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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 August 2006, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Aussies aiming to attack Panesar
Monty Panesar and Matthew Hayden
Expect fireworks when Panesar bowls to Matthew Hayden
Australia's batsmen will target rising England star Monty Panesar during the upcoming winter Ashes series.

Spin star Panesar, who has taken 16 wickets in three Tests against Pakistan this summer, has impressed Aussie captain Ricky Ponting.

But Ponting said: "We'll try to make some sort of impact on him early on, and we won't let him get on top.

"The way our left-handers, especially Justin Langer and Matty Hayden, play spin is to be fairly aggressive."

Ponting has been watching television coverage of Panesar bowling against Pakistan.

He told the Sunday Age newspaper: "He didn't look like he was scared to throw the ball up a little bit and actually try and get you out.

"A lot of the Englishmen over the years have been a bit guilty of just firing the ball in a bit too fast, and you can see with him he uses the air a lot more.

"He's got good, subtle changes of pace and, watching the other night (against Pakistan), a really good arm ball as well."

Ashley Giles was England's spinner in last year's Ashes, but Ponting believes Panesar, a new cult figure for England cricket fans, has more weapons in his bowling armoury.

He should have no worries at all... He's a beautiful lad

Darren Lehmann

"He's probably a more attacking bowler than Giles was, and a wicket-taking option for them, more so than Giles was."

Meanwhile, former Aussie batsman Darren Lehmann is also relishing the battle between Panesar and Australia's batsmen.

"I'm sure Monty will bowl well in Australia," Lehmann told the Sun.

"He's a tall lad so will get plenty of bounce and he's always looking to turn the ball. He's an aggressive bowler.

"People talk about the mystery bowlers like Warney and Murali, but Monty has shown that the orthodox finger spinner can still be effective at the highest level - especially one who can turn it away from the right-hander."

There are fears Panesar's poor fielding could lead him to be mocked by Australian fans.

But Lehmann said: "He'll get some stick but I'm sure he'll be a big hit with fans. They love characters and there's no doubt Monty is a character.

"There'll be some banter, there always is when England play Australia. But he'll be fine, he should have no worries at all. He's a beautiful lad."

Panesar went to Lehmann's Academy in Adelaide for seven weeks last year for a crash course that improved every element of his game.

"He works as hard as anyone I've ever known," added Lehmann.

SEE ALSO
Hero Panesar plays down plaudits
10 Aug 06 |  England
Why we love Monty
31 Jul 06 |  England


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