Well done Bangladesh on a first test win over England. The victory was thoroughly deserved and the series could have so easily finished 2–0 to the hosts rather than the 1–1 draw.
Both matches were excellent adverts for test cricket in that they were testing for both teams with the Tigers in my mind claiming a points victory over the two games. In Mehedi Hasan they have clearly unearthed a young diamond who may yet help to propel his team to more victories against the top teams.… Read Full Article
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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I’ve been away on holiday for the past 2½ weeks and haven’t had chance to write about the cricket. During that time there have been 2 more Ashes test matches and England have extended their lead to 3–0. Having been away from all the talking heads I haven’t heard what they have to say, so here are some of my own thoughts, uninfluenced by the pundits.
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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
After such a slow start to the game the first test finished at break neck speed today – and what a performance by Stuart Broad to raise the chequered flag.
Not only did he club 20 odd important runs (not out) as England’s innings came to a quick and disappointing end but he followed that by a spell of supreme fast-medium bowling which decimated the New Zealand order.
When Broad is on-song like that he was today there is simply no stopping him and he can be virtually unplayable. The last time he delivered a performance like this was against the Old Enemy at the Oval in the 2009 Ashes clash. I recorded the highlights of that day’s play and kept them for a few years just so I could watch it again and again. That day he got a 5‑for, claiming the scalps of Watson, Ponting, Hussey, Clarke and Haddin – so pretty much the Australian top order.… Read Full Article