'Honeymoon over' for Panesar
Former England coach Duncan Fletcher believes Monty Panesar is entering a crucial stage of his development.
Last Updated: 07/11/07 7:03pm
Former coach Duncan Fletcher has warned Monty Panesar that his 'honeymoon is over' ahead of the Test leg of England's tour to Sri Lanka.
Fletcher handed Panesar his debut in India in March 2006, but never gave the impression of being a fully paid-up member of the left-arm spinner's fan club.
Panesar was dropped for Ashley Giles for the first two Tests of last winter's disastrous Ashes tour. And although Panesar returned to take 10 wickets in the final three Tests, Fletcher believes he still has much work to do in order to develop the necessary control and variety to be a threat on all surfaces in the international game.
"I think this is a big time for Monty. The Honeymoon is over now," wrote Fletcher in his book 'Behind the Shades'.
"He went to Sri Lanka (last month) but didn't play in those one-dayers.
"You would have thought after the hullabaloo in Australia that he would be first on the team-sheet, because if there is any place you play spinners it is Sri Lanka.
"He has still got a long way to go and he has got to work. He needs a control of pace. That comes with experience.
"It is a classic case - if you are a good spinner you should be bowling in April and May and learning on that because you will bowl on wickets that don't turn.
"For all the criticism Ashley Giles took, when he played early on he was nearly the leading wicket-taker on green-tops in April and May.
"But he has a magnificent action so it shouldn't be difficult to get that pace right on different wickets.
"His accuracy is his great strength but I do believe he does need a variation. He needs a good arm ball.
"But the one thing in his favour is that he enjoys it. His enthusiasm is infectious and he can get there."
Fletcher also criticised Panesar's county Northamptonshire their failure to help him develop an arm-ball and instilling him with only limited ability with the bat or in the field.
"With his fielding and his batting you could only go forward," added Fletcher.