Originally Posted by Fatslogger
Excellent post in general. I've highlighted the one bit I disagree with. Panesar has improved a bit in the field and is less of an embarassment but he's still the worst in the side. At least I hope he is. Having someone worse than him would be pretty diabolical.
I think you are pretty much right. He has improved in the field, but I think the state of his batting and fielding were made out to be much worse when he came in the side and his first test innings was probably his best so far, helping Collingwood to his first century. He's a number 10 or 11 but occasionally plays some great textbook shots and his technique is generally pretty good for a number 11.
His fielding again is poor by international standards, but I don't think he's quite as bad as you make out FS. You make it sound like his fielding is utterly laughable, when it's not. He doesn't make that many errors when the ball comes to him, but he's hidden in the field for obvious reasons. His arm is also reasonably accurate. He's just not a natural fielder, and not everyone is, so all you can ask them to be is as good as their ability will let them to be and I think Panesar has done a reasonable job with his fielding. He certainly wouldn't be the worst fielder in the Pakistan side.
Cook has taken some good catches under the lid, but has also dropped some, but he's not the best candidate for being in that position. Bell is a good fielder in close, but when you want a silly point and a short leg, it's hard to pick anyone else really.
Like I've said, you can't include players for their fielding, all you can do is have them work on it so they become the best fielders they can become, but even then mistakes will happen, and sometimes a few in a day like has happened today. It's unfortunate, but I fail to see there is much that can be done about it other than training harder on it, which might actually be a waste of time.