England spinner Monty Panesar has represented his country in 50 Tests, 26 ODIs and 1 T20I to bag 193 international wickets. While he first burst on to the scene against India in 2006, he is widely remembered for dismissing Sachin Tendulkar as his maiden Test wicket. Quite recently, the cricketer was involved in an interview where he spoke about his career prospects and his friendship with the Indian batting icon.
In an interview with India.com, Monty Panesar said that dismissing Sachin Tendulkar to claim his maiden Test wicket had a “major” impact on his life. Panesar further said that Sachin Tendulkar has been a huge part of his life and it would be nice if he could call up the ‘Master Blaster’ to find out how he is. Unfortunately, the 37-year old spinner said that he does not have Sachin Tendulkar’s number and he is not sure how close of a friend he is with the legendary batsman.
In the interview, Monty Panesar was also asked to give his take on a long-running ‘Sachin Tendulkar vs Virat Kohli’ battle of batting supremacy. While he praised Virat Kohli for his supreme fitness and impeccable batting record, he said that Sachin Tendulkar was widely worshipped for his batting at a time when India needed a sporting icon badly and had lot of expectations from the side, which he alone carried. Monty Panesar also revealed that it was Sachin Tendulkar’s performances in the 1990s and 2000s that inspired him to take up cricket in the first place.
Monty Panesar also praised the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) and credited the T20 event for taking cricket to Afghanistan. When asked about which team he would have desired to play in IPL if he ever got the opportunity, Panesar said that since he’s a Punjabi, his “natural inclination” would be to go with Kings XI Punjab. However, he also admitted to picking Chennai Super Kings because of following veteran wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni's career closely. The spinner also picked Mumbai Indians because of Sachin Tendulkar and added that he also started following Delhi Capitals recently because of Sourav Ganguly.