London, May 15 : New Zealand captain and left arm spinner Daniel Vettori has hailed England left arm spinner Monty Panesar, describing him as a born bowler, and predicted that he will snare at least 300 Test wickets, if not more.
Speaking ahead of Thursday's First Test against England, Vettori, who has 245 Test wickets since his debut in 1997, was quoted by The Sun as saying: "Monty is a very good player. He is born to bowl. I can see him taking 300 Test wickets."
"The first time I met him was in a warm-up game that was rained out. He's got an insatiable knowledge for spin bowling but it came to the point where I didn't have any more to give him unfortunately. One of the most admirable things about him is that, while he's turned himself into a Test bowler, he still wants to learn," Vettori added.
The Black Caps come to England off the back of a 2-1 series defeat to the same opposition last winter.
Michael Vaughan's men fought back from one Test down, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Ryan Sidebottom, who helped himself to 24 wickets.
"We'd watched him on TV and didn't appreciate just how good he was. I think others will soon appreciate it too. Even Stephen Fleming, who played with him at Notts, didn't expect him to be that good," Vettori said.