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Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Friday, 9 December 2011

Sussex's Robinson hopes Monty Panesar gets Test chance

Monty Panesar
Panesar made his Test debut against India in Nagpur in 2006

Sussex cricket manager Mark Robinson is hoping Monty Panesar gets a chance to prove himself in England's Test series against Pakistan early next year.

Left-arm spinner Panesar, 29, has not played Test cricket since the start of the 2009 home Ashes series.

Robinson told BBC Sussex: "His next step is to try and get an opportunity to play in the Test team.

"He's been a bit unlucky he's been playing behind Graeme Swann, who's been at the top of his game."

Panesar was named in the England squad for last winter's successful defence of the Ashes in Australia, but he was restricted to appearances in a warm-up match against Australia A and the game against Victoria's state side.

And although the Pakistan series will take place in the United Arab Emirates, with the first of three Tests starting on 17 January, the wickets are certain to be more spin-friendly than those down under.

Robinson added: "If anything was to happen to Swanny, you've got the perfect replacement in Monty.

"He's a fine bowler who can do the holding role and the attacking role at the same time."

Panesar has taken 121 first-class wickets since joining Sussex from Northants at the start of the 2010 season, and he recently signed a new three-year contract.

"His resurgence has been exciting from a Sussex point of view," Robinson continued.

"We've watched him develop and grow as an individual and a bowler. He's worked tremendously hard on all aspects of his game.

"[Being named in the squad] is a good indication of all the hard work he's done in the last two years."

Panesar, and England team-mate Matt Prior, will miss Sussex's involvement in the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament in January.

Senior players Amjad Khan, James Anyon, Andrew Hodd and Chris Nash have all been named in the Sharks squad, which will be captained by Mike Yardy.

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see also
England pick Panesar and Bopara
09 Dec 11 |  England
Sussex to play in Caribbean T20
20 Oct 11 |  Sussex
Panesar signs new deal at Sussex
04 Oct 11 |  Sussex
Panesar set to play in Australia
29 Aug 11 |  Cricket
England announce winter schedule
29 Jun 11 |  England
Panesar looks for Sussex progress
25 Feb 10 |  Sussex

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