EXCLUSIVE: India need to stick with MS Dhoni, says Monty Panesar


Monty Panesar
(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Monty Panesar (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

MS DHONI needs to bat and stay in the Indian team. His experience as an former captain is vital for India to win the World Cup. He can play at various gears, can bat from cold and hit boundaries, and also at a slower pace and do well.

Fifty per cent of India’s runs are scored by Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. There is a lot of pressure on Rohit and Kohli to score these runs. I think the responsibility doesn’t suit Rishabh Pant. He likes to score freely and attack. He should bat either at three or come down to six. He should be exposed to the new ball quickly so number three is a good option.

England desperately needed the win against India as it keeps them in the World Cup. It shows when the Indian spinners are not firing, any team any score over 300-plus. I am very nervous about the New Zealand game because it is in Durham. If the forecast is overcast, New Zealand will have a great chance to win. England will have to play at their best again; can they play well two games in a row?

Australia are the favourites; they always seem to play their best cricket. Their bowling is
the strongest in the tournament and the batting is quality too. Their fielding is the best too.
Pakistan have got every chance to make the semi-finals. They are a strong team once all the players know their roles and seem to play their best cricket once they are in a contest. The final games will bring the best out of them. They have worked out a method how to win in vital positions. They haven’t played their best game yet and need to keep improving if they are to win the World Cup.

FANS’ QUESTIONS FOR MONTY:

Who would you say are the top three spinners of all time?
Shane Warne, Anil Kumble and Murali.

Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting or someone else – who was the greatest batsman of your generation?
Virat Kolhi and AB De Villiers.

Who were your closest friends in the England dressing room?
Andrew Flintoff, Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Kevin Pietersen, Steve Harmison , Matthew Hoggard,
Alastair Cook, James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

If you could change one thing about your time with England, what would it be?
I wish that I had a personal trainer, and I should have done boxing training.