Monty Panesar has not been included in England’s 13-man squad for the Second Test against the West Indies at Chester-le-Street, confirming that he is now very much England’s second choice spinner. The first choice (and man of the match at Lord’s), Graeme Swann, has burst onto the Test scene to supplant Panesar – with the latter now looking less likely than ever to feature in the Ashes frontline.
Amongst the reasons suggested for the selectors’ preference for Swann had been Panesar’s reluctance to set his own fields, which some amateur psychologists have pointed to as evidence of a mindset too fragile to withstand the inevitable Aussie onslaught of an Ashes series. More obviously, Swann has taken 33 wickets in his six Tests, whereas Panesar has taken only 11 in the period since Swann joined the England setup.
Geoff Miller ‘explains’ the selection here, although he doesn’t adequately explain what Ian Bell has done since the last Test squad was announced that justifies his recall.