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Monty Panesar to help Australian spinners ahead of India Tour

Melbourne [Australia], Jan. 17 (ANI): Cricket Australia (CA) has recruited England spinner Monty Panesar as a spin-bowling consultant for their upcoming tour to India in a bid to provide valuable tips to the Australian spinners as well as to the batters to tackle ace Indian spinners.

Panesar has been recruited into the Australian ranks at the behest of Pat Howard, Cricket Australia’s high performance manager, whose team were whitewashed 0-4 on their last tour to India four years ago, and recently succumbed to a 0-3 loss in similarly spin-friendly conditions in Sri Lanka.

The 34-year-old spinner, who has been playing grade cricket for Sydney side Campbelltown, will travel to the Centre of Excellence this week to work with young left-arm spinner Stephen O’Keefe, as well as Matt Renshaw.

“Having Monty come up is a nice way to kickstart the squad’s thinking about playing in India,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Howard as saying.

“We want the batsmen to be thinking about what the bowlers will be trying to do to them over there and Monty can engage them that way as well as with the bowlers.”

“Phil Jaques will run the sessions with Matt, Monty and SOK, Phil has some nice ideas about how to challenge the batsmen. In Australia we love big turners, but the successful bowlers like [Rangana] Herath and [Ravi] Ashwin are more likely to get you lbw or bowled than any other way, their accuracy and their length is absolutely outstanding,” he added.

Panesar toured India on three occasions and took 17 wickets when England won 2-1 in 2012, their first series victory in India after 27 years.

However, the left-arm spinner played his last Test at Melbourne during the 2013-14 Ashes, and was not considered for selection for England’s recent 0-4 defeat in India.

Panesar, who made his Test debut against India in 2006, has taken 167 wickets in 50 games he played for England in whites.

Earlier on Sunday, Cricket Australia announced a 16-member Test squad for the four-match India tour, which begins from February 23.

Australian squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Wade, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Nathan Lyon, Stephen O’Keefe, Ashton Agar and Mitchell Swepson. (ANI)

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