In Case You Missed It: England's surreal week, Bangladesh's super start

Our best content from the week gone by

Deepti Unni
England's loss is England's gain: Ben Stokes' makeshift team of young hopefuls battered Pakistan in the first ODI  •  Getty Images

England's loss is England's gain: Ben Stokes' makeshift team of young hopefuls battered Pakistan in the first ODI  •  Getty Images

Covid-19 threw another spanner in the cricket works this week after three members of England's ODI squad tested positive just a couple of days before the series with Pakistan was scheduled to begin. Any hopes Pakistan had of being able to walk over this makeshift team were quickly dashed with England's crushing win in the first ODI. It was high drama in Harare, meanwhile, where Blessing Muzarabani and Taskin Ahmed's mid-pitch stand-off set the tone for the Zimbabwe-Bangladesh Test series. With a lot more cricket coming up, here's your catch-up of all the action that went down this week.
England showcase strength in depth as Saqib Mahmood blows Pakistan away
It's been a strange week for England - the first-pick ODI squad was forced to isolate after three players and management tested positive for Covid-19, and an entirely new squad was floated for the Pakistan series with Ben Stokes as captain. England's white-ball depth was vindicated when they romped to a massive victory over Pakistan in the first ODI, with Zak Crawley and Dawid Malan guiding them to victory with 28.1 overs to spare. In Sri Lanka, batting coach Grant Flower tested positive as well after the team's return from the England tour, but it is not yet known what effect this might have on the series with India, which begins Tuesday. Osman Samiuddin says the outbreak of Covid in the England camp throws some of the game's inequities into sharp relief, and asks does it make sense for cricketers to be locked down in a country where the public at large is free?
Mahmudullah and Taskin Ahmed revel in comeback party
Bangladesh took the fight to Zimbabwe in Harare where Mahmudullah and Taskin Ahmed put together a 191-run ninth-wicket stand. Bangladesh's strong start put Mohammad Isam in mind of the team's tour of Zimbabwe in 2013, when Robiul Islam took a Test five-for - the last Bangladesh fast bowler to do so - and how the now-forgotten bowler could have lessons on bowling and life for the current bunch of players.
Stafanie Taylor's all-round brilliance guides West Indies home for 1-0 lead
After wiping Pakistan women out 3-0 in the T20I series, West Indies also took the lead in the first ODI after Taylor picked up three wickets and scored a century - her first in nearly eight years. She had previously taken a hat-trick in the last T20I, becoming only the second West Indies women's bowler to the milestone in T20Is.
Glenn Phillips: 'If I don't know what's going on, how does the bowler?'
The in-form New Zealand batter explains to Matt Roller the thought process behind his reverse pull that went viral during the Vitality blast last month.
What guard is right for which batter?
It's down to the conditions you've grown up in, your trigger movements, and how you're trying to influence the bowler's tactics, says Aakash Chopra.
Has anyone bagged a pair and sent down more wicketless overs than Jasprit Bumrah in the WTC final?
Also: has any player been out for 99 in their last Test? Steven Lynch has answers to these and more questions in his stats column.
Quiz: What record was achieved in the 1998 India-Pakistan final in Dhaka?
We test your knowledge on tri-series and quadrangulars in our quiz this week.
What lines and lengths should you bowl to Kohli, Smith, Williamson, Root and Pujara?
Kartikeya Date's analysis of beehive data of lines and lengths bowled to these batters from 2012 onwards provides some insights.
25 Questions: Which of Ben Dunk's team-mates brags the most about their big-hitting abilities?
And who would he not sit next to on a long flight? We asked the batter about hairstyles, his bubble gum habit, and a lot more.
How does New Zealand's pace quartet measure up against West Indies' legendary line-up?
It's rare to have a genuine fast foursome, but when you do, it's a recipe for success, says Ian Chappell.

Deepti Unni is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo