What do you think? I think he is
What do you think? I think he is
He's the best spinner in England. Best finger-spinner in the world? Let's wait and see. His only real competition at the moment is Vettori, unless you consider Harbhajan and Muralitharan to be genuine finger-spinners.
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Harbhajan, certainly; Murali, certainly not.
In my view, yes, he is overrated, by the populace at large (much less so on CW) of this country, who seem to view him as a walk-on-water superhero, when in fact he's a mortal fingerspinner, bound by the limitations of all of that type of bowler. He does his job as a fingerspinner well, and I'd not be totally astonished if he became established at some point as clearly the best fingerspinner going around. Nor, however, would I want to place any certainty on such a thing.
As I've said a few times recently - it will be interesting to see the reactions of those keen to place he and Ashley Giles in totally different leagues when MSP has to bowl on a few flat wickets at a few excellent batting-line-ups the way Giles did so often in his career and which MSP hasn't had to do all that often so far.
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Hmm, I'll answer this when I know how highly he's rated
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.
All fingerspinners use the wrist to some degree; Harbhajan doesn't do so any more than Vettori or MSP really.
Murali, on the other hand, is a complete freak, and there's no way on Earth he could be called a fingerspinner by the logically-minded.
This thread is about Monty, not about whether some are finger spinners and whether they use the wrist or not.
The reason I created this thread is because I remember Ian chappell saying how Monty would be a superstar and the best spinner in the world in a couple of years. His ODI record is really poor, and his test ave of 30 is decent but I think it will go up, and it doesn't look like at all that he will be the best spinner.
Ian Chappell (and hosts of other people) say all sorts of things about all sorts of players all the time. Kev put it best a week or so ago on that matter.The reason I created this thread is because I remember Ian chappell saying how Monty would be a superstar and the best spinner in the world in a couple of years. His ODI record is really poor, and his test ave of 30 is decent but I think it will go up, and it doesn't look like at all that he will be the best spinner.
Personally, I have extremely high hopes that MSP will take excellent figures and make considerable influence on most occasions he gets a turning pitch - indeed, he's already done so quite a few times.
However, I don't expect (unlike some) him to offer that much of a threat against batting-line-ups who don't pad-up to straight balls (the way West Indies did in the first Test of the just-gone summer at Lord's) nor on pitches that don't grip for spin.
I'll do a sum-analysis of his career to date in a sec...
Here's his career as of the time of this post, Test by Test:
vs India, Nagpur, 58-131-3 - extremely flat pitch, no bowler other than Matthew Hoggard got much out of it. I had to laugh at Scyld Berry's comment "where he confined some of the best players of spin to under 2-an-over" (his first-innings figures were 42-73-2) though. So Wasim Jaffer, Mohammad Kaif and Anil Kumble are some of The World's best players of spin now?
vs India, Mohali, 30-113-1 - turning pitch, poor performance, should have done better.
vs India, Mumbai, 30-68-1 - turning pitch again, outbowled by Shaun Udal.
vs Sri Lanka, Lord's, 27-49-2 - pretty flat pitch (though with the slope), good economy-rate, not that much else though.
vs Sri Lanka, Edgbaston, 30-80-3 - pretty well as-above, just without the slope.
vs Sri Lanka, Trent Bridge, 42.1-81-5 - finally, on a turning pitch he proves his worth. Got lost in the defeat, though, as he was (predictably) outbowled by Murali, as pretty much any fingerspinner would expect to be.
vs Pakistan, Lord's, 54-153-2 - flat pitch, offered little.
vs Pakistan, Old Trafford, 34.4-93-8 - turning (and seaming, and uneven) pitch, bowled superbly, this time resulted in victory. Too quickly, though, did people forget that Ashley Giles had done the same and more 2 summers ago, in hailing it "the best performance by an England spinner at home since Derek Underwood".
vs Pakistan, Headingley, 65.3-166-6 - actually rather flattered by figures here; included the infamous Inzy hit-wicket (dismissals which I've long believed should never be credited to the bowler), plus 3 more end-of-innings wickets. That one remarkable ball to Younis Khan tended to gloss-over everything. The other wicket, incidentally, was that acknowledged master-batsman Taufeeq Umar.
vs Pakistan, The Oval, 30-103-1 - flat pitch, offered little.
vs Australia, The WACA, 58-237-8 - turning pitch, cashed-in pretty well... until the Gilchrist assault.
vs Australia, MCG, 12-52-0 - people tried to be clever in hindsight here and say Flintoff was too defensive and that nullified him; I know very well that he looked ineffective before, during and after Flintoff started giving the easy singles. It was a pitch that offered nothing to spin, after all.
vs Australia, SCG, 19.3-90-2 - nothing much in the pitch for spinners (unusually), average figures.
vs WI, Lord's, 39.1-142-6 - not much in the pitch, wholly unremarkable bowling, padded-out by the fact that they just kept padding-up to straight balls.
vs WI, Headingley, 7-21-1 - just 7 overs on a very seam-friendly surface, neither here nor there.
vs WI, Old Trafford, 68.3-187-10 - pitch that turned, though not extravagantly, perhaps a little flattered by match figures but a good performance nevertheless.
vs WI, Chester-le-Street, 29.1-80-6 - demolished the second-innings, more through awful batting than especially outstanding bowling.
vs India, Lord's, 34-85-2 - pitch that offered seam but not much turn, unremarkable performance.
vs India, Trent Bridge, 33.5-101-4 - unremarkable, figures padded-out by grabbing the last 2 wickets.
vs India, The Oval, 63-217-2 - flat pitch, very very poor figures.
So I'd say so far his career has gone as you'd expect a fingerspinner's to, myself.
I'm sure a Monty Panesar fan could actually put a different slant on those stats tho tbf.
I think so far he has shown to be a very good finger spinner in Test cricket, but I expect there to be more to come from him.
With a Monty Panesar fan that slant would be down to bias tho.
I'm neither a "fan" as such nor a nonbeliever. He's a good spinner undoubtedly, but as so often I feel people get a bit carried away by things outside his actual bowling. His enthusiasm has endeared him to pretty much everyone, his often-enough performances have kept the endearance as more than only that.
Nonetheless, as I say, I can't shake the feeling that those who feel he can walk on water, or emulate Derek Underwood in the 1960s, are asking too much, and will in time be disappointed. This doesn't for a second mean I don't think he can help win matches for England, because I do.
Yes he would put a slightly one sided view on it, however, my meaning is that when stats and the like are disected, depending on your view (generally if you like the player or not) you can make it work for whatever point you are debating.
I happen to be in a similar state of mind as you Richard, regarding Monty. Think the hysteria surrounding him went completely over the top. As is generally the case (esp. with the media) when we have a cricketer of some potential.
With regards to the Nagpur game Richard (cbf'd quoting), I think what Scyld Berry meant was that he confined the entire Indian batting lineup, a team that are usually regarded as the best players of spin in the world, even though he only dismissed three batsman. There is a different, just thought I'd point it out.
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