Today was memorable. England won, yes, and Steve Harmison took 11 of the 19 wickets to fall (there was a run-out in Pakistan’s first innings) – but the most notable aspect of the win was Monty Panesar’s performance. He bowled quite superbly – the best by an England spinner that I have seen (which isn’t saying much, frankly).
Ashley Giles, I’m afraid your time is up. Even if fit, I simply cannot see England dropping Panesar. He is a metronome, like all good spinners, landing it on a sixpence whenever he so chooses. Some of his deliveries (I lost count, but in the region of eight or nine) turned ala a wrist spinner and ala Shane Warne. Monty is a left-arm finger spinner for crying out loud. What is he doing spinning it a foot? Not even Danish Kaneria, the second best legspinner in world cricket, could turn it that much.
Time to have a beer to celebrate England’s win. I’ll post more thoughts tomorrow and, in the meantime, offer your own below.