Monty Panesar has already had an incredible impact on English cricket in his short tenure as an international player. In just 20 Tests he has taken 73 wickets @ 30.80, just shy of four per match, and already has six 5 wicket hauls and one 10 wicket haul to his name.
Like all top spinners he is seen as both a strike and stock bowler, able to bowl attacking spells as well as long containing spells. His concentration and economy rate of under 3 runs per over make him a captain's dream, perfectly suited to any stage of a match.
To have achieved so much so quickly is remarkable in a young player who was a student just two years ago, yet one suspects there is much more to come. As he embarks on his first Test series in Sri Lanka Panesar can go head to head with Muralitharan in the great man's own backyard. On pitches that will surely take spin Monty can move up a level and show that he too is destined for greatness.
His record against Sri Lanka, albeit in only one three match Test series, is impressive. Bowling less than a hundred overs Panesar prised out 10 wickets @ 21.00, conceding just 2.11 runs per over. His victims included Tharanga (twice), Sangakkara (twice) and Jayasuriya, all of whom he will encounter at Kandy in a few days.
After suffering a poor series (by his standards) against India recently, Panesar needs to show his class by utilising the conditions in Sri Lanka to his advantage and proving, once again, to be one of England's major weapons. It is on these potentially tricky away series that players can enhance their reputations and I fully expect Panesar to do so.