Kolkata, India – India’s under fire cricket coach, Duncan Fletcher, has himself hit out at what he regards as England’s “baffling” selection of Monty Panesar instead of their recently appointed ODI coach, Ashley Giles.
Giles, who was regularly selected ahead of Panesar when Fletcher was previously in charge of the England set-up, has not played competitive cricket since retiring with a recurring hip injury six years ago but Fletcher remains convinced the former Warwickshire slow left armer could still ‘do a job for his country’.
“I know Monty took eleven wickets in the recent Mumbai test, “ admitted Fletcher, “but he only scored four with the bat. That’s not the kind of all-round contribution I’m looking for from a player. Bowling out the opposition is pointless if you then have to rely on Cook and Pietersen to score runs. What kind of game plan is that?
Ashley on the other hand is a multi-dimensional cricketer who can bat, bowl, field, coach and select the team. That makes five strings to his bow which is much better than a single string that merely delivers an arrow unerringly to its target but does little else of value.”
When asked if he saw a similar multi-dimensional player in the India team, Fletcher was in no doubt.
“Oh, Ashwin. He’s my player of the series so far after scoring some useful runs and backing up at the bowler’s end tirelessly in the field. He’s everything I look for in a spinner.”