Thursday, September 21, 2006

Monty and the Shrink

I missed responding this piece on Monty Panesar's consultation with a psychologist as preparation for the Ashes. And I'm not quite sure what to make of it. Monty will get it on the boundary, no doubt about that. Cracks about taxis, curry, Osama, 'whats under that rag', will flow thick and fast, and thats just what Monty will get to hear. The stuff going on late in the afternoon as the beer and the heat builds up will get worse, but luckily for Monty, he won't hear the worst of it. But what will Monty make of all of this? Depends on how things are going out in the middle. If he's getting plastered, he's going to suffer more. He'll be doubting himself, and the crowd will get on his back. If England is doing well, the crowds will slump into a drunken stupor, the Barmy Army will take over, and Monty will be fine again (Now, theres an idea, rather than talking to a sports psychologist, Monty should hold meetings with the Barmy Army to ensure that they have songs and support lined up for him; perhaps he should include Flintoff in these discussions to make sure he only gets sent down to where the Barmy Army is stationed?). Monty will grow on this tour, no doubt. Australia is great in that regard - the batsmen will go after him, the bowlers and fielders won't let him rest and neither will the crowds. If he comes out of this with his reputation and abilities intact, he'll have taken a huge step towards becoming a true world-class cricketer.

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