Monty Panesar is back playing for England and that’s great news for his fans. After that bar incident earlier this year, people had started thinking that Monty’s international career was over, but, it wasn’t to be. The left arm spinner recovered quite well from that incident, performed in domestic cricket, got selected in the Ashes squad and for the second Ashes test match, which was played at Adelaide; he found a place in the XI too.

Monty’s performance in the Adelaide wasn’t outstanding, but, it wasn’t bad either. Yes, he didn’t get as many wickets as the English team management would have expected him to get on that dry wicket, but, he bowled in good areas and got one important wicket in each of the two innings.

In the first innings, he got through the defence of Steven Smith who is considered as a very good player of spin bowling. It was a fine delivery which pitched on the leg stump and turned away sharply. Smith got into two minds. He should have been forward, but, he didn’t do that and neither did he go right back. He got caught in the crease and ended up being beaten by that sharp turn. The furniture was disturbed and the middle order batsman was on his way back to the dressing room.

Panesar did the same to Clarke in the second innings. Clarke too is a fine player of slow bowling and he was well set at that time, but, he couldn’t keep that Panesar delivery away. That delivery was quite similar to what Smith had received in the first innings. It also landed somewhere close to the leg stick and turned sharply to beat the batsman’s defence.

The next Ashes test match is scheduled to take place at Perth and one can’t expect England to go into that match with two spinners. So, Panesar’s chances of retaining his place in the playing XI are not that good.