Monty excited to be back

England spinner marks recall with wicket of Hafeez

Last Updated: 26/01/12 11:56am

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Sky Bet

England spinner Monty Panesar was delighted to make a wicket-taking return to Test cricket against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Panesar had been out of the side for two-and-a-half years but was included for his 40th cap in place of injured paceman Chris Tremlett.

And the Sussex left-armer claimed the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez in the morning session on the way to figures of 1-91 in 33 overs.

Stuart Broad (3-47) and Panesar's fellow spinner Graeme Swann (3-52) each took three wickets as Pakistan, who opted to bat first and lead the three-match series 1-0, closed on 256-7.


"I was really pleased and excited to be back after such a long time," Panesar told Sky Sports.

"There were a few nerves flying around but I was looking forward to bowling with Swanny and applying a lot of pressure to the Pakistan batsmen."

Opener Hafeez was undone by a delivery that did not spin, Panesar getting his man one ball after dropping a caught-and-bowled chance.

"All spinners would say they meant it! I think it probably just hit the leather and skidded on," he admitted. "It was a nice wicket to get after I dropped him the ball before."

The pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium had been expected to be full of runs, but Panesar was surprised by the amount of turn on offer, especially in the morning session.

"There was a bit of moisture in the pitch early on and that helped the ball to grip," he added.

"Especially with the new ball when the seam is a bit harder there was a chance of getting some purchase out of the wicket. Both the spinners and the fast bowlers were in the game with the new ball.

"Trying to get the right pace for the wicket (was the key). It is a slow wicket, you don't want the batsmen to be able to hang back and cut you easily - but you want to draw them forward as well, so you have to vary it and keep them guessing."

Panesar bowled 15 more overs than Swann on the day, many of which came while fifth-wicket pair Misbah-ul-Haq (83no) and Asad Shafiq (58) added 100 for the fifth wicket.

"From my end there was a bit of turn and we also had the right-hand batsmen in, so the ball turning away helped," Panesar explained.

Since his previous Test appearance, Panesar has switched counties from Northamptonshire to Sussex and enjoyed stints in various overseas competitions.

"I made a move from Northants to Sussex and have been away as an overseas pro for Highveld Lions (in South Africa) and played (Sydney) grade cricket at Randwick-Petersham," Panesar said.

"At Sussex I have had the opportunity to play a leading role in all forms of the game. That added responsibility helps my game and I have been getting a lot of overs under my belt this year, and that has helped with my development and getting back in the England team."


"I had a go at him - in a loving way, no doubt - but he's been told very seriously this is not the way to get out especially when the team is struggling to get a better score."
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Pakistan slumped to 103-4 after a post-lunch double striker from Broad but looked to have turned things round until Shafiq was lbw to Swann for 58, exposing Pakistan's lower order to the second new ball.

And Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan revealed he had given Shafiq a piece of his mind.

"Any player, whether it's a senior player or a yong player, if somebody's playing for their country they should understand the responsibilities of playing for the team," Khan said.

"I had a go at him - in a loving way, no doubt - but he's been told very seriously this is not the way to get out especially when the team is struggling to get a better score."

On batsmen failing to make big scores, he said: "I've been pretty worried about that. Some of the batsmen are getting very good 40s or 50s then getting out, like for example Asad Shafiq today.

"He was playing marvellously well, he was doing a wonderful job for the team but then he lost his wicket and all the pressure came back on us.

"This is a problem we have to sort out as soon as possible."

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