London, June 26 (ANI): Andrew Strauss, back in charge for the Ashes after Paul Collingwood captained England in the World Twenty20, has warned the Australians to not write off Monty Panesar.
The left-arm spinner has been criticised recently by Shane Warne and Geoff Boycott, but skipper Strauss is planning to pick him for the Ashes opener.
Monty has been chosen to play against Warwickshire next week, England's lone warm-up match before the Npower First Test against Australia on July 8, which is a strong indication that he will partner Graeme Swann in Cardiff.
"I think the people who have been writing off Monty are unwise. Look at his record for England. It is exceptional and right up there with some of the best spinners to have played the game," The Sun quoted Strauss, as saying.
"I really think he has a hell of a lot more to offer for England in the future. OK, so he's gone through a bit of a tough patch recently. We've all been through that - I have myself and so have other people - and you come out of it much better for the experience.
"Hopefully, other members of the squad will give Monty the confidence to go out against Warwickshire, take a bagful of wickets and become an important member of the England side again. We all know what his capabilities are," he said.
Strauss added: "Monty has been working on variations. But the reality is that he has taken 99 per cent of his wickets bowling a very good left-arm spinner that turns and has decent pace on it. That is his default and he shouldn't stray too far from it. It's like me trying to bat like Lara - it won't work. It is important that he just does what he does well. If he does, he is going to be a handful."
Spin legend Warne claims Panesar has not improved while Boycott reckons his plan to add more variety to his bowling has backfired. (ANI)