Bye, bye Gilo


England just won the second Test against Pakistan emphatically, thanks in no small part to some brilliant performances, one of which came from Monty Panesar. Panesar seems to have gone from zero to hero in no time, and has firmly ensconced himself in the English squad. After a tough international baptism in India (avg. 62.4, strike rate 141.6 from 3 Tests), he’s turned things around in England (avg. 22.8, strike rate 45.95 from 5 Tests), and this against two subcontinental teams that are traditionally good players of spin. Giles never came close to bowling like that even in his dreams. Along the way, I hear, Monty’s gathered a cult following among the fan base for his mannerisms and idiosyncracies. Having been nicknamed Monty helped as well. When I first saw him a few months ago, I remember thinking that he wasn’t ready for international cricket. He was diffident, unsure in his appeals, and exuded all the nervelessness of an off-balance tight-rope walker. And then there was his fielding. A few months on, his shortcomings have endeared him to the British crowd, and the team management feels he’s making up for them in the bowling department. I don’t remember the last time England unearthed such a spin prospect. We can be certain that come November, it will be Panesar, and not the aging Giles, taking the field against Australia.


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