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Monty's reality check

England spinner admits need to improve after winter struggle.

Panesar: Reality check

Monty Panesar admits his difficult tour of Sri Lanka served as a 'reality check' that he needs to work harder for sustained success in international cricket.

"If I want to improve myself I've got to see the way people like Murali and Shane Warne operate. "

Monty Panesar

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The England spinner became something of an instant hero when he burst onto the international arena, and not just for his exuberant celebrations as he managed to take plenty of Test wickets.

The 25-year-old longed looked like being a real spinning weapon, but a difficult winter has brought the Northants man down to earth with a bump.

Panesar picked up just eight wickets on the Test tour to Sri Lanka, at an average of 50.63, and he admits that he needs to now focus on the next step of his development.

Now he is more well known, Panesar says batsmen are preparing for him better and his 'honeymoon' is now over.

"The last 18 months or so have been unbelievable," Panesar told The Guardian.

"Sri Lanka didn't go as well as we all would have liked but you're going to get these kinds of phases. It's part of the journey, part of the cycle.

"I've barely been going for two years so there are times when my lack of experience is going to be exposed.

"It's a reality check more than anything.

"You have the first 12 to 18 months where people haven't seen much of you. Then you get more exposure and there's an opportunity for them to do a bit of homework.

"You've got to learn from it and try to move on."


Panesar accepts he needs more experience, but he also has to work on his game to develop more attacking options to become one of the world's best spinners.

"If I want to improve myself I've got to see the way people like Murali and Shane Warne operate," Panesar added.

"They use both angles - around and over the wicket - as attacking options.

"Then there's the question of varying your pace and your field settings. As a package, these are the things I've got to learn as a spinner."

Panesar will be in the England squad for the Test tour of New Zealand, but has been left out of the one-day squad.

Currently on tour with the England Lions in India, Panesar insists he will be working just as hard as he does on a Test tour.

"The mind-set for this trip to India is that it's still an England tour," he added.

"If I'm not 100% switched on or not taking it seriously, I'm going to be exposed."