Full name James Cranston
Born January 9, 1859, Bordesley, Birmingham, Warwickshire
Died December 10, 1904, Bristol (aged 45 years 336 days)
Major teams England, Gloucestershire
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Left-arm bowler
|Only Test||England v Australia at The Oval, Aug 11-12, 1890 scorecard|
|First-class span||1876 - 1899|
There have been many one-Test wonders in the history of English cricket, and it would be pardonable to assume that James Cranston was discarded after his one appearance based on an unimpressive top score of 16. In fact, Cranston played a vital role in England winning the 1890 Test series against Australia. Brought into the team at the last minute for the final Test at The Oval, he played two important innings in a low-scoring match. Wisden said that "his defence under very trying conditions against the bowling of Turner and Ferris was masterly". England needed just 95 to win in the final innings, but the scoreboard read 34 for 4 when Cranston came in to accompany Read. When he was dismissed, England needed just 12, which they made with the loss of four more wickets.
Cranston first played for Gloucestershire in 1876 at the age of 17, and was noted for his superb fielding as well as his solid left-hand batting. He played with an immaculately straight bat, had an excellent defence and was a strong driver. He left Gloucestershire in 1883 and played a few games for Worcestershire (1885) and Warwickshire (1886-87) before either county was awarded first-class status. He returned to Gloucestershire in 1889. His fielding had declined, in part due to his increasing weight (not necessarily an impediment in a county side that was led by WG), but his batting had improved to the extent that he was considered one of the best left-handers in England. In 1890, there was little between him and Grace in average and aggregate, and he recorded his highest score of 152. His career came to an unfortunate end when he suffered a fit on the field of play in 1891. He recovered sufficiently to play four more times for Gloucestershire eight years later, but never achieved the success of 1889 and 1890.
Sri Lanka are not the first touring team to struggle in typical English conditions, but that fact does not detract from James Anderson's magnificence
A win for Kolkata Knight Riders will mean they finish in the top four, leaving the final league match to decide the fourth team in the playoffs
Poor form in the IPL, and the selectors' decision to reward consistent domestic performers such as Faiz Fazal and Yuzvendra Chahal, resulted in the omission of Hardik Pandya and Pawan Negi for the Zimbabwe tour
James Anderson has fantastic variation to his bowling, but the value of the stock ball should never be underestimated
Despite having most bases covered and unearthing an exciting young talent, defending champions Mumbai Indians endured a frustrating, stop-start season