England spinner needs to work on allround game May 29, 2006

Fletcher: 'Panesar under a lot of pressure'

Cricinfo staff

Another one gets past Monty © Martin Williamson
Duncan Fletcher, England's coach, has admitted that Monty Panesar "knows he is under a lot of pressure" to improve the quality of his fielding.

Panesar has been dreadful in the field, spilling a simple chance at Edgbaston and looking so uncertain that crowds have cheered whenever he has managed to even stop the ball. While many regard Panesar as a cult figure, there is serious concern that he could be mentally shredded if the Australian crowds get on his back this winter.

"We can't afford for anybody to drop any catches," Fletcher admitted. "No one tries to drop them so we've got to make sure they work at their game and improve their game. We've only been working with Monty for a very short period of time.

"He's got to make sure he improves his batting and fielding, but he's well aware of that," Fletcher continued. "He's always calling a coach across to work on certain aspects of it, but it's also crucial he does have some breaks just as all the other players do.

"We are working hard to try and improve his game and as long as he's trying his damnedest and he's working hard at his game, that's the main thing. We've picked him as a spinner and he's picked to play as a spinner and do his job as a spinner and as long as he's trying there's nothing more you can ask of an individual."

Even though Panesar's bowling has impressed, Fletcher hinted that his place was by no means certain. "You have to look at what is best for England at the moment. We've lost a lot of experienced players and we need a spinner and you have to work out who's going to do the best job."

Panesar was included in an unchanged squad for the final Test against Sri Lanka which begins at Trent Bridge on Friday.