JANUARY 29, 2015

Sri Lanka in a World Cup funk

Damith Samarakoon: For a Sri Lanka fan, the team's losing streak in the New Zealand ODIs is perhaps the equivalent of getting paralysed by poison. Your body is immobile giving the impression that you've died, but inside, you are still very much alive. Screaming.
Sri Lanka may be the most experienced team at the World Cup, but their personnel are misfiring © AFP
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JANUARY 13, 2015

Bravo, Pollard numbers don't add up

Noel Kalicharan : Although there has been a lot of criticism against Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard's omissions from the West Indies' ODI squad for South Africa and later the World Cup, their recent statistics indicate the axe might be justified
JANUARY 12, 2015

Pakistan's top-order problems could cost them at the World Cup

Ahmer Naqvi: The side is unimpressive on paper, and the bowling line-up is spotty too, but Pakistan have always done well with the odds stacked against them
JANUARY 03, 2015

Why Pakistan domestic cricket inspires pessimism

Hassan Cheema: Less-deserving players have been picked for the Pentangular and A squads at the expense of talented allrounders
DECEMBER 24, 2014

New Zealand cricket

The Adam Milne conundrum

A home World Cup is special to New Zealand and their build up has had people dusting out those dark horse quotes. Some have tipped them to clinch the trophy and to a large extent, that comes down to their abundant and impressive pace reserves. One of them, though, has posed an interesting problem to the captain, coach and selectors. Osman Samiuddin, in the National wonders how they can fit Adam Milne into the XI with Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan, Matt Henry and perhaps a couple of others as well

Milne is something else, though. There is nothing more bracing in cricket than happening on a new, largely unseen and super-quick bowler. If you have ever allowed the evening breeze of Karachi to bring you to life, especially after sweating away the day, it is precisely that effect. The world becomes a better place.

There is no better time for him to be in the side, either, with Shane Bond as bowling coach. There is actually something very Bond about Milne, not just in that upright simplicity as he begins his action but also in the stripped-down style of bowling itself.

DECEMBER 12, 2014

India's Adelaide blunder

V Ramnarayan: Picking a newbie as the sole spinner in the XI could be a mistake that will haunt them
AUGUST 27, 2014

English cricket

Cook's boys are all right

Criticism has been as regular as breakfast for Alastair Cook. He saved himself from becoming an "untenable" option as Test captain but the focus has now shifted to his one-day capabilities. With former players questioning if England have the composition to win a World Cup, Stephen Brenkley, in the Independent comes to the support of the embattled England captain

Cook's batting strike rate as captain is 81.89 runs per 100 balls, acceptable even by the era's standards. There seems to be a desire outside the selection room to pack the team with sluggers on the grounds that one or two are bound to come off. England may actually have it right as long as the totals to which they aspire are based on conditions on the day, not some statistical database. The plan is to backload the innings after a solid start with Joe Root, Morgan and Jos Buttler all scoring at a lick

AUGUST 23, 2014

The Phillip Hughes debate never ends

Russell Jackson: He makes buckets of runs but cannot hold his place in the Test side. What needs to work for him going forward?
AUGUST 13, 2014

The complex art of picking openers

Jon Hotten: An opening pair requires good form and a happy blend of personalities to succeed. Perhaps Cook needs a new partner in the Strauss mould
JULY 30, 2014

Cook's Brearley lesson

Jon Hotten: Mike Brearley managed to remain an outstanding captain despite his consistent failures with the bat. Is there a lesson in there for England's current skipper?
JULY 24, 2014

Do India stick with the same team?

V Ramnarayan: Binny did well at Trent Bridge, but surely he must make way for Ashwin now?
JULY 19, 2014

The decline of the specialist attacking bowler

Kartikeya Date: Why do teams pick a fourth bowler who is practically incapable of taking five wickets in a Test innings simply because he can score a fighting 40?
JUNE 10, 2014

An emotional jigsaw puzzle on an unlicensed roller-coaster

Andy Zaltzman: It's all up in the air for England selection-wise, goody
JUNE 08, 2014

Caribbean second comings

Roger Sawh: The return of Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn and Dwayne Bravo to the West Indies Test squad shows that no door is truly closed when it comes to sports
MAY 01, 2014

An English sort of revolution

Dave Hawksworth: It's all change for England heading into the home Test season. Or is it?
MAY 01, 2014

Aids for the armchair England selector

Alex Bowden: You can't be watching county cricket to make your picks. Here are more convenient and accurate methods to form an informed opinion
APRIL 30, 2014

Super Kings: squeezing the best out of the best

Bishen Jeswant: A look at how Chennai Super Kings' overseas players have added immense value to the team
APRIL 23, 2014

Trusting a man with two first names

Paul Ford: New Zealand's selectors have taken a punt on 27-year-old offspinner Mark Craig, highlighting the anaemic state of spin bowling in the land
APRIL 01, 2014

England cricket

A reality check for England

The depths to which England cricket has slipped over the winter has been stark. An Ashes mauling and their shocking defeat to the Netherlands in the World T20 has placed calls for stronger personnel and better strategies, both on and off the field. Michael Vaughan, in his column for the Telegraph, says the reality check should be well heeded.

We concentrated solely on winning last summer and not producing a brand of cricket that would sell the game to the public. Cricket is always fighting other sports for attention so we have to win well but we have produced steady teams capable of boring average sides into submission. It has led the players to believe they are better than they are. As supporters we have been given a dose of reality too about the standard of this England team. We have good players but not great players. Now Graeme Swann and Kevin Pietersen have gone we need to fill the dressing room with attitude and character, and not pick players on stats-driven form in county cricket.

Mike Selvey, in the Guardian, dissects England's performance in the World T20 and finds their humbling against an Associate nation was almost on the cards with their slippery fielding and their desperate lack of confidence.

To fail to chase a low total against a modest Netherlands side highlighted not only the lack of skills in the English game in general when confronted with alien conditions, but also a lack of commitment and personal responsibility, the latter something that Giles has been trying to drum into players without obvious success.

In the Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain says that it should not be Ashley Giles getting the blame for England's latest debacle.

That said, the real question for me is not about Giles -- or whoever else gets the job. It is about changing the brand of cricket played by England. When there's pace on the ball, and it's going through to the keeper and nibbling around under lights, they're fine because it's the kind of cricket they play at home.

MARCH 23, 2014

Brash youngsters or scapegoats?

Ahmer Naqvi: It's easy to blame some of Pakistan's young batsmen for their brash approach but how about singling out the underperforming senior players instead?
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