MONTY Panesar said he is looking forward to his role of matchwinner in his first full season at Essex.
The spinner signed a contract to play with the Eagles full time after impressing at the County Ground during a loan spell for the last six weeks of the 2013 season.
Moving ahead into the new season, which starts with a County Championship game with Derbshire on April 13, head coach Paul Grayson said the England international will play a cruicial role for the side this time round.
Speaking at the County Ground yesterday, Panesar said he want to be the man his captain turns to in important situations.
“I thrive on that responsibility of bowling in a tough passage of play,” he said.
“I enjoy the battle and when you find yourself in a pressure situation you want to win and as a player you want to get into those situations where you can win the game for your team.
“I like these types of challenges and I like being thrown into the deep end.”
Having stayed out in Australia after England’s terrible Ashes tour to play Grade cricket, the left armer, who has 166 Test wickets to his name in 49 matches, said he feels ready to go for 2014 for Essex.
He also joked about possibly doing a bit of captaincy for the Eagles this season.
Panesar said: “I decided to stay out in Australia to get my bowling back on track and get back that energy which fans have seen before – and you may even see me do a few of those celebrations here in Chelmsford.
“Getting to play in the MCC game against Durham recently was good fun too and I was lucky that my captain Virender Sehwag allowed me to captain the match for about half and hour.
“Now I’ll be going up to Fozzy (James Foster) and asking him to give me a chance halfway through a game, but I’ll make sure it is when we’re in a dominant position.”