extraordinarily ideal solution for the moment and picture perfect for the future.
The performance of these two exciting cricketers confirms the changing of the guard. No longer is there nostalgic talk of last summer's Ashes or the fear factor overtaking this winter's rematch. England decimated Pakistan without Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff, an achievement that hitherto had appeared unlikely. The team held their nerve and their catches. The batsmen responded to one another like old muckers and two bowlers struck up a deadly alliance. Even the new captain seemed at home with his subtle field placements, calm responses to moments of anxiety, excellent batting against the dangerous new ball and secure reactions at slip.
England must now look forward not back. Chris Tremlett should be brought into the team for Headingley and the Oval. He has found form and fitness more suddenly than a yearling and has the class that just eludes Liam Plunkett and Sajid Mahmood. This is not a cry from Hampshire but from the guts of batsmen who know and fear the threat of steepling bounce on hard pitches. The next three weeks can establish Tremlett's credibility for Australia.
Moreover, these weeks can establish England's confidence for the gruelling months ahead. They leave for the Champions Trophy at the start of October and go straight on to Australia for a full tour that includes a 15-match triangular one-day tournament. At the end of February, they kiss the wife hello and goodbye before heading out to the Caribbean for the World Cup then return home at the end of April to get stuck into the English season in early May. Come September, comes the first Twenty20 World Cup and then a tour of Sri Lanka in October. So if you think they are falling like flies now, think ahead of yourself. It is tiring just writing about it.
Whoever decrees such schedules has no heart for the players or concern for the success of their team. Rather he hears the cash tills ring. If England retain the Ashes and do justice to themselves in the World Cup, it will be in spite of their lords and masters. Thank heaven for the unveiling of new and hungry talents who enter the breach innocently and with unbridled anticipation.
Now having read those two cricketers' view, have a look at what Fletcher has to offer to the turbanator 2
Panesar Test place 'not secure' says Fletcher
By Jon Culley

Published: 31 July 2006
"Let's have a look at Monty when he bowls on other wickets," said Duncan Fletcher
Bob Woolmer, the highly respected coach of Pakistan, declared him to be "the bee's knees", echoing the avalanche of approval that has flowed from cricket commentators since his match-winning performance at Old Trafford on Saturday. Yet Monty Panesar, the spin-bowling sensation of the summer, still cannot secure the unqualified approval of the man who holds the key to his career, the England coach, Duncan Fletcher.
If Stephen Harmison's 11 wickets in Manchester, including 6 for 19 in the first innings, rightly earned the man-of-the-match accolade for the Durham fast bowler, Panesar's 5 for 72 in the second innings was equally vital to England's second Test victory by an innings and 120 runs.
Woolmer, a former England Test batsman, was massively impressed with the way the 24-year-old Northamptonshire player, a classical left-arm spinner, tore through a Pakistan side with some of the best players of spin in the world. Were he in charge, Panesar would be a key player when England defend the Ashes.
Fletcher, however, having opted to play Panesar at Old Trafford after considering Middlesex's spin-bowling all-rounder, Jamie Dalrymple, as an alternative, has yet to be convinced Panesar has the qualities required.
"Monty bowled very well, no doubt about it," Fletcher said. " The wicket really suited the spinner and quite often you get on a wicket like that and try too hard. He bowled a good line and length and spun the ball on occasions a great deal." Whether Panesar has moved ahead of the injured Ashley Giles, a less predatory bowler but a proven asset with the bat and in the field, Fletcher was unsure.
"Let's have a look at Monty when he bowls on other wickets and let's make a decision when Gilo is ready," he said. "It was a good wicket for Monty to bowl on and he bowled damn well. But what wickets are we going to play on? Would we need Monty on a green top? We have to look at the balance of the side and it's very important that we look at Monty on wickets that don't help him as much as it did today."
There were no such reservations from Woolmer, the former Warwickshire and South Africa coach. "I thought Panesar's performance was terrific," he said. "He has superb loop, very good pace on the ball, changed his pace but at a high pace, 58mph."
