Tried to curb Sachin's instincts: Panesar
Mumbai, Nov 23: Monty Panesar was conspicuously absent when England went down by nine wickets in the first Test against India. Calls of his inclusion became louder with every ounce success of the spinners playing in that Test.
Expectedly, the left-arm spinner’s name featured in first 11 names of the England team sheet for the second Test, in Mumbai. And at stumps on Day 1 he emerged as the most vital selection of the match for the visitors.
Panesar rocked the Indian line-up that had tortured his team endlessly at Ahmedabad. Out of six Indian wickets to fall on the day, he got four. And they comprised Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.
Besides the quality of batsmen he claimed, what was a telling factor of Panesar’s performance on the day were the lengths for which he bowled. His first spell began in the seventh over of the match and ended only after he had bowled 23 overs on the trot. In total, the left-arm spinner sent down 34 off the 90 overs bowled – eight more than Graeme Swann.
Pleased with a very productive day in the office, Panesar spoke to bcci.tv about dismissing Sachin Tendulkar for the third time in Test cricket, spoiling Virender Sehwag’s 100th Test party and his marathon spell.
You surely must have had a ball bowling on this wicket?
It was nice to get a few wickets today and bowl on a track that had a bit of turn and bounce. I was pleased to be able to go out there and put some pressure on the Indian line-up.
You love dismissing Sachin Tendulkar, don’t you?
He’s such a world-class cricketer and to him you’ve got to bowl deliveries that turn quite prodigiously and have a good shape on them. If you bowl anything lesser than that, it’s very difficult to get him out.
What are your tactics, in general, against Tendulkar?
For us it’s just about trying to not let him dominate you. You have to stop him from coming out of his crease and bat freely. If you can curb his attacking instincts, hopefully he’ll hit the ball in areas that he doesn’t want to and you may have a chance of getting him out.
You also crashed Sehwag’s party
It was a new ball and on a wicket like this, you have a chance against him with the new ball. I just tried to bowl good lines and it worked.
You were brought into the attack as early as in the seventh over. Were you prepared for it?
I’ve done that a few times in the subcontinent before, bowling with the new ball. It’s a role that I have accepted and tried to take it in my stride. In the subcontinent, if you’re up against a track that doesn’t offer much turn or bounce, you’ve got to try and get turn and bounce with the newer, harder ball.
Your first spell of the match lasted 23 overs. Are you used to bowling such long spells?
I tend to bowl shorter spells, get some rest and come back. But on such wicket that offered something to the spinners, we always felt like we were in the game. So, I thought I’d try and bowl for as long as I can.
Was it a challenge to bowl non-stop in the heat and humidity of Mumbai?
Playing a Test match in heat can be demanding but that’s part of international cricket. Facing such conditions is a huge challenge of touring India but to succeed here you shouldn’t fight with the conditions. You just accept the heat and try to get the best out of yourself that you can.