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In Case You Missed it - Auction action, backroom turbulence and awards galore

Our best content from the week gone by

Deepti Unni
Stuart Broad and James Anderson became the latest casualties of England's Ashes campaign  •  Getty Images

Stuart Broad and James Anderson became the latest casualties of England's Ashes campaign  •  Getty Images

Paddles are at the ready and wishlists are being combed through one last time as the IPL mega auction returns today after four years. In India, West Indies have come a cropper in the T20I series, losing their first two matches despite notable performances from the likes of Jason Holder and Odean Smith. A dominant Australia women are making all the opposition very nervous for the World Cup next month, having come through the Ashes undefeated, while the men's Ashes have seen heads roll aplenty in England. Catch up on all the action - and the winners of the ESPNcricinfo awards for the best performances in 2021 - in our weekly round-up.
Rishabh Pant, Shaheen Afridi, Kate Cross and Kane Williamson win ESPNcricinfo awards for 2021
Pant's series-defining knock at the Gabba, Kyle Jamieson's five-for that gave New Zealand their first World Test Championship title, and Fakhar Zaman's blistering 155-ball 193 are among the performances that took top honours - find the full list of winners here.
Prasidh Krishna's miserly four-for leads India to series win
He returned figures of 4 for 12 in nine overs as India's hit-the-deck bustle trumped West Indies. The visitors will take consolation from Odean Smith's performance in the second T20I, though: called up when Kieron Pollard sat out the match with a niggle, Smith had India tottering at 43 for 3 with his two wickets in the 12th over.
Australia's takeaways: the summer of McGrath
The all-conquering Australia women crushed England to complete their Ashes campaign unbeaten, sending other teams an ominous warning about what to expect next month.
An inevitable outcome, but Justin Langer was let down by Cricket Australia
The Langer drama came to a head this week with the coach announcing his resignation. Alex Malcolm says it was always going to be difficult for a long-term solution after the August meltdown but there are also wider issues that need to be addressed. Andrew McGlashan looks at who could be in the running to replace Langer.
The building blocks of a good IPL auction strategy
With the ten franchises set to spend big bucks and firm up their squads over the weekend, Gaurav Sundararaman breaks down the intricacies of getting auction strategy right. The Runorder crew put their heads together with Daniel Vettori and Aakash Chopra to see if they could figure out who the most expensive player in the auction is going to be. Still foggy about how it all works and who has how much money to spend and what this Jofra Archer secret bid is all about? Vishal Dikshit has the only auction FAQ you need. Want to test your knowledge of IPL auctions past? Have a go at this quiz.
Do James Anderson and Stuart Broad really have the hunger for the rebuild? We're about to find out
As the fallout from England's disastrous men's Ashes campaign continues, Andrew Miller says Andrew Strauss' axing of England's veteran pairing is a message to the entire Test set-up. Six more players from the Ashes squad have been culled, with a whole set of new faces taking their place. Matt Roller has a player-by-player guide to the less familiar names in England Test squad ahead of the West Indies series.
Krunal Pandya: 'Numbers don't always justify what you have done. What matters is that you're there for the team'
The India allrounder talks to Nagraj Gollapudi about his last few IPL seasons for Mumbai Indians, his place in the batting order, and winning matches with his bowling.
Shahrukh Khan: 'Even if I only play five balls, there's a process to it'
The Tamil Nadu finisher is expected to go for big bucks in the IPL auction, but he prefers to shut out the noise and stay in the bubble in his head, says Deivarayan Muthu.
'I want to come back as the Natarajan of old'
Having been sidelined by injury after injury, the left-arm quick has been using his time away from competitive cricket to fine-tune his skills and bowling action, and aims to bounce back in 2022.
The class and culture war at the heart of English cricket
David Hopps reviews Duncan Stone's book, which examines the history of the game in England through the lens of club cricket and its ingrained elitism.
Who's the oldest bowler to take a five-for in a Test?
And where does Jimmy Anderson stand on that list? Spoiler: not at the top. Steven Lynch answers all your trivia and stats questions in this week's Ask Steven.

Deepti Unni is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo