Panesar strains calf for England

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    England spinner Monty Panesar has strained his calf at training, strengthening the claim of Scott Borthwick to make his Test debut in a baptism of fire at the SCG.

    Panesar will be assessed on Thursday, but it is believed England are set to call up 23-year-old Durham legspinner Borthwick as they look to avoid a 5-0 whitewash and look to the future.

    It is not the first time England have looked to blood a young slow bowler in a dead-rubber Ashes Test, after Simon Kerrigan made his debut in the fifth Test at The Oval in August.

    The match ended in a draw but Kerrigan was slaughtered by the Australian batsman – going for 53 runs from his only 48 balls in Test cricket.

    Kerrigan hasn’t been seen since, with Borthwick instead called into the England squad following the retirement of Graeme Swann before the Melbourne Test.

    Borthwick had a stint with Sydney first-grade side Northern Districts and was about to fly home when the call came.

    Australian vice-captain Brad Haddin played alongside him for Northern Districts earlier in the summer, but said Borthwick could expect a stern test of his mettle.

    “No doubt (we’ll get after him),” Haddin said.

    “It’d be an exciting time for him. But interesting to see how we approach him.”

    Australia belted Swann in the first three Tests and Panesar was largely ignored in the Melbourne match – with captain Alastair Cook opting to bowl part-timer Joe Root ahead of him during Australia’s second innings.

    But Borthwick said he welcomed the challenge set down by Australia.

    “If they do, I’ll accept that challenge,” said Borthwick, who regards Shane Warne as his inspiration.

    “I’ll try and spin the ball and give it my best shot.

    “It’s been an amazing two weeks. I’m thrilled. I didn’t think I’d be here. But I am now.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • Roar Guru

      January 2nd 2014 @ 2:04pm
      Tony Loedi said | January 2nd 2014 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

      Cant play Borthwick. His economy rate in First class cricket is 3.7 he will be destroyed. If Monty can’t play England are better off picking 4 pacemen plus Stokes and use Root for a little bit of spin.

      • Roar Guru

        January 2nd 2014 @ 2:15pm
        JGK said | January 2nd 2014 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

        And pray that you win the toss.

      • Roar Guru

        January 2nd 2014 @ 2:55pm
        Pom in Oz said | January 2nd 2014 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

        Got to start somewhere and his FC bowling average is fine. Hell, what have we Poms got to lose!

    • Roar Guru

      January 2nd 2014 @ 3:07pm
      Tony Loedi said | January 2nd 2014 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

      How about another test match? Im not worried about his average I’m worried he will go for a run ball just like Kerrigan did in England. The poms are in real trouble post Swann – no spinners coming through

      • Roar Guru

        January 2nd 2014 @ 3:38pm
        Pom in Oz said | January 2nd 2014 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

        I see your point, Tony and there’s no doubt the more aggressive Aussie batsmen would go after him. Then again, isn’t that what spinners want? Look at Lyon’s five for in the last test. All due to aggressive shots, which was just what he wanted. Although, I do appreciate that you still need to bowl well to get the results you’re after.

        • January 3rd 2014 @ 8:28am
          jameswm said | January 3rd 2014 @ 8:28am | ! Report

          You want them coming after you if you’re good enough to deal with it.

          One or two hits and Cook will have 5 on the boundary. It’ll look more like a one-day field. Cook’s defensive enough at the best of times.

          Also, few know how to captain spinners well. For better ones like Warne and Swann it doesn’t matter so much, as they largely do it themselves.

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