There was a point in the fourth test between India and England when the hosts were 30-odd runs behind their opponents with only three wickets remaining.
It was a false dawn though and the masterful Kohli and magnificent Jayant Yadav (in only his third test) combined to take the match and with it any hopes of a series draw beyond the grasp of the visitors.
It served to underline the gulf in experience of conditions on the sub-continent. India rammed home their greater knowledge and understanding of how to play in such an arena. Through most of this series they have been the far better of the sides and a win was inevitable once a lead of 200 was surrendered. … Read Full Article
During a week in which the world saw a new President elected Commander-in-Chief in America and British Prime Minster Theresa May visited India, it is perhaps apt the first test is compared to global political machinations.
The saying goes that a week is a long time in politics – and the saying would appear apt in cricket too.
Only a few days ago many naysayers (myself included) were fearing the hosts could inflict a series whitewash on the visitors — especially if the top order in particular didn’t apply themselves better.… Read Full Article
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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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
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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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
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
For what I am about to say may I be struck down from above…but I am glad that this Ashes series is at an end. Quite simply Australia have played far better than the sum of their individual parts and England have been, for the large part, absolutely diabolical.
As sure as night follows day the Aussies wrapped up a devastating 5–0 series win, yet again bowling England out for a pitiful total not worthy of an international line up. The visitors now need to go back, re-group and pick up the pieces from this potentially disastrous tour down-under.… Read Full Article
English winters are a terrible thing. Cold and wet, the season also means no home cricket whatsoever.
Christmas is one shining light in the fog of the cold and to add to this the thought of an annual test match that starts on Boxing Day and usually held under blue skies and warm temperatures is one that stirs the imagination and one that I will raise a cold beer to.
Boxing Day tests have been held every year since 1980 (except 1989 when a one day match vs Sri Lanka was played instead (boo – ed) and at the Melbourne Cricket Club in Australia – aka the MCG). They have also been dominated by some massive crowds (which have approached six figures on occasion).… Read Full Article
With a ruthless determination and a killer instinct worthy of a wolf chasing a wounded deer, Australia duly completed the rout of a demoralised England this morning.
England simply haven’t turned up this series and a rejuvenated Australia have preyed on every weakness and every failing to humiliate what is still a pretty good side.
Winning a fourth consecutive Ashes series was a pretty tall order and it was one that was beyond England. The urn now returns to Australia (figuratively speaking, anyway!) and we no doubt won’t hear the end of it from our cousins on the other side of the planet.
As Cook admitted in his post-match press conference, England have been outplayed in all areas and will, I suspect, claim a 5–0 triumph. It’s simply not their style to take their foot off the gas. The wolf has caught the prey, now he wants to finish every last tasty morsel.… Read Full Article