July 27, 2011

India in England, 2011

No more nets with Tendulkar for Panesar

Nikita Bastian

Most bowlers say bowling to Sachin Tendulkar teaches them many things. But is it permissible at a practice session ahead of a much-anticipated match, and you technically happen to be from the opponent's camp? Andy Flower, the England coach and team director, thinks not. Flower was not pleased to hear of left-arm spinner Monty Panesar’s nets sessions with Tendulkar ahead of the Lord’s Test, calling his actions ‘naïve’.

“He did bowl to him in the nets before Lord's and I think that it is quite a naïve thing to do," Flower told PTI after the Lord’s Test. Panesar has not played a Test since July 2009, and is unlikely to break into the side in the immediate future, but Flower said it was still not right for him to offer net sessions to a player as dangerous as Tendulkar. "I haven't spoken to him yet, but one would hope he understands that it won't happen again."

That firmly puts an end to Panesar's attempt to better himself against “a wonderful batsman and person” in his spare time.

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Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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