Woolmer was unsure that comparisons with Derek Underwood, England's last consistent match-winning spinner, could yet be stood up but agreed Panesar is an outstanding prospect.
"Deadly [Underwood] was unique," he said. "But of the classic left-arm spinners, Monty is right up there. He has loop, in-dip, spins the ball, beats people on both sides of the bat without actually having the doosra. He is a very fine prospect. If he bowls like this, he could do well in Australia, too, because the wickets are more bouncy there. He's the proper article, the bee's knees."
Even Giles, a Fletcher favourite, acknowledged his place as England's No 1 slow bowler is under threat as he struggles to recover from hip and groin injuries. "Monty is a brilliant technician," he said. "He gets a lot of revolutions on the ball so it drifts in nicely, he turns the ball and he is consistent. He is the man in possession and I have to get my place back."
"Let's have a look at Monty when he bowls on other wickets," said Duncan Fletcher
Bob Woolmer, the highly respected coach of Pakistan, declared him to be "the bee's knees", echoing the avalanche of approval that has flowed from cricket commentators since his match-winning performance at Old Trafford on Saturday. Yet Monty Panesar, the spin-bowling sensation of the summer, still cannot secure the unqualified approval of the man who holds the key to his career, the England coach, Duncan Fletcher.
If Stephen Harmison's 11 wickets in Manchester, including 6 for 19 in the first innings, rightly earned the man-of-the-match accolade for the Durham fast bowler, Panesar's 5 for 72 in the second innings was equally vital to England's second Test victory by an innings and 120 runs.
Woolmer, a former England Test batsman, was massively impressed with the way the 24-year-old Northamptonshire player, a classical left-arm spinner, tore through a Pakistan side with some of the best players of spin in the world. Were he in charge, Panesar would be a key player when England defend the Ashes.
Fletcher, however, having opted to play Panesar at Old Trafford after considering Middlesex's spin-bowling all-rounder, Jamie Dalrymple, as an alternative, has yet to be convinced Panesar has the qualities required.
"Monty bowled very well, no doubt about it," Fletcher said. " The wicket really suited the spinner and quite often you get on a wicket like that and try too hard. He bowled a good line and length and spun the ball on occasions a great deal." Whether Panesar has moved ahead of the injured Ashley Giles, a less predatory bowler but a proven asset with the bat and in the field, Fletcher was unsure.
"Let's have a look at Monty when he bowls on other wickets and let's make a decision when Gilo is ready," he said. "It was a good wicket for Monty to bowl on and he bowled damn well. But what wickets are we going to play on? Would we need Monty on a green top? We have to look at the balance of the side and it's very important that we look at Monty on wickets that don't help him as much as it did today."
There were no such reservations from Woolmer, the former Warwickshire and South Africa coach. "I thought Panesar's performance was terrific," he said. "He has superb loop, very good pace on the ball, changed his pace but at a high pace, 58mph."
Woolmer was unsure that comparisons with Derek Underwood, England's last consistent match-winning spinner, could yet be stood up but agreed Panesar is an outstanding prospect.
"Deadly [Underwood] was unique," he said. "But of the classic left-arm spinners, Monty is right up there. He has loop, in-dip, spins the ball, beats people on both sides of the bat without actually having the doosra. He is a very fine prospect. If he bowls like this, he could do well in Australia, too, because the wickets are more bouncy there. He's the proper article, the bee's knees."
Even Giles, a Fletcher favourite, acknowledged his place as England's No 1 slow bowler is under threat as he struggles to recover from hip and groin injuries. "Monty is a brilliant technician," he said. "He gets a lot of revolutions on the ball so it drifts in nicely, he turns the ball and he is consistent. He is the man in possession and I have to get my place back."
Monty spins into reckoning as personality of year
Panesar's attacking verve and mastery of his specialist discipline banish fears that his singular talent cannot justify him a place in Fletcher's multi-tasking world
By Jon Culley at Old Trafford
Published: 30 July 2006
'Getting Inzamam was the most satisfying moment because he is such a good player'
Harping on about the decline of spin bowling has been a perennial pastime among the romantics and nostalgics lining the boundaries of English cricket grounds pretty much since the rot set in the 1980s and it is not a subject that much interests Duncan Fletcher, the squarely pragmatic national coach.
