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Cricket Writers on TV: Panesar not likely to bowl in third Test

The team discuss England's squad selection to face Australia in the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Vic Marks: can't see Panesar playing

The Cricket Writers on TV panel are convinced that Monty Panesar and Chris Tremlett won't play at Old Trafford, despite being called up to England's Ashes squad.

The selectors prompted some raised eyebrows at the breakfast table when it was confirmed that both Steven Finn and Graham Onions had been dropped for the third Test against Australia.

Geoff Miller said the inclusion of Panesar as a potential second spinner to support Graeme Swann was to ensure "plenty of options" for Andy Flower, but the CWOT panel do not expect the shape of the attack to change.

Vic Marks of The Observer says spin could play a part at Old Trafford, but he can't see how Panesar could get into the team.

He said: "It is a surprise and it shows you can't go too much on county form. I reckon if you look at both Tremlett and Panesar they are both averaging about 40 with the ball.

"But they are hoping that the Old Trafford pitch has the quality that it had around 10 years ago when Harmison and Panesar were the leading wicket-takers.

"But the chances of England playing two spinners in a four-man attack are not great, so whilst they are in the squad, it'd still be a surprise if Tremlett and Panesar play. But it just shows you where they're thinking.

"I don't think England want to play five bowlers. I think Australia are more likely to play five bowlers than England. There's some logic in that the longer they make their tail the better they bat!

"They might play two spinners, but I can't see England playing two spinners unless you count Joe Root as a front-liner, which is a bit premature."


Part-time spinner Root took two wickets in the seven overs he bowled at Lord's, including the prized scalp of Michael Clarke, and could also profit on the Old Trafford pitch.

And Sam Peters of the Mail on Sunday says that form makes it even less likely that Panesar will get into the team, but he praised the selectors for their positive approach.

He said: "I think they are both attacking selections. It's very aggressive and England are really looking to make their mark on Australia.

"Panesar's had great success at Old Trafford in the past, so it's a bold move but it'd be a big surprise [if he plays]. I can't remember the last time England played two spinners in England; it's certainly not very recently.

"Root is a factor as well. You've got to look at Root and the way he bowled at Lord's. They'd effectively almost be going in with three spinners if they go with Panesar.

"Root is better than Pietersen in that he's better than a stop-gap. I'd be very surprised if they did."