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Feature

In Case You Missed it: A new England captain, and a topsy-turvy IPL season

Our best content from the week gone by

Cap'n crunch time: Ben Stokes has to steer England through some choppy waters  •  Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Cap'n crunch time: Ben Stokes has to steer England through some choppy waters  •  Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

England's big red-ball reset has officially begun with the announcement of the new Test captain, and Ben Stokes has a long list of tasks ahead of him. The IPL is just past its halfway mark and the points table is currently led by Hardik Pandya's Gujarat Titans, one of its two newest teams, while old favourites and past champions languish at the bottom. Here's a round-up of the top news stories and features of the week.
Ben Stokes named England men's Test captain
After Rob Key was appointed director of cricket last week, his first recommendation was to offer Stokes the captaincy and the Durham allrounder was confirmed as successor to Joe Root yesterday. Ian Chappell, who had said England would be in trouble if Stokes wasn't interested in the job, says there is still much to be done if England are to get back to a full-strength team, and the ECB isn't moving fast enough.
Graeme Smith cleared of racism charges
CSA recognised that Smith's tenure with the board had been difficult for him and "regrets" the "unwarranted public disclosures of his personal information" and will now pay all the costs of the arbitration. Firdose Moonda has an explainer on how and why Smith was cleared of racially discriminatory conduct.
At the IPL
Mid-season report: Titans' Hardik conundrum, Sunrisers' absent spinners, RCB's powerplay woes, and more
Halfway through the IPL some key trends have emerged. Karthik Krishnaswamy and Gaurav Sundararaman run through the problem areas that each team has had to manage so far. Shashank Kishore has a list of five players, including Umesh Yadav and Shahbaz Ahmed, who started the IPL as back-ups but have proved valuable enough to become certainties. Jarrod Kimber has eyes only for pace sensation Umran Malik, who set the IPL alight with his raw pace. Our experts Dan Vettori and Chris Lynn discuss whether it's time to fast-track Malik into the Indian team. It's also a good time to refresh your memories of IPLs past with our quiz.
Go hard or go home: Is Punjab Kings' batting approach futuristic or unsustainable?
The team have adopted an high-risk-high-reward approach this season. Is it paying dividends? Matt Roller examines franchise's pivot to aggression.
What is ailing Virat Kohli?
Two golden ducks and a string of low scores have added to the growing chorus calling for him to take a break. Shashank Kishore looks at the possible reasons behind his slump in form. Jarrod Kimber says Kohli's batting currently looks like a human question mark but given who he is, it's not a simple case of just dropping him from the playing XI.
How often has a batter been run out without facing a delivery at the start of a T20 innings?
And is Mumbai Indians' eight consecutive losses the worst start to an IPL season by any team? All your current and past stats and trivia questions answered in this week's Ask Steven.
Test failures a worry, but Tamim expects 'very, very good' Bangladesh ODI team if things go to plan
Mohammad Isam speaks to the ODI captain about the team's recent win streak in the format and what he sees in the near future for Bangladesh cricket.
Away in Canada, Roya Samim keeps a candle lit for women's cricket in Afghanistan
Firdose Moonda speaks to the former Afghanistan women's cricketer who once saw a future for women in the game in her country but now there is nothing. "Cricket can be a life for me," she hopes.
Aussies abroad: Red-hot Hazlewood, Siddle sizzles, Labuschagne lament, and more
Alex Malcom takes stock of the flock of migratory cricketers playing county cricket and the IPL. Here is how they fared last week.
Watch: Shreyas Iyer builds the perfect batter
Whose reverse sweep would the Kolkata Knight Riders captain pick? And which two of his own shots make the cut?