Englandís Monty dilemma

FP

As far as 'wanting to dig a hole and bury yourself' moments go, Monty Panesar, the fielder, has created a niche for himself. Wankhede witnessed one such Monty blunder during the 2006 tour. Chasing 313 for a series win, India were precariously placed at 90/6 with Dhoni their last hope for salvation. And as Dhoni looked to hit off-spinner Shaun Udal out of the ground, all he did was sky the ball in the direction of Panesar at long-off.

Cupping his hands in copybook fashion, Monty was embarrassed as the ball hit the floor a few meters to his right.

"Monty hamare saath hai, yeh andar ki baat hai," screamed the partisan and unforgiving Wankhede crowd. The rest of the English team looked away in disgust. In three balls' time though, Panesar would make up for his miss by hanging onto an identical opportunity to get rid of Dhoni. Soon after, England would post a remarkable 212-run victory, led by some inspirational bowling.

It was a victory that the England team would have recalled with gusto as they made their way into the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday morning. Hoping certainly that it proves to be a motivation as they look to right the wrongs from Ahmedabad and keep the series alive.

Panesar, who took just one wicket in the 2006 Test, on the other hand will be desperate to play a more significant role six years hence-and also avoid any ignominous faux pas. For starters though, he'll have his fingers crossed for a look-in.

As England began their Test campaign on a disappointing note at Motera, among their many blemishes, one that received unanimous criticism was leaving out the 30-year-old Panesar.

More so with their three seamers being nullified by the deadpan nature of the pitch, not to forget Graeme Swann and Samit Patel finishing with seven of the nine Indian wickets in the match.

... contd.

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