Destructive, ruthless, bat wider than others: Monty Panesar describes Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid
Former England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar enjoyed a lot of success against Indian batsmen during his playing days. He was instrumental in England wining the 2011-12 Test series in India 2-1 but that doesn’t mean, Panesar thinks less of them. He in fact, rates the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, and Rahul Dravid higher than other contemporary batsmen of his time.
Panesar, who played 50 Tests, picking up 167 wickets for England, got the better of Tendulkar in his debut game in Nagpur in 2006 before dismissing him twice in the Mumbai Test of 2012, rated the India legend as the best batsman. He said Tendulkar was ruthless when he got set.
“Sachin was just ruthless. Once he got in, he would look to score big. But like any other batsman, he was vulnerable. He was on a different wavelength once set,” the British-Indian cricketer told PTI from the UK.
“It was just hard to get Sachin out. With him, you were always like which gear he is going to take but you had to be competitive. Having said that, I backed myself to get him out.”
Panesar said Dravid and Sehwag were the other two Indians who stood out apart from Tendulkar. Panesar rated Virender Sehwag as the “most destructive” batsman of that era.
“And Sehwag was simply amazing, the most destructive batsman at that time,” said the left-armer.
Commenting about Dravid, who is the second Indian to score more than 10,000 runs in both ODIs and Tests, Panesar said, his bat was wider than others.
“Dravid was another great, like the wall they used to say. That was the period you had batters who would just bat long. Just ruthless. With him, you can kind of felt like his bat was wider than anyone else’s.
Panesar also agreed with former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh’s views that Indian batsmen of that era conducted themselves in a certain manner that commanded respect.
“The way these guys (Sachin, Dravid, Laxman) conducted themselves was a lesson for all of us on how we need to be off the field. It was like ‘this is how we need to behave’.
“You look at the talent and what you do on the field but the biggest thing that struck me about Sachin was the way he conducted himself as a human being. It was like ‘his family has taught him well’,” recollected Panesar.
(With PTI inputs)