Sydney: Dec 25, 2013
Australian Ashes hero Steven Smith has warned England spinner Monty Panesar that he is next on Australia’s hit list following the retirement of off-spinner Graeme Swann despite the hosts retaining the Ashes urn.
Panesar headlines the English spin attack in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) following Swann’s shock mid-series retirement and the Australians are credited with contributing to Swann’s decision to head home, targeting him on their way to an unassailable 3-0 series lead.
According to News.com.au, the young all-rounder said that from the beginning of the series, Australia was of the mindset that they would make England’s spinners come to field quickly than they would have liked to and especially target Swann, adding that the attack against spin would continue in Melbourne and now against Panesar.
Smith, who scored a hugely valuable 111 in the first innings in Perth in a man of the match showing, further said that when Panesar comes to bowl, Australian batsmen will look to keep scoring runs and put the pressure back on him, although he added that he was impressed with Panesar’s effort in Adelaide where he finished 1-157 from 44 overs. However, Smith said that he is not sure as to whether Panesar will get the same amount of spin in Melbourne, adding that they will have to keep on playing by the ear and see how the wicket plays. Australia was dismissed for 98 in the first innings, their lowest score against England at the MCG, the report added.
“When he [Panesar] comes on to bowl, we’ll look to keep scoring runs and put the pressure back on him,” Smith said.
“I’m not sure he’ll take the same amount of spin that he got in Adelaide, so we’ll just have to play it by ear and see how the wicket plays and just carry on playing the way we have,” he added.
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