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Articles that Peter Roebuck wrote for ESPN Cricinfo (ESPN Sports Media Ltd).

Phil Hughes

The Road Out of Hell

12 February 2009. The signs are that Australia may have put the worst behind them. Australia has suffered its worst cricketing summer since the community was rent asunder by rebel tours, retirements and other upheavals in the early 1980s. In those days antipodean cricket was down in the dumps. Defeats piled up at the hands […]

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Hashim Amla

The Unbreakable South African

29 January 2009. Humble, resilient, modest and unflappable, Hashim Amla has overcome plenty and emerged the better for it. Hashim Amla counts amongst the most serene of cricketers. Nothing seems to ruffle him. Along the way both life and cricket have tried to disturb his tranquility, only to be met with a mild smile and […]

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Matthew Hayden

The Man Beneath the Muscle

14 January 2009. Hayden was typecast as a batting bully, but he was subtler than that, and the same divergence showed in his character as well. And so one of the last big guns has fallen silent. Only Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting remained from the team that pounded so many opponents into submission in […]

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Yuvraj Singh cricketer

Win-win Situation

17 December 2008. Every now and then a Test match comes along that transcends the moment and lifts the spirit. Chennai was one such. If ever cricket needed to rise to the occasion it was over the last few days in Chennai. Emotion plays an enormous part in sport. Try as we might with computers […]

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Richard Hadlee bowling

The Enemy Within

3 December 2008. New Zealand cricket has been reduced to its present low state chiefly by a lack of cohesion. New Zealand cricket is at low ebb. Although it may not return to the desperate days of the last century – when individual deeds were celebrated in the absence of any hope of victory, a […]

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni batting

Dhoni Plays it Straight

12 November 2008. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a forthright, straightforward cricketer unburdened by the baggage that generally accompanies a man onto the field, thereby restricting his outlook. At once he is intelligent and simple, aggressive and canny, tough and respectful. He did not come to cricket as a youthful dreamer but as a young street […]

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Sourav Ganguly

The Many Sides of Sourav

06 November 2008. Gangles was fun. Every now and then a fellow feels like tearing off his shirt and waving it around like Mick Jagger with a microphone. Of all places, Sourav Ganguly responded to the urge at Lord’s, holiest of cricketing holies. So much for decorum. He might as well have burped in St […]

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Glenn McGrath

Twelve Years After

29 October 2008. Memories of Australia’s last Test match at Kotla are hazier than the smog that holds the capital city in its grip. Certain things linger in the mind: the result, a catch, an opening batsman’s fate, two trenchant innings, and a wonderfully innovative and sustained piece of cricket writing, but all else has […]

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Sourav Ganguly

A Tale of Two Captains

22 October 2008. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ricky Ponting might as well come from the same street, the same school, the same suburb. They emerged from the backwaters and arrived on the cricket scene with sharp minds and hardened games. As time passed, both learnt to use the right words and sometimes to think the […]

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Sachin Tendulkar at the crease

Regular Service

16 October 2008. At stumps on the opening day of the Bangalore Test match the Australians were confident of winning. Already two significant advantages had been secured. Ricky Ponting had won the toss on a pitch expected to fall apart as rapidly as an American bank that has given mortgages to anyone with a dollar […]

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Virender Sehwag

It Takes Two

8 October 2008. Let the games begin! After an eternity of speculation about pitches and selection and injuries and retirements, and with unsuspected newcomers eagerly sandpapering bats, and veterans anxiously oiling their joints, the Indian and Australian sides can finally get down to business. Everyone remembers the recent exchanges, the hot and the heroic, and […]

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Michael Clarke

Pup’s a Brand New Dog

1 October 2008. Although he bounds around like an especially cheerful buck and retains in his eyes the brightness of youth, Michael Clarke has undertaken and almost completed his maturing. Insofar as any male ever does, he has put aside daring and given productivity its due. For a time his spirit rebelled against the cramping […]

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Andrew Symonds

Dressing Room, Not Boat

17 September 2008. Over the next few weeks Andrew Symonds will realise that he needs the game more than the money, the commitment more than the independence, the fuss more than the peace, the attention more than the solitude, and the dressing rooms more than the boat. He will understand that the time for fishing […]

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Kevin Pietersen

Upwards, Kicking and Screaming

3 September 2008. Kevin Pietersen has not lost his Midas touch. Of course it is sheer folly to assess a captain’s worth after a few matches played on home terrain against a waning opponent whose most accurate leather-flinger is sitting in a nearby commentary box. Still, Pietersen has grabbed the reins in the same way […]

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Sourav Gangooly

Stumps for Sourav

20 Aug 2008. Sorry Sourav, but the sands of time have run out. It’s been an extraordinary career that deserves to be saluted and celebrated, but all good things come to an end. How many captains have led their team to a series victory over Australia, and also to a World Cup final? How many […]

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Michael Vaughan

The Man Who Played his Part

6 Aug 2008. Michael Vaughan produced a rousing England side that for several years played some spirited cricket, culminating in one exhilarating and exhausting campaign. Then he suffered as his team omitted to build upon its breakthrough. Frustrated by injury and weakened by the loss of important players, Vaughan ran out of runs and inspiration. […]

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Mahela Jayawardene

The Making of Mahela

23 July 2008. Since he took over the captaincy of his country, Mahela Jayawardene has so surpassed expectations that it has become necessary not merely to take a closer look at him but also at our own complacencies. Cast as a man of moments, appearances and dalliances, as a rootless stylist, a member of the […]

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Graeme Smith cricketer

Older, Wiser, Leader

9th July 2008. Graeme Smith embarks upon his second series in England as a more rounded character blessed with a more established game. Not that he did so badly last time. To the contrary his visit five years ago surpassed all expectations. Smith managed to turn a suspicious and fraught team containing a variety of […]

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Kevin Pietersen

What is Wrong with the English?

28 June 2008. At no point in the last 50 years has the country that invented the game stood at the top of the rankings. They have only themselves to blame. Kevin Pietersen’s nomination as captain of the England side confirms that the game in the land of its origin has come to a pretty […]

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Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Made in Guyana

11 June 2008. Shivnarine Chanderpaul is a self-made man and player, shaped by circumstances and will, his technique not so much odd as original. Shivnarine Chanderpaul provides a notable counterpoint to the contemporary game. At once he is inimitable and timeless – no more a product of his period than a kitchen clock, and yet […]

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Glenn McGrath

Twenty20 is Cricket Too

May 14, 2008. The IPL has shown that the shortest version provides as many insights, dramas and stories as any other form of the game. The IPL continues to provide rich revelation of character. Twenty20 continues to offer a hundred short stories in the space of a few hours. Like all sport it is about […]

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Michael Hussey

Four Thumbs Up

May 1, 2008.  The IPL has showcased a high standard of cricket, emphasised sportsmanship, fostered camaraderie, and treated spectators right. More power to it. Alhough still in its infancy, and therefore capable of experiencing a troubled adolescence and disappointing adulthood, the IPL has so far surpassed expectations. Reports indicate that India has been in a […]

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