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Feature

In Case You Missed It: India look to conquer, England need a win

The best content from the week gone by

No one wanted to be in Joe Root's shoes this week  •  CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images

No one wanted to be in Joe Root's shoes this week  •  CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Ashes to ashes, rust to dust for England as they lose their second Test in a row with barely a whimper. Can they claw back in the Boxing Day Test or are they looking at another capitulation? India go into the Test series against South Africa with a squad used to winning - and they will be hoping this is the combination that gets them their first series win in South Africa. Dive into the stories of the week - including a very candid chat with India spinner R Ashwin - in this week's round-up.
Australia reassert age-old dominance of England at home
An epic Jos Buttler rearguard couldn't save England in the second Ashes Test as Australia romped to 275-run victory. England may have dragged the match kicking and screaming into the fifth day, but it didn't mask their failings with bat and ball. Andrew Miller says Joe Root and his wide-eyed wannabees' abysmal run almost warrants an apology to the cast of 2006's gut-wrenching defeat. Ian Chappell also pulls no punches in his criticism of Root's captaincy, while Mark Nicholas asks if England are even enjoying themselves anymore or are just going through the motions.
England's Melbourne conundrums: the likely changes for a must-win Test
England have to survive Melbourne to keep their Ashes hope alive. Newcomer Zak Crawley is tipped for a recall at the MCG - ideally England would not be turning to a batter who averages 11.14 in Tests in 2021, but desperate times, desperate measures says Matt Roller. And it isn't just England that will face a stiff test - the MCG's new and improved pitch will face scrutiny too.
R Ashwin: 'I've always been good at assessing batsmen, but now I think I've taken it to another level'
In a no-holds barred chat with Sidharth Monga, the India spinner talks about how he deconstructs batters' techniques ahead of and during a series, his struggles with injury, and more.
From chaos to calm: How India have evolved since their last South Africa tour
The team has always had the skill but now they have learned to harness it better to win all over the world, says Karthik Krishnaswamy. Might they win their first Test series in South Africa this year? Also, how formidable have South Africa been at home lately? Not nearly as much over the last decade and a half, says Monga as he crunches some numbers. Also, how much do you remember about India's Test series in South Africa? Take our quiz and find out.
What will new-look South Africa's starting XI against India look like?
South Africa go into this series with a set of fresh faces, a strong bowling attack and a new captain at the helm. Might this be the key to the side's Test renaissance, asks Firdose Moonda. The home side have gone especially big on pace for this series. Get to know the seven fast bowlers who made the cut.
Who are the worst and best overnight 'resumers' in Test cricket?
Peeved England fans want to know in this week's Ask Steven. Steven Lynch has the answers to that and other question, like who has gone scoreless in the most successive Test innings?
Virat Kohli's biggest gambit yet
Kohli's press conference last week was something of a coup, says Monga. He has made many bold - and sometimes unpopular - calls in his captaincy, but taking on the board might be the boldest yet.
Thirty years after readmission: how far has South African cricket come since 1991?
Vincent Barnes, Dave Richardson and Geoffrey Toyana, representatives of three segments of the country's society, tell us.