Mumbai: Delighted at dismissing Sachin Tendulkar, England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar said that out of the four wickets he took on the first day of the second Test against India, it was the wicket of the veteran batsman that he cherished the most.
“Obviously for me it has got to be the prince of India, Sachin Tendulkar. I was absolutely delighted with that,” said Panesar, who pushed India on to the backfoot by sending back Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar in the space of 11 balls before the hosts fought back in the last session.
This was the third time that Panesar had dismissed Tendulkar. Previously it was at Nagpur in 2006 and at Lord’s in 2007.
Panesar, who ended with the figures of four for 91 in 34 overs, said he had worked hard with England bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed to get his action right and that paid rich dividends at the Wankhede stadium here.
“During the practice session I have worked quite a lot with Mushy bhai in trying to get my action right. The previous ball, I remember, I got my action slightly wrong and dropped it. The next ball, I thought, I have to make sure that I get all the process I worked with Mushy bhai right. It seemed to click,” said Panesar.
“I got my action right and got my fingers nicely around the ball. These kinds of things obviously work and it came out nice. Mushy bhai has been valuable for us. He has played a lot of cricket in the subcontinent. He understands the rhythm of the game out here and he helps us — me and Swanny (Graeme Swann) — a lot to understand the type of cricket that Indians play out here.
“And you have got to adjust to that, adjust to the conditions, to the heat, to the crowd noise. All of that comes into play when you are a spin bowler. You have to adjust to the flamboyant shots that they play and accept that and keep bowling the next ball,” he added.
Panesar was confident that his team could restrict the hosts, who ended the first day today at 266 for six, to 300 tomorrow morning.
“They (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Cheteshwar) Pujara obviously built a good partnership. So what we are hoping is to restrict them to 300 tomorrow morning, and that will be good for us. That kind of partnership has obviously given the momentum to India but overall I don’t think they expected us to dominate the first two sessions like that.”
“I thought we struck really well out there. We, especially, applied lot of pressure early on Indian batters, it was something that the Indian team didn’t expect. They won the toss and thought they would only have a few wickets down with may be 300 plus score. But we as a team put pressure on them, and having five wickets down early on is a testament on how we applied pressure to the team out there,” he explained.
Stating that there was a plenty of turn in the wicket, Panesar said, “Me and Swanny both provided each other a good platform. They have already played a Ranji trophy match there so the wicket is already been used. There is obviously turn and bounce in the wicket. They have prepared a pitch, on which a four-day match (Ranji Trophy tie between Mumbai and Railways) was played on, so they have prepared a pitch that is going to turn and bounce.”
“Bowling at all these world class cricketers, I probably will need every help down in the pitch to get them out and that obviously helped me. Those are the kind of balls you need to bowl at these players to get them out. They are very good players in their own conditions.”
Panesar, who was brought on to bowl his first over after just six overs of pace, said he enjoyed bowling with a hard ball.
“I have got various responsibilities with the new ball and sometimes you have to do holding role, sometimes I do play an attacking role. I just want to do them to the best I can and try and get the best for the team out there.”
“I knew there was an option where the captain may want to use me with the new ball and I was kind of prepared for that. It is something that I quite enjoy. It is something new that I have gone into but I do enjoy bowling with new ball. I have obviously had the experience in the Pakistan series in Dubai, when I bowled with the new ball,” said the bowler.
The spinner, who was surprisingly omitted from the opening game that England lost in Ahmedabad, said he was certainly upset at not having played in the series opener.
“Obviously there was a slight disappointment I didn’t play, but I am happy to be playing in this match. It would have been nice to play but I am delighted to be playing this one,” said Panesar.