Australia’s rampant rabbit isn’t losing the Ashes

(Picture: IB Times)

(Picture: IB Times)

For all the pomp and circumstance that surrounded the Trent Bridge debacle, the Ashes wasn’t really the catalyst, crux or anything in between.

It’s the regeneration.  Since the retirement of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and co, there’s been a rebuild.  The 2013-2014 Ashes was combed over by England’s dreadful performances.  Many of these have already been talked about, dissected and torn apart. Continue reading

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Resurgent England still potentially rely on too few for too much

Joe Root plays through the off side in England's ODI win (photo: Getty Images)

Joe Root plays through the off side in England’s ODI win (photo: Getty Images)

As a feature of comparison, here are England’s test and ODI squads from the recent series against New Zealand: Continue reading

Drawn series, big wins, but England problems still remain

England's situation encapsulated by Gary Ballance (photo: Getty Images)

England‘s situation encapsulated by Gary Ballance (photo: Getty Images)

New Zealand catapulted themselves to victory at Headingley in the last match of their two-test series against England this week.  One game prior, at the revered Lord’s, they were brushed aside by 124 runs.

Social media was awash with fans giving New Zealand the upper hand headed into the first test.  Continue reading

England’s dizzy heights, and a new future coach: the time is now

Andrew Strauss & Peter Moores: into the fire (photo: PA)

Andrew Strauss & Peter Moores: into the fire (photo: PA)

After what has been a tormenting and agonising period in world cricket for England, both on and off the field, there’s the slightest glimmer of hope.

Peter Moores, sent packing by the England Cricket Board in the last week, continued to tread on razor-sharp glass shards as each day passed.  Continue reading

If England want the Ashes – or cricket – back, they can’t do it quibbling over the counter

Peter Moores, Paul Downton and Alastair Cook say it all (photo: Getty Images)

Peter Moores, Paul Downton and Alastair Cook say it all (photo: Getty Images)

Forget that there’s a changeover at the top of the chain in May; England will still look like a pack of seagulls fighting over the last delicious hot chip.  Except that chip isn’t delicious, and the men in blue aren’t close to setting themselves back on the rails just yet.

Welcome to the Ashes 2015, where the most dangerous issue on the table is whether England’s A-team will turn up in Cardiff for the first test.  Continue reading

Cricket: England are being overcooked and then burnt

Alastair Cook's facial expression says it all (photo: The Mirror)

Alastair Cook‘s facial expression says it all (photo: The Mirror)

After a 95 run drubbing at the hands of India, and having not won any of their last 10 Tests, England are searching for answers that should have come six months ago.

Unfortunately, the management of the situation at the time, the Kevin Pietersen drama included, did not allow for the fresh overhaul that the England Cricket Board and on-field team needed. Continue reading

Cricket: The Ashes: Emphasis on a whitewash

Steve Smith & Australia will look to continue their good form on Boxing Day (ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

Steve Smith & Australia will look to continue their good form on Boxing Day (ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

The message has been simple, if not roundabout: Australia needs to keep the foot on the gas until the end of the Sydney test.

With the fourth Ashes test starting tomorrow at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), England faces – metaphorically – a do or die battle to regain some pride.  Continue reading

Cricket: Players In Focus: Alastair Cook, Martin Guptill and Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle playing for the Sydney Thunder, Jan 2013 (photo mine)

Chris Gayle playing for the Sydney Thunder, Jan 2013 (photo mine)

Sports teams need leaders.  Whether it be a captain, or an experienced head, someone on the field needs to be able to take charge and encourage.

England captain Alastair Cook, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill and West Indian whirlwind Chris Gayle continue to light up stadiums around the world with powerful performances, and are three such players who are not only leaders for their team, but also their country.

Cook

Since taking over the test captaincy from Andrew Strauss in August of 2012, Cook immediately established himself as a captain who could also be tasked to perform at the top of the order. Continue reading

Cricket: India the proving ground for Ashes

Glenn Maxwell v Sydney Thunder, Jan 8, 2013 (photo  mine)

Glenn Maxwell v Sydney Thunder, Jan 8, 2013 (photo mine)

India.  The dustbowls.  Home of the raging turner or the swinging sensation.

Also the proving ground for a host of Australian players before the Ashes series in England in July.

Questions will include; do both spinners get played, which pacemen get the gig, and who is going to open the batting?

Nathan Lyon will relish the challenge of really getting the chance to prove why he is Australia’s number one spinner.  Michael Clarke returns to the country where he burst onto the test scene in 2004.

Will it be the left arm combination, the Mitchell’s, Starc and Johnson, who can undo India with pace and swing?  Or perhaps Peter Siddle will enjoy steaming in and kicking up a cloud of dust.

Chennai is the first venue between these two rivals.  And if there is going to be any indication of form, it is going to be the sub continent.

Here’s a player by player preview (the entire 17 man squad): Continue reading

Cricket: 2012 World XIII (Tests, T20’s, OD’s)

James Anderson, 2010 (photo mine)

James Anderson, 2010 (photo mine)

Well, it is that time of year again.  The time where obsessed cricket fanatics (such as myself) sit down, ponder for hours, and then finally write some sort of scribble about the top players for the year.

This is a first for me, and I’ve decided to pick 13 players worldwide who will make up my inaugural World XIII.  They are in no particular order.

When some of you read this, you might ask ‘where’s Brendon McCullum, or perhaps Hashim Amla?’  Yes, I did consider them, but in my mind didn’t make the cut for 2012.  Their years were both excellent and helped lead their teams to some great victories, but in my mind they were beaten by others for consistency and other similar factors.  Add to the fact that picking just thirteen players is extremely difficult.

Amla was ahead of McCullum in breaking into the squad however. Continue reading