Monty Panesar has not been included in the England XI for the first test match against India at Ahmedabad and many former cricketers are questioning this decision of the England team management.
The England captain and coach thought that the Motera pitch was going to be helpful for the seam bowlers, but, the pitch has turned out to be a square turner. The ball has been turning from the very first day and the only spinner that England went with, Graeme Swann, took five wickets in the first innings. The Indian spinners are also getting the same kind of purchase from the pitch and they took eight wickets together in England’s first innings.
The former Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly, said, “I am very surprised that Monty has not been included in the XI. The pitch was looking completely dry and anyone could tell that it was going to assist the spin bowlers. Monty is a quality spin bowler and you got to give him a playing chance on these kinds of pitches. It’s absolutely bizarre that he has been kept out.”
“Tim Bresnan is a decent bowler, but, I don’t think he is going to create too many troubles for the Indian batsmen on these pitches. And, you look at the speed with which he has bowled in the first innings. He was bowling in the mid 120s. If he is going to bowl like this, there is no point including him in the XI.
Another former Indian captain, Ravi Shastri, agreed to what Ganguly said. Shastri said, “I completely agree with Sourav on this topic. Monty’s presence was necessary. His presence would have helped Swann as well. If Monty had played, Pressure would have applied from both the ends which might have resulted in a few more wickets.”