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Panesar 'frightened' of facing India

Despite having taken wickets of top batsmen, the England spinner says that the Tests against India will be tough.
PTI | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUL 13, 2007 07:34 PM IST

Despite having claimed a number of top batsmen including Sachin Tendulkar as his victims, England spin magician Monty Panesar says he "feels like a baby" and is "frightened" to face India in the Test cricket series beginning next week.

Panesar had Tendulkar as his first scalp of his Test career which has fetched 65 wickets in 17 matches, including six hauls of five or more, an effort which has catapulted him up to joint sixth in the world rankings.

"As a spinner I feel like I'm still a baby. Playing India is exciting, but it's also frightening," Panesar said at his home club 'Luton Town and Indians'.

"They tend to play spin on the height of the ball and they're very quick at judging length on trajectory, very quick to move on to the back foot, and very wristy and nimble. It's a real test to see whether you can apply pressure."

The 25-year-old Panesar, the first Sikh to play for England, has developed the knack of dismissing quality players but said the series against the sub-continent giants was the toughest challenge of his career so far.

"From a spinner's point of view it will be tough. You go to India, where the ball turns, and it's tough. Play them in England, where the ball doesn't turn as much, and it's going to be even tougher. Put it this way: I hope the sun shines," he was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

However, it would be interesting to watch out for his battle with Tendulkar, who signed -- "once in a blue moon, never again" -- on the ball which Panesar used to scalp him in his maiden Test at Nagpur last year.

"When you play against such great players, that's the impact they have on you. The energy comes out and you're just flying," he said.

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