Panesar the new target – Smith

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Ashes hero Steve Smith is promising England spinner Monty Panesar the same treatment as Graeme Swann despite Australia having the urn in their keeping.

Panesar headlines the English spin attack in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG following Swann’s shock mid-series retirement.

Smith said Panesar could expect similar attention as Australia looked to work over the spinners and wear out the quicks.

The Australians were credited with contributing to Swann’s decision to head home, targeting him on their way to an unassailable 3-0 series lead.

“That was our mindset at the start of the series, and make their quicks come back sooner than they would have liked to,” Smith said.

The all-rounder, who scored a hugely valuable 111 in the first innings in Perth in a man of the match showing, said his team aimed to play positively against spin and would continue that in Melbourne.

“When he (Panesar) comes on to bowl, we’ll look to keep scoring runs and put the pressure back on him.”

Smith was impressed with Panesar’s effort in Adelaide, his only opportunity in the series, when he finished with figures of 1-157 from 44 overs.

“He actually did quite well down there.

“I’m not sure he’ll take the same amount of spin that he got in Adelaide, so we’ll just have to play it by ear and see how the wicket plays and just carry on playing the way we have.”

In Smith’s other Boxing Day Test outing, against England in 2010, he made six and 38 in his two digs. Australia were dismissed for 98 in the first innings, their lowest score against England at the MCG.

The 24-year-old is relishing another chance on the big stage, saying he grew up dreaming of a Boxing Day Test.

“I was always glued to the TV on Boxing Day, it was just an amazing Test match to watch.

“I played one in 2010 and we didn’t have quite the success as a team that we would have liked.

“And personally I didn’t have the success I would have liked so hopefully we’ll have a big week this week.”

AAP

 

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