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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Captains unite to praise Panesar

Captains unite to praise Panesar

June 12, 2007 11:02 IST

England captain Michael Vaughan and his West Indies' counterpart Daren Ganga joined forces on Monday to praise left-arm spinner Monty Panesar after the home side wrapped up a series victory.

Panesar exploited a wearing Old Trafford pitch to claim his first 10-wicket haul in a Test match with six for 137 in West Indies' second innings on the final day of the third Test.

His probing left-arm spin gave England an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the four-Test series after West Indies were dismissed for 394 while chasing a world record 455 to win.

"He's becoming pretty special and a real nice left-arm spinner," Vaughan told reporters. "He bowls in good areas and give him a bit of rough and he can hit it.

"He's just great to have in the team. I knew that chasing that amount of runs with him in the side would always be very difficult for them.

"I know he got six-for but I thought they played him pretty well. If they hadn't played him as well as they did he could have ended up with a real big bag of wickets."

Ganga was full of admiration for the way Panesar, who bowled unchanged on the final day, had maintained such pressure on his batsmen.

"He's definitely there in the top three [spinners] as he's winning games for England," said Ganga. "He's having a heavy influence in terms of Test matches that England have won. I definitely think he's a top-class spinner."

Panesar, 25, said he tried not to put too much pressure on himself even though he was presented with a pitch strongly in his favour with scuffed-up footmarks making life difficult for the batsmen.

He bowled with enthusiasm throughout the match although he occasionally overstepped the mark with his excessive celebrations, earning a rebuke from umpire Aleem Dar.

"He was saying that I should appeal before I start celebrating," Panesar said with a smile. "I guess I get a little excited while I'm out there."

Meantime, Vaughan spoke of his satisfaction at going past Peter May's record for the most Test wins as England captain with his 21st victory.

"I haven't had a lot of time to think about it but it's obviously special because I have passed a legend in Peter May," Vaughan said. "It's a huge honour for me to do that.

"But you don't win games of cricket without having good players and I've been very fortunate to have a lot of good players in my team."

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