Monty hits out at Fletcher comments

Published: Sunday, December 2, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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London: Coming down hard on former coach Duncan Fletcher, left-arm spinner Monty Panesar has said that he (Fletcher) did not understand the nuances of spin bowling.

Responding to negative comments about him in Fletcher's recently-published autobiography Behind The Shades, Panesar, said, ''Unfortunately, I would have to say that spin was not his speciality."

''Duncan is a batting coach and I think he found it challenging to understand spin bowling. All the players he's done well with are batsmen."

''He hasn't done well with a spinner, has he? I can understand that, because batting was his thing. Spin wasn't,'' he said.

Fletcher was reluctant to include Panesar in the squad despite a impressive start to his Test cricket career but during the home series against Pakistan in 2006, after taking a bag full of wickets, conceded he was the world's best finger-spinner.

However, Fletcher favoured the fit-again Ashley Giles, a more defensive left-arm spinner, only a couple of months later when the Ashes began in Brisbane. Incedentally, Monty was controversially left out of the first two Ashes Tests a year ago.

''He was quite strong on the over-the-wicket approach because he worked with Ashley Giles,'' Panesar said in his Daily Mail column.

''But who else has he worked with as a spinner? I have to say that he taught me a few things about bowling over the wicket -- about angles and stuff like that, which kind of made sense. But his strength was coaching batsmen."

''In the book it says I joined England without an arm ball, but Nick Cook, who coached me at Northants, taught me a lovely arm ball and I've still got that, as you saw in the series against the West Indies during the summer,'' he said.

''Some of my dismissals tended to be from balls that slid on.

''Like I said, spin was not Duncan's department. I didn't like the suggestion in the book that Northants haven't really helped much.

''I have been there for a long time and I've worked with various coaches there. They should get credit for that and shouldn't be undermined or underestimated.'' ''I wouldn't be here playing for England without them, simple as that,'' Monty opined.


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