Thursday, December 18, 2008

Articles about Monty lack variety

When Luton’s Champion, Monty Panesar, burst onto the international cricket scene, commentators praised the young genius as the saviour of English spinning.

“No more boring, defensive Ashly Giles to “hold up an end”, now we have a proper aggressive bowler.”

There was much rejoicing. Everyone prefers an offensive spinner. Just look at Shane Warne.

Then, nothing changed.

This, for the writers, was sin. Pieces began to suggest that Monty was boring. That he lacked personality. Some insinuated that he was just a dull git that the rest of the team hated.

The journalists looked at their construct of Monty – the people’s lovable hero, capable of winning any match armed with only a reasonably aged ball and a pearl of close fielders – and then they compared this to the reality.

The reality of Monty is just this sort of bloke, you know. In the media world, “normal” means “mind-numbingly, suicidally, OMG BORING!!!1!”

Monty was nothing like his media image. The journalists had sweated greatly in pubs during their conspiracy to “make cricket more interesting” and this effort was unravelled by the Real World.

And they hated him for it.

“Damn you Panesar”, they said

Starting with the removal of his charismatic name, the hacks began to denude Monty of his charm. This allows them to attack the hell out of him without looking like total bastards.

“A bloke called Monty should be more interesting. Dear reader, I demand that you completely change you mind about him. He has not lived up to the potential that his name suggests. You must loathe him now. Do it! Do it because I say!”

Now, the journalists have decided, en masse and without exception, that Monty “lacks variety” this means that he bowls at the same pace. All of a sudden, the world of cricket is gripped by the spinners pace. “Too fast” is the gospel truth of Monty’s bowling speed.

The only variable that affects a spinner’s ability to take a wicket is pace. Fizz, dip, bounce, strategy, or, god forbid, spin are now irrelevant factors in a spin bowlers armoury. If you bowl at 55 mph you go 27 overs without a wicket, if you bowl at 50 mph you will take nine wickets whilst conceding only seven runs.

This seems easy. But, leading on to our next point, they tell us that Monty “lacks guile”. This means that he’s a thicko. Every ball, apparently, is the same as the last. Duh.

Of course, this is the standard’s English spinner’s tactic: bore them out. It worked for Giles and the Great E’s, but, for some reason, when Monty deploys this time-worn approach, we decide that he’s a complete bastard.

So now, the press has decided, en masse and without exception that Monty is boring, predictable and stupid.

With a discipline as subtle and diverse as spin bowling, you think that opinion would vary regarding current exponents. Perhaps they’d be some alternative suggestions: Monty is bowling too slow, for instance?

But no. Everyone knows exactly what the problem is. The journalists know all. Shame they are shit at cricket, really.

(“…but hell, it ain't over till the slim man zings.” Ahem.)


horatius said...


It's what happens to all spinners in India. They get anal-fisted on grounds conducive to spin. Especially, if they are not debutants. Those same journalists who are singing paeans of Swann, will rip him to shreds when he gets violated repeatedly in the next test or the next series. Pay no heed to the haters.

Jrod said...

Next you will try and tell me Monty is human.

atticus said...

Well said, Atheist. Most of these journalists happen to be ex-medium fast bowlers.

D Charlton said...

Bloody journalists. I hate them all. Well done Ath.

Damith S. said...

Actually Monty does need to pick up a few skills in bowling in the Sub-C,that said he is still Englands best chance at a decent spinner, he needs all the support he can get.