England former left-arm spinner, Monty Panesar recalls one of the greatest balls bowled by him to knock off Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket. He reminisces the delivery with the perfect curve and the perfect pace which even the greatest cricketer Sachin Tendulkar misjudged. This epic wicket was taken on the Mumbai’s Wankhede pitch during England’s tour of India on November 23, 2012.
England had lost the opening two Tests of the series to India, and added Monty Panesar for the third match in Mumbai. The spinner didn’t disappoint as he took a five-wicket haul and England won the match.
Moreover, India batted first and Monty Panesar dismissed Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin and to put the cherry on top Sachin Tendulkar as well.
‘I Remember Saying To Myself, Right, I Want To Hit The Top Of Off Stump’ Monty Panesar Cherishes The Memory
Monty Panesar worked with Neil Burns of the London County Cricket Club to prepare for this India tour back in November 2012. Neil Burns made Monty Panesar bowl beyond the point of exhaustion, challenging him to maintain his action, his accuracy, and his bite off the pitch for as long as he could.
“When I bowled that ball to [Sachin] Tendulkar, I could remember the training I did,” Panesar told ESPNCricinfo. “When I bowled [in the Tests] I was like, gosh, I feel so fit, I feel strong, my action feels great, I felt like I could really flight the ball and spin it. I remember saying to myself, right, I want to hit the top of off stump. That was it.”
Sachin Paaji Tried To Play It Towards Mid-on, And It Kind Of Pitched And Hit Off Stump.”
Monty Panesar’s first Test wicket was also Sachin Tendulkar, but this memory still is atop of them all. He had his conscience telling him that he could strike the top of the off-stump and so he did.
“Sometimes it’s the visualisation, isn’t it?” Panesar says. “I remember when I listened to Glenn McGrath’s videos, he said it’s the feel. Sometimes I looked at the spot [on the pitch], sometimes it’s the feel. I didn’t think I was going to get the batsman out like that. I just thought, let me get this ball to hit the top of off stump. Sachin paaji tried to play it towards mid-on, and it kind of pitched and hit off stump.”
He even compares it to Shane Warne’s famous ball of the century Monty Panesar says it’s not just right up to the mark to it, but even better than Shane Warne’s ball of the century. The ball of the century was the one Warne bowled to dismiss the former England captain Mike Gatting during the first Test of the 1993 Ashes.
“You look at that delivery,” Panesar says. “His balance was perfect, but he completely misjudged the length, the curve on the ball, and he honestly thought it was just a ball that is going to skid on, with the pace that I bowled, towards leg stump. But it didn’t.”It was a great ball. It was something that I would say was probably a better ball than Shane Warne [to Mike Gatting].”
Most left-arm spinners are well equipped to pitch to the leg, hit off but something extra is needed to get the wicket of the greatest cricketer alive Sachin Tendulkar, and Monty Panesar possessed the something extra throughout the England vs India test series in November 2012.
The 38-year-old played his last international series was against Australia in the 2013–14 Ashes though he has not announced retirement since.