Former England spinner Monty Panesar has urged the tourists to be prepared for aggressive crowds during the upcoming Ashes series in Australia. Monty Panesar recollected his experiences when he traveled Down Under for three Ashes tours, two of which ended in a 5-0 win for Australia.
Given how the Australians copped harsh treatment during the 2019 Ashes series in England, the crowds Down Under aren’t likely to spare the tourists.
Left-arm spinner Jack Leach also revealed that an Australian wished him the ‘worst luck at the Gabba’ while eating at a restaurant in Brisbane.
Writing in his column for the Telegraph, Monty Panesar said the visitors must be ready for a belligerent welcome. Panesar also narrated his experiences in Australia while performing the 12th man duties. He said:
“Things never got physical for me in Australia, but you definitely have to be braced for verbals. When I went on the 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2013-14 Ashes tours, I had my fair share of 12th man duties down by the boundary edge so was well placed to the antagonistic comments: “You Poms are getting it today”, “The convicts are coming after you” – all the usual stuff.”
However, the 40-year old expects all-rounder Ben Stokes to give it back to the crowd through his performances. The former left-arm spinner wrote further:
“Someone like Ben Stokes can thrive off that antagonism – particularly as he does not have the burden of being the captain, something which weighed heavily on Andrew Flintoff in that 2006-07 series. They are very similar players – match winners and huge personalities on and off the field.”
Several former England cricketers have earmarked Ben Stokes as an x-factor for the visitors. The seam-bowling all-rounder missed the 2017-18 series in Australia due to an off-field controversy, and so he will be keen to deliver impactful performances.
“The best response I saw was Jimmy Anderson in the 2010-11 tour to Mitchell Johnson” – Monty Panesar
Panesar, who toured Australia in 2010-11 but did not play a single game, spoke about the duel between James Anderson and Mitchell Johnson. He felt Johnson was unwise to sledge Anderson for his lack of wickets based on the response he gave.
“The dilemma of how to respond to a sledge is one that every cricketer has to weigh up in Australia. The best response I saw was Jimmy Anderson in the 2010-11 tour, after Mitchell Johnson unwisely chose to take him on. Johnson said to Jimmy: “Why are you chirping now mate, not getting wickets?” Next ball, Anderson dismissed Ryan Harris with a perfect yorker, immediately turned back towards Johnson and put a finger to his lips: shush, Mitch.”
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The 2010-11 series was the last time England won in Australia. Anderson emerged as the highest wicket-taker with 24 in five Tests as the tourists won by a 3-1 scoreline.