0Points to Ponder After Opening Loss

One test in, Eng­land are one-nil down. Well done Pakistan
Hav­ing brushed Sri Lanka aside Eng­land are in the midst of a much stern­er test against an in-form Pakistan. And the vis­it­ors suc­ceeded where many oth­ers have failed of late, i.e. to expose England’s weak­nesses.
Per­haps England’s main weak­ness is a lack of top qual­ity spin­ner. Moeen Ali is use­ful for a good few overs and tends to sur­prise many bats­men and trick them into a false sense of secur­ity. He is, how­ever, a second spin­ner. If he couldn’t bat would he be in the side? Very unlikely. He’s a backup option, not lead the attack mater­i­al. How and why Eng­land have chosen to ignore Adil Rashid amazes me. Over the dec­ades Eng­lish select­ors have shown a reluct­ance to pig leg-spin­ners and Rashid is seen as sus­cept­ible of leak­ing a few runs – but he has proven in ODIs and T20s that he is able to keep it tight. Thank­fully they have at least indic­ated they are will­ing to put this right by nam­ing him in the 13 man squad for the second test. They must pick him – espe­cially as Old Traf­ford tends to offer encour­age­ment to the twirlers. Eng­land have a bit of a selec­tion dilemma on their hands – I sus­pect Ben Stokes and Moeen are fight­ing it out for one place.
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0TMSTMS — A Reassuring Presence in Brexiting Times

On Thursday 23 June Bri­tain (well, Eng­land and Wales – the Scots are seem­ingly more sens­ible) voted to leave the European Uni­on.
As the stark real­ity of what the nation had thrust upon itself sunk in I was in a rather depressed state of mind. At work I couldn’t even stom­ach my bacon but­tie such was my frus­tra­tion with the plebis­cite.… Read Full Art­icle

0Super England Claim Super Series

With just one match left in this new “super series” format between Eng­land and Sri Lanka the home nation have proven them­selves com­pletely dom­in­ant
Win­ning the test series comes as no sur­prise – the vis­it­ors were nev­er going to be able to cope with Ander­son and Broad in home con­di­tions – but I expec­ted a stern­er test in the 50-over format.… Read Full Art­icle

0England vs Sri Lanka — any Lessons Learned?

The third and final test in the Eng­land vs Sri Lanka test series is now at an end after the rain brought a damp squib of an end to the match.
So what have we learned? Not a great deal really. We are almost where we were three tests ago. Nick Compton would appear not quite of test level is one obvi­ous con­clu­sion. Per­son­ally speak­ing I feel it would be a little harsh to jet­tis­on him – I would give him the Pakistan series to make a final decision on him. I doubt that will hap­pen, how­ever and Lords was the last we will see of him in the whites of the three lions.… Read Full Art­icle

2Earth Cricket BallEntertaining the masses — a side to please everyone, perhaps?

Many say test match crick­et is lan­guish­ing in the doldrums at this moment in time. There’s all sorts of plans being chucked around to try and heave it up by its coat tails. Such one sided demoli­tions as the Eng­land Sri Lanka series only add weight to the naysay­ers cause and the half empty (or should that be full?!) stands at Chester Le Street don’t exactly help mat­ters.
As always the answer to turn things around isn’t straight for­ward. We’re all search­ing for that sil­ver bul­let or mir­acle cure to guar­an­tee packed sta­dia but the only thing that is clear is that there is no simple answer.
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0Pitch Perfect England Need a Sterner Test

So the first test of the sum­mer is at an end. Well done Eng­land for a vic­tory for what was really a match of men against boys.

Sri Lanka are, to use that oft touted sound-bite, a team in “trans­ition” and boy did it show. It must be remembered, how­ever, that they kept a strong Eng­land bat­ting line up to a tad under the 300 mark – and half of those runs came from the excel­lent Jonny Bair­stow. Alex Hales did well too with a decent knock and must be kick­ing him­self he didn’t con­vert it into a ton. Had it not been for those two it might have been a closer run thing. We will nev­er know.… Read Full Art­icle

0England and Wales Cricket Board logoManagement Need to Stoke the Fire for Success

Wow, incred­ible, fant­ast­ic. I could go on: the list of super­lat­ives to describe the mag­ni­fi­cent (there, I’ve slipped anoth­er one in!) innings by Ben Stokes in the drawn second test has to rank along­side the best ever knocks in inter­na­tion­al crick­et.
I know – points to this writer for stat­ing the bleed­in’ obvi­ous! What his innings does do though is high­light the need for Eng­land to be able to not only spot tal­en­ted indi­vidu­als such as Stokes but to nur­ture them and encour­age them to reach their full poten­tial.… Read Full Art­icle

2The Ashes urnNo Star Shines Bright for Either Side

So the Ashes are now at end with Eng­land the vic­tors and Aus­tralia put back in their place. A 3–2 sco­reline flat­ters the green bag­gied ones a little but in truth the last test was a dead rub­ber for Eng­land. They were nev­er going to play to the same level on intens­ity as when they were try­ing to claim the little urn back from our Anti­podean cous­ins.
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1Cricket Australia logoMichael Clarke — So long

So, Michael Clarke has announced his retire­ment from inter­na­tion­al crick­et after the final Ashes test at the oval. Many have already paid trib­ute, we’re not so bothered about doing that. Here’s why.
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