In his adherence to a philosophy that awards the greatest value to players proficient in multi-tasking, Fletcher tends to regard two ticked boxes as the absolute minimum require-ment for sustained involvement in the national side, which is why there has been a suspicion that Monty Panesar, for all his talent in one discipline of the game, might pass through the Test arena as merely a passing dalliance.

Coach says Panesar is ahead of his timeBy Neville Scott
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,426-2293891,00.html
Our correspondent talks to Nick Cook about the day he discovered a new talent called Monty
AS THE excitement grew in Manchester on Saturday, 50 years after Jim Laker had bewildered 19 Australia batsmen on the same Old Trafford square, memories were racked for the last time an England spinner had claimed ten wickets in a Test. In the end, Monty Panesar, the man the nation embraces like a joyous, unsullied child, was denied the distinction. But there were, in fact, only two such spinners in more than 31 years, and one of them had been Panesar’s first mentor.
Since Derek Underwood took 11 for 215 in Adelaide on England’s disastrous 1974-75 tour of Australia, only Phil Tufnell (twice) and Nick Cook had managed the feat. And it was Cook, another slow left-armer, who watched Panesar’s first appearance for Northamptonshire’s second XI when, as a 16-year-old, he played in a pre-season friendly against Oxfordshire. That day, at Iffley Road, the passionate Cook told anyone he could find that this boy would play for England.
“It was remarkable. In terms of his action, he was almost the finished article,” he said. “He bowled a yard or two quicker than anyone his age. But he still had spin, bounce and control. His hands were like buckets, and he had massive, massive fingers to wrap round the ball and give it an almighty rip. He had the sort of callus on the first knuckle of the middle finger you’d expect in a spinner 20 years older. This was a boy who’d bowled 60 overs on the bounce playing for Bedfordshire the year before.”
It soon became clear to Cook, who remained coach to the seconds until September 2004, that Panesar, secure within a circle of friends in Luton he had known since childhood, had nurtured the deepest, lifelong love of his art.
“He lives, eats and digests the game — he’s the hardest-working English player I’ve ever known,” Cook said. “You are wary of younger lads doing too much and there were times I’d catch him bowling in the nets to Mike Hussey [the Australia batsman and Northamptonshire’s captain at the time]. I used to race over to stop him bowling all afternoon.”
Panesar’s ability and work ethic were palpable, but there is famously a mental side to cricket that perhaps bears more heavily on slow left-armers than any other specialists. They stand alone, without a pack of fast bowlers to shelter them, they face batsmen intent on murdering spin, and people expect them to win matches whenever the pitch takes turn. And in Panesar’s case, there is also the perception that he can neither bat nor field. Cook has no doubt that the former notion is wrong.
“Technically, he’s pretty solid,” he said. “He has the physical power to hit fours. At county level, I’d always marked him down as one who’d bat at No 8. He’s reasonably athletic so the fielding thing is odd — maybe it’s eyesight or a hand-eye problem. But he’s Tufnell’s polar opposite in their readiness to practise so I’d expect big improvements.”
England clearly have a problem to address in Panesar if he is to be made an integral part of the team. Even on the eve of the Old Trafford Test, it was not certain he would play. And whatever his celebrations in Manchester last Saturday, they would not have included wine, women and song. It might help if it was made clear before Friday that he will bat at No 9 in the Leeds Test, with Matthew Hoggard, a blocker, behind him. Cook will not criticise fellow coaches, but Duncan Fletcher, the England incumbent, has seemed to some to dwell only on negatives.
“When Monty walked back to his mark on Saturday, he knew what he was about,” Cook said. “He was measured and controlled, it was marvellous to see. But you have to be an immensely strong figure to bowl finger spin today. There are bound to be grey days ahead. I just pray people don’t expect the same every match in the Ashes.”
Big interview with Monty

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