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April 10, 2009
Monty Panesar's Northamptonshire coach has partly ascribed the spinner's poor form over the winter to the "disruptive" period in the England dressing room during the Pietersen-Moores reign.
Panesar averaged 52.09 for his 11 wickets in five Tests, including the abandoned match in Antigua, between December and March. England failed to win any of the seven Tests they played against India and West Indies over the winter.
David Capel, Panesar's county coach, said he bowled well when the atmosphere was less turbulent. Kevin Pietersen, appointed captain in August, stepped down six months later amid reports of a rift between him and Moores, the then England coach.
"I'm not going to say what I think Monty needs as an individual, but I'm aware how he ticks and what gets the best out of him," Capel was quoted as saying in the Guardian. "For any cricketer it is an advantage to have a stable existence within the dressing room - anyone would thrive on that."
But Capel said Panesar had showed a marked improvement since returning to his county side. "I believe he's back in a position where he should be involved with England. I've budgeted for him to leave us on May 3 to play in the first Test. He's been practising all the different variations - arm ball, changing his angle of delivery. But more importantly, he's been practising that dynamite stock ball, the one that pitches on middle stump and hits the top of off. "What he has bowled so far has got him to over 120 [Test] wickets in very quick time. It would be very churlish to ignore."
Panesar said missing three Tests against West Indies had given him a chance to hone his skills. "[I] managed to work a bit more closely with Andy Flower, a world-class player of spin. All the best spinners are very adept at making the right tactical decisions. And I think when we got to the last Test my variation of speed was much greater."
West Indies will tour England next month for two Tests - the first starts on May 6 at Lord's.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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