England should pick Panesar for Ashes: Warne

Shane Warne admitted he was disappointed with Monty Panesar's form but said England should pick the left-arm spinner for the Ashes series.

updated: April 13, 2009 11:07 IST
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Shane Warne admitted he was disappointed with Monty Panesar's form but said England should pick the left-arm spinner for the Ashes series since he can provide the variety in attack.

"Graeme Swann has done a pretty good job, but Monty has the ability to take five wickets on the last day and win the Test," said Warne.

The leg-spin legend who had once observed that Panesar "bowled the same ball again and again for 60 overs", said he was disappointed with the left-armer, who started off brightly for England but then faded out.

"I'm disappointed with where Monty's at. He's got all the attributes, including wonderful enthusiasm and the ability to spin the ball. As a left-armer he gives England's attack variety, so it's disappointing that he's so short of form," Warne was quoted as saying by the 'Daily Telegraph'.

"You can't bowl the same in all conditions, but that's what he tries to do. He needs to use more over-spin on certain grounds, more side-spin on others. And to stack up some wickets at county level to get his confidence back. I would hope that both Ashes sides have a spinner on display who can make an genuine impact in the game."

Panesar, who has 121 Test wickets to his credit, managed just one against the West Indies giving 122 runs in the first Test and was dropped in favour of Swann.

Warne, meanwhile, believes England should recall former skipper Michael Vaughan for the Ashes and expressed his doubts about Andrew Strauss' ability to successfully lead his team.

"England don't need a head coach. They need a captain to really stamp his authority and say, 'This is our style, we're going to play to win'. I'm not sure about Strauss. He's got a good head on his shoulders, but I don't know whether he's got the imagination, the flair and communication skills you need.

"But no-one comes in as a great captain, it takes time to develop. You grow into the role and get better and better, so Strauss just needs to be given time," he said.

Warne was also certain that Andrew Flintoff's fitness is vital to England's chances of reclaiming the Ashes. "He is probably the best bowler in the world when he is on form."

But with the England all-rounder struggling with his fitness, there's reservations against him playing in the Indian Premier League.

"It's a really tricky one. I think commonsense will prevail and Freddie will not be available for the IPL. But having said that, you can't begrudge him going over to play for that sort of money. The best thing would be for the IPL to get shorter and just happen in April, when there is no international cricket. Then all the world's best players would be available," said Warne.