Monty Sunshine

It’s a dark and wet Monday morning in November and I’m up early again for my nine o’clock lecture. Before I go however I couldn’t resist a quick post to mark the England cricket team’s splendid victory in the 2nd Test Match in Mumbai, India.  It’s an especially good result because it comes after a weak performance in the First Test in which they were comprehensively beaten.

I know I wasn’t alone in thinking that it was madness to have gone into the First Test with  Graham Swann as their only spinner. That, some inaccurate bowling by the other bowlers, and poor fielding led to England conceding over 500 runs in India’s First Innings. I was relieved, therefore, that the selectors saw sense this time and put Monty Panesar in the team. He bowled beautifully, achieving exceptional bounce and turn from Day 1. Here you can see a few examples of his bowling in India’s First Innings.

I’ve always liked Monty, actually. It’s not just that he’s a fine spin bowler, and I always enjoy watching a good spinner. Nor is it his infectious, almost child-like, enthusiasm. Most of all it’s the fact that he’s clearly by no means a natural athlete; he’s a man who has had to work very hard at his game to get where he is. We’ve always known he could bowl, but when he started out he was a truly hopeless fielder. He subsequently put long hours in during practice and is now at least competent. As for a his batting, he’s a genuine No. 11 but he tries hard at that too. And of course there was that memorable day in Cardiff in 2009 when he and Jimmy Anderson held on (somehow) to save the First Ashes Test against Australia.

So from a cold and gloomy morning in Wales, here’s a heartfelt “thank you” to the England team, and especially to Monty Panesar, for bringing us a bit of sunshine from the sub-continent. Now I’m looking forward to the remaining two test matches in what is already a fascinating series.

P.S. Apologies if you thought this post was going to be about jazz clarinettist Monty Sunshine.

One Response to “Monty Sunshine”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Excellent! It should be a superb series from here.

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