There it is. We haven’t seen much of it this winter, but the grin, run and airborne five got a welcome airing as England won the final Test to take a 2-1 win.
Is there a dedicated recipient of the airborne five? It seems to be choreographed well enough that there’s always someone available with an uncluttered run-up ahead of them. Is it always the same person? If it is the same person, is there a deputy five recipient who fills in if Monty takes a wicket while the official five recipient’s off the field?
In the hierarchy of minor on-field tasks, is Monty’s five recipient above or below the ball-shiner? Does he rank above the player who ‘keeps things lively’? Can you combine these roles to become a fielding all-rounder?
Monty’s figures of 6-126 would have been a damn sight better if Tim Southee hadn’t ruined them by carting 40-odd off two of his later overs. But that’s the way it is. Sometimes batsmen cart you into the stands. You’ve still got to do something about it, even if you’ve already done all the hard work.
New Zealand v England, third Test at Napier – day five
England 253 (Kevin Pietersen 129, Tim Southee 5-55)
New Zealand 168 (Stephen Fleming 59, Ryan Sidebottom 7-47, Stuart Broad 3-54)
England 467-7 declared (Andrew Strauss 177 not out, Ian Bell 110, Daniel Vettori 4-158)
New Zealand 431 (Tim Southee 77 not out, Ross Taylor 74, Matthew Bell 69, Stephen Fleming 66, Monty Panesar 6-126)
England win and take the series 2-1