Panesar hopes to pick brains from master Murali

Published: Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Monty Panesar has earned a name for being an eager student of the game and the first Sikh to represent England hopes to learn the tricks of the trade from spin doyen Muttiah Muralitharan when England and Sri Lanka lock horns in the three-match Test series getting underway tomorrow.

After an impressive Test career start against India, the land of his origin India and claiming none other than Sachin Tendulkar as his first Test wicket, the 24-year-old left-arm spinner is working on developing himself as a slow bowler who can perform at the highest level. Monty said he would eagerly follow Muralitharan, hoping to imbibe his wiles and guiles.

''Murali is a bowler I really admire because he has so many variations and always keeps the batsman guessing. He's a world-class spinner and someone I look up to. I want to learn from people like him and observe what he's doing,'' Monty was quoted as saying by a Press Association report.

''I like talking to different spinners because they always have something different to offer, something you might be able to use in the nets,'' added the spinner, who is known for his meticulous planning for each match, including studying the batsmen and conceiving separate field setting for each of them.

And Panesar also has no problem in approaching spinners in the rival camps if that enriches him.

''When you're playing against someone like Murali it's a good opportunity to see what he does. Hopefully I may be able to talk to him at the end of the series and see what advice he could give me,'' he said.

Recalling his India tour experience, Monty said, ''I got a chance to talk to Harbhajan Singh when I was in India and I obviously watched how he bowled.'' ''Players like that have the added variation but they also have great experience of how to bowl to different batsmen, how to adjust field settings and how to adjust different game-plans depending how the batsman is playing. I was always watching how they played just to try and gather information for myself.''

Monty knows that his inclusion for the first Test would depend on the strategy the England think-tank adapts but he seemed still optimistic.

''I've got a good rhythm going. I've got the odd one to turn and because the wickets are not that dry, I'm getting the odd one to skid on.'' ''I'm hoping the balance of the side will include a spin bowler.

Spinners normally come into play in the second innings, but it will really depend on the conditions.'' And the youngster also said that if selected in the playing XI, he won't be doing anything out of the world to beat the Lankans.

''It's not going to be that different from bowling in India. You still have to bowl in the right areas and not try to complicate things too much - I'm just trying to keep it simple,'' he added.

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