Alastair Cook has admitted every member of the England squad must do their bit to keep Monty Panesar in high spirits during the Ashes after a tough year for the spinner.
While the popular bowler has found himself behind Graeme Swann in the pecking order over recent years, Panesar has still remained in and around the Test squad and could win his 50th cap during the tour of Australia this winter.
Panesar was named in England’s touring party for the upcoming Ashes series despite a number of disciplinary issues over the past six months.
Moreover, while Betfair pundits have suggested that the left-arm spinner will most likely be used as back-up to Graeme Swann over the next couple of months, Cook has made it clear Panesar could still play a crucial role for England during this tour.
Cook admitted he was aware that the 31-year-old might need special attention during the tour of Australia, where the English are looking to clinch the urn for a fourth successive time.
"We have got to make sure we look after him off the field. Sometimes you take a second spinner on tour and you know you might not play games. It can be very hard to carry the drinks at certain times.
"Clearly he had a tough summer, and probably tough year or so. We need to get Monty in the right frame of mind so if he's called upon,” said the captain ahead of his team’s departure for Australia.
While Panesar does not pose the Australian batsmen the same level of threat a fully fit Swann does now, fans who gamble with betfair know that Monty is still a very useful option to have during a long tour.
However, the tourists will need to make sure the bowler can get his focus on cricket now he’s in Australia after a turbulent summer in England.