Cook promises to look after Panesar

October 24, 2013 | By | Reply More

Oct 24, – England captain Cook, speaking at Heathrow Airport before the team flew out to Perth on Wednesday, said he had not been aware fully of the personal problems that saw Panesar sacked by south coast county Sussex in August.

alastair-cook promises to look after Panesar“Clearly he’s had a tough year or so and a lot of us didn’t quite know what he was going through off the pitch,” Cook said.

“It all came to light with a couple of incidents this summer but I think he’s back on the right path now,” the opening batsman added.

With 164 wickets at an average of under 34 apiece in 48 Tests, Panesar has certainly proved his worth at international level and last November his match haul of 11 for 210 helped England to a 10-wicket win in the second Test against India in Mumbai.

But in Australia where pitches, with the exception of Sydney, are not renowned for aiding slow bowling, England are likely to stick with their usual policy of fielding just one specialist spinner.

And in that case Panesar will have to play second fiddle to his old Northamptonshire team-mate Graeme Swann, whose 248 Test wickets have come at an average of under 29 with the off-break bowler’s dangerous lower-order batting and excellent slip catching making him one of the mainstays of the England side.

Cook acknowledged that keeping Panesar on the straight and narrow on a tour where the bowler might be spending a lot of time on the sidelines could prove challenging.

“He will always have to work at it and the first thing was recognising he had a problem,” Cook said.

“He says he’s ready to go again and we will have to work well with him on tour. The bottom line is he’s a fantastic bowler with a great Test record.

England, bidding for a fourth successive Ashes series win — something they last achieved in the 19th Century — begin their tour with a three-day game against Western Australia in Perth starting on October 31.

The first of a five-Test series against Australia is scheduled to take place at the Gabba ground in Brisbane from November 21-25.

 

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Category: International

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