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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 July 2006, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK
Woolmer tips Panesar to be great
Monty Panesar
Panesar has taken 17 wickets in seven Tests
Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer says England spinner Monty Panesar is destined for greatness after seeing him take 8-93 in the second Test at Old Trafford.

Panesar took 5-72 as England wrapped up victory with two days to spare, including the prized wickets of Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq.

"He's a fine bowler and is going to be a great bowler. He's a really good find for England," Woolmer told BBC Sport.

"If the wicket helps him he looks like he's going to bowl sides out."

Woolmer was particularly impressed with left-arm spinner Panesar's ability to beat the bat without the help of a "doosra".

Many leading finger spinners, such as Muttiah Muralitharan and Harbhajan Singh, have felt the need to develop the controversial delivery.

Monty did Mohammad Yousuf and that's something England haven't been able to do for some time

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer

The "doosra" spins the opposite way from conventionally spun balls but can lead to problems with the legality of the action.

"He's got this lovely looping flight and his change of pace is very good," added Woolmer, who played in the same Test side as Derek Underwood, arguably England's last great spin bowler.

"He beats people on both sides of the bat without a 'doosra', he's got a very good arm ball and bowls at a very good pace so people find it difficult to come down the pitch to him.

"He bowled beautifully in the second innings and this will give him terrific encouragement.

"England will want to play him at Headingley [in the third Test starting on Friday] because he gets wickets.

Mohammad Yousuf is stumped by Geraint Jones off Panesar
Mohammad Yousuf is stumped by Geraint Jones off Panesar

"He did Mohammad Yousuf and that's something England haven't been able to do for some time. Myself and Yousuf will be sitting down and working out how we stop him."

Yousuf, who scored 202 and 48 in the Lord's Test, made just 38 and 15 at Old Trafford, and was dismissed by Panesar in both innings.

England's chairman of selectors David Graveney joined the chorus of approval and hailed Panesar's partnership with paceman Steve Harmison, who took 11-76 in the match.

"Throughout his Test career Monty has only every bowled at sub-continent batsmen, who are good players of spin, so it shows how well he is bowling," said Graveney, a former spinner himself.

"The two of them combined very well. The key was building pressure at both ends and while Steve or Monty was taking wickets at one end the other was building pressure at the other."


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