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Monty excited about ‘ultimate challenge’

Calcutta: Monty Panesar feels it will be the “ultimate challenge” of his career when he bowls to the Indians, regarded as the best against spin. The first Sikh to play for England, Panesar asserts he does not need to change the way he bowls against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar.

“It’s not just about Tendulkar. India have so many experienced, world-class batsmen Dravid, Ganguly, Yuvraj and Laxman. If you’ve got someone like Shane Warne admitting he’s had nightmares against Tendulkar, you realise what you are up against,” Panesar wrote in his column in The Daily Mail.

“These are the greats. In four or five years, when India next come to England, some of them might not be playing any more. So this is the moment to test myself against them. I have the chance to see whether I really have what it takes.

“There is no need for me to change the way I bowl. It is crucial to make sure that my basics are good because, if I try to alter anything against these guys, they will spot it a mile away. It would be fantastic to get any of them out, not just Tendulkar.”

Panesar says the memory of getting Sachin as his first Test victim would remain forever.

“He was our boyhood hero and none of the guys I grew up with can believe I am playing against him. They take the mickey out of me all the time, saying: ‘do you seriously think you are good enough to be on the same field as Tendulkar'”

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