Monty Panesar’s bowling speed

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People say that Monty Panesar bowls too fast and that he doesn’t adapt. People say that he’s a mindless idiot who hasn’t got the potential to develop his game.

He’s not moved on as most England supporters would have liked, but people have been going a bit overboard. There’s nothing like having a target. ‘Ace’ or ‘crap’ are the only options sometimes. Monty was ace. Apparently, now he’s crap.

Monty’s spent his cricket career bowling in a certain way and he’s experienced huge success through doing it. Now he needs to mix it up a bit, but it’s not really something he’s been called upon to do before. It might take a while.

While England were in India, Peter Moores said Panesar was working on a few things in the nets. Despite our natural cynicism, we’ve no reason to doubt him. If those slightly cryptic ‘things’ aren’t honed enough for Test cricket yet, then Monty’s wise not to use them.

But how hard can it be to change his bowling speed?

Well, like we say, Panesar’s been doing things a certain way for a long time. It’s second nature to him now. However, it was noticeable that after finally taking a wicket on the second day of the second Test against India, Monty suddenly started bowling slower.

When things aren’t going your way and confidence is low, it’s easy to revert to type. We know. It’s why we spend all of every winter in mute, motionless solitude.


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  1. Harbhajan singh too has been bowling a lot flatter these days. Though he had 65 test wickets in 2008, there were many occassions when he was easily picked when he bowled flat. Mishra who tossed up the ball and Swann who bowled a lot slower tasted better success.

  2. Well said KC. Monty hardly played before India, once he gets some more games under him he’ll be hoping down the wick in celebration again like a pelican on ecstasy.

  3. jst for the sake of argument…

    how a bowler is different from a batsman who too never change his ‘natural play’…like for example sehwag, hayden, lara etc…

  4. But my lad (six) doesn’t know who Graeme Swann is, because he hasn’t got any free NPower Graeme Swann headgear, but he does knows who Monty Panesar is, so how will dropping him for Swann help English cricket?

    You have to think to the future, and the future is unusual headgear.

  5. I agree with Bert on the headgear front- I’ve already invested time and effort in my Monty Panesar mask – must I be forced to come up with an Adil Rashid mask?

  6. Dammit KC you’re raising too many issues for a simple appeal.

    The modern game has made it tougher on international players as every ball they bowl or face will be replayed and analysed by a team of coaches and/or journalists. More than anything else I think this is what has led to the gap narrowing between the top teams to the stage where no series between them is a certain win for any side.

    In future years the players with the longest careers will be the ones who are able to adjust their game on a regular basis to defy this level of scrutiny. If Peter Moores speaks the truth then it looks like Monty is headed in the right direction.

    However as you pointed out old habits can die hard. Equally change for change sake is not necessarily a good thing. For his benefit I hope that Monty can get the balance right.

  7. When you say change, wolf, I hope that you are not talking about his hat? I’m not sure this is a productive approach to international cricket. The people need something to connect with their cricketers (beard, hat, uselessness at some aspect or other). Monty is popular, and therefore good for cricket, because he has all three. Replacing his patka with a top hat or a flat cap will just confuse people. Getting rid of it altogether, and I don’t think I’m being too alarmist here, will cause the end of test cricket within six months.

  8. Headline on the BBC this morning:

    ‘Monty mooted for 2010 captaincy.’

    Imagine my disappointment when it turned out to be Colin Montgomery,

  9. Monty has always bowled quick, and in general to my mind spinners do this when they don’t want to get hit… however he does need to develope more variations in pace – having the new spin coach that England now do should help that…

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