Mistake to leave Monty Panesar out, admits Andy Flower

The England coach has conceded that he mis-read the pitch in Ahmedabad. The visitors had played just one specialist-spinner - Grame Swann - and lost the Test by 9 wickets.

Updated: November 21, 2012 18:42 IST
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Mumbai: Andy Flower admitted to have erred by not picking Monty Panesar, the left-arm spinner, for the first Test against India in Ahmedabad. England lost the Test by nine wickets after conceding a first innings lead of 330.

Flower conceded that he misread the Motera pitch to go in with just one specialist spinner in Graeme Swann. "With hindsight, yes, it was a mistake not to play Panesar in Ahmedabad," said Flower to Daily Mail. "I didn’t expect that pitch to turn as early as it did. In fact, once we saw it turning early in the game I thought it might deteriorate more and I was surprised on day four and five how well it played. I certainly misjudged that pitch." (Also read: Trott wants to make it 1-1 before Kolkata Test)

Flower also declined to confirm if England would directly bring in Panesar to complement Swann in the second Test starting November 23 in Mumbai. While he conceded that England’s seamers had been out-performed by their Indian counterparts in Ahmedabad, a decision on the team composition would only be taken after a close inspection of the pitch.

"There might be a little more bounce in Mumbai, which will help our seamers. Of course we have to bring in a batsman, but on any other changes I’d like to see the pitch first. Then I’ll try to make a better judgment than the last one. If it looks as though it will turn a lot, we will contemplate two spinners," said Flower.

England will have to make one forced change, by bringing in a middle-order batsman to fill up the position left vacant by Ian Bell’s departure. Bell flew back to England after the first Test for the birth of his first child, but is expected to be back in time for the third Test in Kolkata starting December 5.

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