Thursday, 28 January 2016

Plenty of Questions still for England

So the series was won and whilst going to the number one ranked side in the world and gaining a win in their backyard is nothing to be sniffed at, I can’t help feeling that there will be plenty of questions for the England management to ponder. A fourth innings defeat where we were skittled for 101, needs to be consigned to Room 101 as we wrote the other day. A dead rubber, a meaningless Test perhaps some might say but in international cricket there is no such thing and for the experienced England fan we have seen the problems before. At the end of every tour there is more of a 360 degree appraisal than a post mortem. However the truth is staring us in the face that England have serious problems in some key positions and until those are tackled this young, promising team won’t get any better. It’s the difference between being number one in the world or to be happy and content to be amongst the pack.

Cook...questions

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Review of the 4th Test in South Efrica

England lost the fourth and final Test in this series as they played like a side who had celebrated their series win in Johannesburg with a visit to a wine reserve. Less of a diamond performance, this one was more like a lump of coal. This was one to forget in a showing described by Trevor Bayliss as "limp". This one boys and girls, was limper than my bedroom antics after twelve pints. From the sublime to the ridiculous, England's Lions were beaten by the gladiatorial South Africans in their Centurion heartland by 280 runs as they were bowled out for 101 in a batting performance that should be consigned to Room 101. Read on for a review of the fourth Test.

Centuwion, sorry Supersport Park

Friday, 22 January 2016

The Sam Robson Interview

Sam Robson is one of the nicest blokes in cricket. With an English mother and an Aussie father, he was wanted by both countries a few years back before choosing his mother's side. One of the heaviest run scorers in recent years in the domestic game in recent years, here Sam waxes lyrical about Tim Murtagh's musical tastes, the poshness of Nick Gubbins and the golfing ability of Olly Rayner. Having opened the batting with three of the outstanding openers in Test cricket over the last few years in Andrew Strauss, Chris Rogers and Alastair Cook, Sam gives us the lowdown on their approach to opening the batting in this intriguing interview. We caught up with him recently whilst in Australia and here's what he had to say...

Robbo tonning up for England

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Review of the 3rd Test in South Africa

The beauty of South Africa is its diversity. A rainbow nation, there are eleven different official languages spoken in the country. Cricket in the country is no different with the tropical Durban, the backdrop of Cape Town and then we had the heartland of Jo'burg. This is the Wanderers, this is their manor and what a Test match it produced. For two and a half days this one oscillated, swung back and forth and favoured each team like a female member of the Giggs family. It then exploded into life. This one was a classic as England sealed the series with a victory on the veldt. Read on for our review of the third Test...

The Wanderers

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

I'm a bit bored of T20....

There I've said it. Countless people across the world won't agree with me, but I am. Nick Hoult in today's Telegraph backed up by Michael Vaughan think Test cricket will die in a few years, citing the case of AB De Villiers. I have to disagree. For me Twenty Twenty cricket has become boring, the goose that has laid the golden egg has been over fed, fois gras style by cricket administrators and here is why Test cricket is still the ultimate game.

Vaughan...worried for the future of Test cricket

Friday, 8 January 2016

The Nervous Nineties

The nineties can be a nervous time for anyone. I am not talking about the decade where Bill Clinton had to go and explain to his missus Hilary that the Monica Lewinsky story was about to break, although I can imagine that he was twitching a bit. I am not talking about Britpop, Blair, the IRA ceasefire, the advent of the Premier League or the England cricket team getting smashed by the Aussies. This piece is all about why batsmen get out in the nineties...

Athers about to get run out for 99

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Review of the 2nd Test in South Africa

There is something magical about Newlands. Table Mountain, which isn't what Gary Ballance does before he has a boogie in a nightclub, overshadows the ground and any stadium that has a brewery next door gets the thumbs up from the Middle Stump. 12,000 members of the Barmy Army took advantage of 22 rands to a pound, as England looked to over turn their abysmal record here. Newlands in turn produced a 'Chief Executive's pitch' to makes sure that their hard earned was spent for the full five days. Here in the UK millions of us trudged through the rain cursing our jobs but no matter how bad your career is, just pray that you aren't a bowler on this surface. The bowlers averages went up like a price of train fare. This one, was honours even.

Beautiful Newlands

Friday, 1 January 2016

Ones to watch in 2016

Every year on New Year's Day, we give you the names to look out for in the coming year. These are the ones to watch, the players who will light up the future of English cricket. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes our picks are stacking shelves in a supermarket the following year. Here we look at some of the brightest names coming through the ranks, and we are pleased to say that the future looks extremely bright. Happy New Year boys and girls...

Tom Curran...prospect