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Brian Lara watches the ball

The kinaesthetic beauty of timing

When batsmen transfer their body weight and movement precisely into the point of contact between bat and ball, the results can be glorious

ESPNcricinfo staff

Alastair Cook became an Ashes winning captain at the first attempt

Test Captaincy

Busting the captaincy myth

Do players really lose form under the added responsibility?

David Willey tees off

What is the X-factor in cricket?

It's hard to pin down, particularly in statistics. You could say it's an aesthetic, an impression that what players who have it are doing is innate to them

Ajit Wadekar made 48

Lefties I've loved

From Sobers to Sangakkara, plenty oozed grace at the crease. Each had his own distinctive style

James Anderson removed Martin Guptill second ball

England cricket

Anderson's adventure to 400

Writing for BBC, Stephan Shemilt & Sam Sheringham, go through a few highlights in the career of one of England's greatest Test bowlers

Brendon McCullum and the New Zealand team walk off the field

Being McCullum

He has found a way of keeping his instincts free and fearless while offering real gravitas, and that is quite something to behold

James Anderson bowls

The wrecking ball and the subtle knife

Ian Botham will soon be overtaken by James Anderson as England's leading Test leading wicket-taker. The two couldn't be more different from each other