Friday, May 20, 2022
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India Tour Diary By Monty Panesar

For a British-Asian with roots in Punjab, playing in India is doubly special. It gets you out twice…as Bishan Bedi famously said of a stumping wicket I took!

India Tour Diary By Monty Panesar
India Tour Diary By Monty Panesar

Old Visits, Pitched Battles

For a British-Asian cricketer who has parents or grandparents from India, a tour there is a special one. You realise cricket is a religion here—the passion, players worshipped like gods...you wonder how these players cope with pressure. I have to admire the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Sourav Ganguly,  Rahul Dravid. My first experience of playing in India was during my Under-19 days and our team included the great James Anderson, Ian Bell and myself. India had Gautam Gambhir and Parthiv Patel. Gambhir was way above our league then; I remember he scored a double hundred. In India as part of the England team in 2006, I again played against Gambhir, then part of the India side. For me it was a reflection of how far I have developed as a cricketer. Rod Marsh was certainly right when he said to me, “You have deficiencies in some areas but could be a late developer”. Touring India has become easier over the years. In 2006, I was very ill with diarrhoea before a warm-up match. But I played it and when I got Suresh Raina out stumped, it elicited Bishan Bedi’s famous response: “Getting a batsman out stumped is like getting him out twice—once in the air and once off the pitch”.

Testing My Mettle
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