Australian skipper aims to target Panesar

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Perth:England spinner Monty Panesar will face a baptism of fire if, as expected, he is chosen to make his Ashes debut against Australia at the WACA ground.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said the home side's batsmen would target Panesar to try to shake his confidence early on.

Australian batsmen are known for their aggression against bowlers in the early stages of their Test careers and particularly enjoy targeting opposition spinners.

Ponting said the treatment of Panesar would be no different.

"I think there will be some pressure on him," Ponting said on Wednesday.

The Australian skipper said Panesar, who gives the ball more flight than fellow English left-arm spinner Ashley Giles, may resort to bowling flatter and quicker to try to deny the Australians scoring shots.

"I think if he plays he will be a bit nervous and I think that will dictate the way he bowls," Ponting said.

"I think he'll probably bowl a bit quick and spear them in early on.

"We will be very positive against him, there's no doubt about that. We'll try and put it right back on him and see how he copes with it.

"I'm sure that he would have thought about that and I'm sure the coaching staff would have thought about that as well, so they'll have some field placements and all that in place to make sure that we don't get at him too much too early.

"But with a lot of left handers in our batting order, I think they'll enjoy the ball spinning into them."

Panesar only took one wicket in the two-day tour match against Western Australia at the WACA ground this week, but he extracted a great deal of spin and had a number of confident appeals turned down.


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