Ashes 2009 August 13, 2009

Panesar backs himself to deliver on Oval pitch

Cricinfo staff

Monty Panesar, the England left-arm spinner hoping for a recall to the England squad for the final Ashes Test at The Oval, backed himself to perform there saying it would be easier to trouble the Australian batsmen on a pitch expected to favour pace and bounce. Panesar was dropped from the squad after taking 1 for 115 in the first Test in Cardiff but said he had got batsmen to misread the length and created uncertainty despite the pitch being low and slow.

"Despite all the talk about how it was going to be a turner, Cardiff was low and slow, so even though there were times when I managed to get the ball to turn, or get them to misread the length, and created uncertainty, they were able to adjust," Panesar was quoted as saying in the Guardian. "If the wicket had had a bit more pace it would have been harder for them, but I feel I did create opportunities. On a wicket with a bit more pace, a bit more energy, you'll get something out of it. When the pitch is dead, even when you create uncertainty, it's hard to make the most of it."

Panesar said he had been working by himself on improving his bowling over the last 12 months. "You have to come through these kinds of phases, and the only way you do is by fighting. You have to keep bowling, keep being positive, and fight your own corner, because no one is going to hold your hand."

He said he had worked with England's spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed only during the time he was picked for the squad to play West Indies. "I think it's something you have to try and understand yourself; about how to get the best out of yourself in different situations, how to apply yourself when certain batsmen come in, and try to find out things about yourself as a player," Panesar said.