Australian coach Mickey Arthur has given an interview in which he said that he thinks the current Australian bowling attack is the best in the world! I’m taking this in the spirit of the traditional “Glenn McGrath” pre-ashes wind up speech, but Arthur didn’t say they were just better than the England bowling attack (dubious enough in itself) but better than all the others in the world too. So should England really be quaking in their boots?… Read Full Article
Regular readers of my witterings will know that Test Cricket holds sway for me. It’s what makes cricket great.
So the Champions Trophy currently being played in England has got me thinking…what is the best XI for England in recent times?
The first question, of course, is how do you define ‘recent’? Well for the purposes of this article I have decided on the debut test of middle order left handed batsman Graham Thorpe.
Thorpe made his debut in the drawn third Ashes test of 1993 held between 1 and 6 July. Thorpe made a ton on debut. Good lad.
So we’re only x days into the ICC champions trophy and there have been 2 very disappointing incidents involving players in the tournament, one on the pitch and one off. Whilst cricket has had issue with gambling related corruption (e.g. Hansie Cronje or the Spot-Fixing scandal from 2011) the game has a reputation for good spirit and honest play between players. Are these recent events a sign that times are changing, or are they merely an unfortunate blip?
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Almost every cricket fan will have heard the famous quote, attributed to Brian Johnston, “The Bowler’s Holding, the Batsman’s Willey”. Whether or not this really was said live on air no longer matters a great deal, it is brilliantly representative of the many double entendres that have featured in cricket commentary before and since. That latest in this fine tradition was offered up yesterday by Charles Dagnall in his commentary on the Champions Trophy match between Pakistan and South Africa, when, in describing the 7ft1 Mohammed Irfan of Pakistan, he announced “He’s just got a monumentally big handle… so to speak”. After a good chuckle I set about compiling a list of some of my favourites, which I present below.
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And so it happened.
England wrapped up a convincing victory thus taking the series 2–0. It was all a little too easy. Only the weather could have saved New Zealand from certain defeat. It rained, but just not quite enough, and England stepped up to the plate and showed their true class.
They are a far better side than New Zealand and they proved it. The bowling attack in particular throughout the series have performed very well although the Kiwis’ attack hasn’t done too badly either.… Read Full Article
What originally got me following international cricket was an early exposure to Test Match Special. As we all know, test cricket isn’t always the most breakneck paced sport, and filling in the time between overs, the drinks breaks, lunch, tea, and “British-summer” inspired interruptions is not an easy challenge. TMS has done this so well it pretty much justifies the license fee on it’s own. In the most recent 2-match series I’ve enjoyed “ask the umpire”, I’ve learned about bulbs that repel moles from your garden, and probably the highlight of TMS in 2013, I heard a wonderful “sermon”, written for a cricket loving groom who was getting married whilst the 2nd test was being played. Thank you to TMS for broadcasting this, and thank you to the Revd Stewart Fyfe for writing and sharing it with the nation via TMS.… Read Full Article
Whilst grumbling to myself about the end of play (due to light) last night, a thought suddenly occurred to me — with a red ball and a green pitch, can red-green colour-blind people play cricket successfully?
Bit of a steady day today… if the weather is OK tomorrow England will almost certainly win and if it chucks it down then a draw would seem likely.
But it should already be all over with a comfortable victory, probably by an innings. Cook should have enforced the follow-on. Even if England had ended up losing he would have made a clear statement of intent and put a marker down that he is an aggressive and gutsy character who takes no prisoners. Instead he took the defensive option.… Read Full Article
There are various topics I could have chosen to write about after the third day of the second test in the England vs New Zealand series.
The issues that immediately jump out are 1) another fantastic performance by England’s bowlers against a woeful Kiwi batting line up 2) a lovely return to form of the home side’s skipper and opening bat Alastair Cook 3) four wickets for Swann or 4) the highly debatable decision by England not to enforce the follow on (almost guaranteeing a series victory but greatly reducing the chances of a victory in the match with rain forecast). But today I am going to swerve a little left of centre and focus on something entirely different…
They say every day is a school day and today I learnt something new today… The great moustachioed former middle order Aussie slugger David Boon is match referee for this test. I like to think I have a good grasp of world cricket events but the promotion of the talismanic Tasmanian as a world referee in 2011 is something that passed me by but is something that also pleases me greatly.… Read Full Article
First off a great big cherry bun with extra icing congratulations to my fellow Yorkshire lad Joe Root for his maiden century. Joe – who even went to the same school as me and my fellow author of this website (King Ecgberts in Sheffield) – simply oozes class. Barring injury he’s going to be an England fixture for many years to come.
But Joe aside there has to be concern at the form, or lack thereof, of the England top order. And questions need to be raised for a team with designs on the World number one test ranking.… Read Full Article