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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Hero Panesar plays down plaudits
Monty Panesar
Panesar has dismissed greats such as Tendulkar and Inzamam
England spin bowling hero Monty Panesar insists he has work to do before he can be hailed the best in world cricket.

The popular left-armer, who has taken 16 wickets in three Tests against Pakistan, was dubbed the best finger spinner by coach Duncan Fletcher.

"I think there are other better finger spinners like Daniel Vettori and Harbhajan Singh, who have taken more than 200 Test wickets each," he said.

"It's flattering though, because I value his comments."

Panesar made his debut in India last winter and instantly impressed with his accuracy and guile, claiming Sachin Tendulkar as his first Test wicket.

His subsequent displays have all but assured him of a place in the Ashes squad this winter, but the modest Northants southpaw was keen not to get overwhelmed by his success.

Monty Panesar
Panesar gets some turn in an Urban Cricket game in his native Luton

"All the world-class spinners that I've spoken to all say when you get to 30-plus you reach your peak, so I will find out then," he said.

"It's any youngster's dream to be in an Ashes squad and especially with the cricketers that would be involved with the England squad, makes it something I'm very excited about, if it does happen.

"I was just as excited watching it on television last year because it was something very special and it would be a dream come true if I could make it into the squad and playing in Australia would be good for my development."

Despite improvements in his much criticised batting and fielding, Panesar was overlooked for the one-day squad, but in typical calm fashion, was not too downhearted.

"One-day cricket is definitely something I want to play but at the moment I'm just grateful to be involved in the Test arena," he said.

"I'm trying not to look too far ahead, but hopefully if I can develop in other areas I can be selected in one-day cricket."


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