0Cricket Australia logoSteve Smith — world number 1 mouth, not number 1 batsman

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Steve Smith who has taken over the “Glen McGrath” pro­fess­or­ship for the pub­lic under­stand­ing of Aus­trali­an hubris. To be fair to McGrath, a man with over 500 test wick­ets, and integ­ral mem­ber of one of the greatest sides of all time, he could be for­giv­en for think­ing his side might white­wash Eng­land, although say­ing it aloud is insult­ing and isn’t a part of the spir­it of respect in which crick­et should be said. Steve Smith how­ever, a man who was pathet­ic the last time he vis­ited Eng­land and pathet­ic again in the cur­rent series (if we exclude his excel­lent double hun­dred which was made on a flat noth­ing pitch at lord’s).
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0The Ashes urnHome conditions — more important than ever?

So, Eng­land have com­pre­hens­ively wrapped up the Ashes with a game to spare. What a turn-around from 18 months ago where they were humi­li­ated by an aver­age Aus­trali­an side. With such huge swings out­come over the past 3 Ashes series the talk­ing heads have focussed on the con­di­tions play­ing a huge part. Are they right to?
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0Adore Cricket logoWhere have we been?

We’ve had rather an exten­ded hiatus over the last year or so with one author start­ing a fam­ily and myself par­tic­u­larly busy with work from Septem­ber to May. But over the com­ing months we hope to get back to our best. And we couldn’t have come back to crick­et time at a bet­ter time for Eng­land fans.

0Cook shows his mettle in a Ballanced performance

Well done Alistair Cook. OK, so he missed out on mak­ing a cen­tury, just, but to score 95 when the chips were really down took unbe­liev­able char­ac­ter. The only way he was going to silence the crit­ics was with some runs and hope­fully today’s score marks a per­man­ent return to form. The crowd’s reac­tion when he scored his half cen­tury and the ova­tion when he left the field when speaks volumes as to the sup­port for him amongst the crick­et watch­ing pub­lic. He’s a good man and didn’t deserve some of the diatribe fired his way.

Geof­frey Boy­cott has pre­dicted a draw already – and the Rose Bowl pitch looks like it will pro­duce anoth­er unin­spir­ing match where the bat rules supreme. How ridicu­lous. We need pitches that have some­thing on offer for both bats­men and bowl­ers, one that rewards top expo­nents of both dis­cip­lines. So what if the game is over in four days instead of five? Short term fin­an­cial think­ing risks under­min­ing the entire fab­ric of the game – and then where will the money come from?… Read Full Art­icle

0India take the initiative into the third test

Two tests in, 1–0 to India. England’s poor sum­mer con­tin­ued apace today with a shock­ing (sorry, appalling) col­lapse after lunch today to hand the vis­it­ors the ini­ti­at­ive going for­ward into the rest of the series. On cur­rent evid­ence it would be hard to see past India win­ning the series.
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0How to manage a problem like England

In a way I am almost glad Eng­land failed to grind out a draw against Sri Lanka. Had they done so it would have been seen by many as some sort of mira­cu­lous escape. Backs to the wall, sto­ic defence when the chips were down. It must not, how­ever, detract from a dire per­form­ance. For the ump­teenth time the bats­men have let us down. The last Ashes on Eng­lish soil were won des­pite, not because of our bats­men and the over­all pic­ture hasn’t improved since then.… Read Full Art­icle

0Sachithra Senanayake Mankades (try saying that after a few beers!)

Crick­et is a sport in which most fol­low­ers expect their her­oes to adhere to a high­er stand­ard of fair play and sports­man­ship.
The recent incid­ent of ‘Mankad­ing’ (who on earth coined that phrase?) – when Sri Lanka’s Sachi­thra Sen­anayake ran out England’s Jos But­tler who had strayed out of his crease at the non-striker’s end at a key point in the final and decid­ing ODI in the series was dis­ap­point­ing to see and thank­fully remains very rare.
The last incid­ent I can remem­ber is when Kapil Dev ran out South Africa’s Peter Kirsten, appar­ently without warn­ing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzbFy_elb8k
Dif­fer­ing accounts of Tuesday’s shambles say Sen­anayake warned But­tler twice or just the once. Either way, it wasn’t crick­et. The bowl­er shouldn’t have done it and the cap­tain should have over-ruled the appeal. He didn’t, it happened so we are left to count the cost of a strain on the game.
What I don’t like, how­ever, is Eng­land using this unsa­voury con­tro­versy to shield yet anoth­er highly mixed per­form­ance dur­ing a ODI series.
Sri Lanka are a decent side – but without the wick­et tak­ing machine that was Mut­ti­ah Mur­a­lithar­an in the line-up and home advant­age you would have expec­ted Eng­land to win the series.… Read Full Art­icle