Posts Tagged: Alastair Cook

0Ruthless India Despatch Visitors

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

0Political Machinations Start Series With a Bang

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

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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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

0Ashes to Ashes, England to Dust

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

0Australia Boxing Clever

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

0Australia urn their easy Ashes victory

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