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In Case You Missed It: Heath Streak's fall, Babar Azam's rise, and a week of thrillers

Our best content from the week gone by

Deepti Unni
Heath Streak was charged with five breaches of the ICC's anti-corruption code  •  ICC via Getty

Heath Streak was charged with five breaches of the ICC's anti-corruption code  •  ICC via Getty

The IPL has only just kicked off but we're already knee-deep in nailbiters - Sanju Samson's heroic hundred in the Rajasthan Royals' first game, then David Miller and Chris Morris' rescue act in the second, for starters. Elsewhere, there's a new world No. 1 ODI batter, and Pakistan look well on their way to sweeping the T20I series against South Africa. And Heath Streak has been found guilty of being the go-between for a known corrupter and been banned for eight years. Get all the highlights, and lowlights, in our weekly round-up.
Heath Streak handed eight-year ban for corruption
The former Zimbabwe captain is understood to have facilitated approaches by a corruptor - identified as Deepak Agarwal, who had also approached Shakib al Hasan, resulting in Shakib's two-year ban - to people within teams he was coach at. Nagraj Gollapudi has the details of how Streak's dalliance with Agarwal unfolded.
Babar Azam becomes No. 1 ODI batter, ends Virat Kohli's 41-month reign
Azam vaulted to the top after his 94 in the third ODI against South Africa, becoming the fourth Pakistan player to hit No. 1, after Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad and Mohammad Yousuf. Azam also scored his maiden T20I century in the third game against South Africa to give Pakistan a 2-1 lead in the series.
Which was the best IPL season so far?
One of the early ones? One dominated by Mumbai? Or a Dhoni special? Our staffers watch the footage and get to arguing.
Do players trust data insights? Not as much as analysts and coaches might want
Cricketers are now increasingly exposed to numbers, but many factors still hold them back from wholehearted acceptance.
Sanju Samson: 'You're a captain when you're fielding, not when you're batting'
The new Rajasthan Royals captain reflects on how far he has come, and talks about his approach to leadership - of which there was plenty on display in the Royals' first game, where he singlehandedly almost hauled his team across the line.
Who will captain Australia after Tim Paine? Does Steven Smith still have a chance?
Ian Chappell believes Cricket Australia has to answer a number of questions before picking a replacement for their current Test captain.
Harshal Patel rises from doing bit-part roles to being main man
No one had ever picked up a five-for against the Mumbai Indians in the history of the IPL, until Harshal Patel's maiden five-wicket haul in this season's opener. It's a reward for the new dimensions he's added to his bowling, says Saurabh Somani.
Vijay Shankar: 'I'm not thinking about making an India comeback. I'm just enjoying myself'
After a season hobbled by injury, the Sunrisers Hyderabad allrounder says he's fighting fit and ready for anything the IPL might throw at him.
Is it possible to enjoy the County Championship and the IPL together? They're so similar, no?
For one thing, they're both cool. They're also playing out in empty stadiums. Alan Gardner hardly knows which one to watch.
Is Shakib Al Hasan a greater allrounder than Garry Sobers?
And does R Ashwin rank higher than Imran Khan? Anantha Naryanan's comprehensive analysis of the numbers reveals all.
The greatest IPL performances: Suresh Raina's 87 vs the Kings XI Punjab
In our staff poll of the best performances in the past 13 editions, Raina's 25-ball breakneck epic came in in seventh place.
The five days that lifted Prithvi Shaw out of his rut
After a poor IPL in 2020 and being dropped in Australia and for the England series, the Delhi Capitals opener went back to the drawing board with coach Pravin Amre
25 Questions with Nicholas Pooran: Who's more likely to cry watching a movie - Chris Gayle or Kieron Pollard?
And is Pollard any good at Fifa? We got the West Indies batter to dish on his team-mates in the latest 25 Questions.

Deepti Unni is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo