Monty Panesar to help Australia before tour of India

Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar has taken 167 wickets in 50 Tests for England

Former England spinner Monty Panesar is to work with the Australia team before their Test series in India.

The 34-year-old has been playing grade cricket for Sydney side Campbelltown.

Panesar toured India on three occasions and took 17 wickets when England won 2-1 in 2012, their first series victory there for 27 years.

The left-armer will advise Australia's batsmen and slow bowlers before they depart for the four-Test series, which begins on 23 February.

"Pat Howard [Cricket Australia's team performance manager] gave me a call and asked if I was available to work with a few players for the upcoming series and I was happy to do that," Panesar told the Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show on BBC Radio 5 live.

"The hardest role for a spinner is [to] bowl 30 overs in a day, go for three an over, and give [the captain] control from one end and build pressure, and that's going to probably be one of the things [they] are going to ask me."

He added that coaching is "something I've always had a passion for".

"While I've been out here I've been helping the [Campbelltown] under-16s, under-21s and also the grade team, so this is a good opportunity to work with international cricketers," he said.

"Coaching is more about getting to know the person as much as talking about the technical side of the game. Once you develop that trust in people's opinions, your coaching becomes that much easier."

Panesar's stint in Australia is part of a bid to return to his best on the field amid mental health problems.

In May 2016 he spoke to the BBC about feelings of anxiety and paranoia that stemmed from a loss of confidence and self-esteem.

He spent last summer with Northamptonshire but is without a county for 2017, although he may train with Northants on his return from Australia and has not given up hope of playing at the highest level again.

"From a playing side, I'm trying to get my shoulder a lot stronger, trying to get fitter again," he said.

"Hopefully when I get back [to England] there will be opportunities to get involved at a county and get back into first-class cricket.

"I still have international ambitions."

Before leaving England to head down under, he travelled daily from Luton to Wimbledon to work with a fitness trainer and turned down television offers, with some reports linking him to ITV show I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.

Panesar has taken 167 wickets in 50 Tests for England, the last of which came at Melbourne on the 2013-14 Ashes tour.

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