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

Ajantha Mendis bowling

The Enduring Charm of Test Cricket

11 August 2010. The five-day game is still compelling, but pitches need to be got right if the format is to thrive. Ajantha Mendis’ plucky stand in Colombo proved a superb advertisement for the longer version of the game. Whereas 50-over cricket is one-dimensional, Test matches can swing back and forth in the most improbable […]

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Ishant Sharma

How the Mighty Have Fallen

28 July 2010. Australia and India face similar problems, with ageing stalwarts and unproven youngsters. The upcoming series between the two doesn’t seem as good a prospect as those in recent times. By no means can the Indians or Australians be confident about their Test prospects over the next few months. In that period Australia […]

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Muttiah Muralitharan

In a Freakish League of His Own

14 July 2010. Murali hasn’t been combative like Warne or full of rage like Kumble; more unconventional than them, and tenacious to the core, he has surpassed them both. Muttiah Muralitharan has made a mesmeric contribution to the game. It was no small thing for a boy from Kandy to attract the attention of selectors […]

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Andrew Strauss

All Hail England’s New Spirit

30 June 2010. Strauss’s boys are full of a new attitude, defined by resilience, optimism and unbreakability. Hope and hurt fell upon English sportsmen during a tumultuous week. Hurt came from another heavy defeat at the hands of the Germans, so often a nemesis on the games field if not upon the battlefield. As usual […]

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Henry Olonga

The Case for Reconsidering the Zimbabwe Boycott

16th June 2010. Things may not be as rosy as observers may have cause to hope for, but respect for those seeking to rebuild the country and its cricket must surpass anger about those hell-bent on its destruction. Zimbabwe and its cricket community have been getting soft treatment lately, as both undergo changes that optimists […]

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Zimbabwean cricket team

Cricket in the World

2 June 2010. Our sport must embrace the environment it belongs to, engage with it, and move with the times. Cricket’s primary task over the last 30 or so years has been to move beyond its historic and geographic confines and to take its place in a broader, more difficult, less governable and much richer […]

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Paul Collingwood

A new beginning for England?

19 May 2010. Collingwood’s side were fearless and kept pressing till victory was theirs. Here’s hoping it marks a renaissance in the country’s cricket. England deserved their triumph in the Caribbean. The two best teams met in the final and the most resourceful side prevailed. Paul Collingwood’s outfit gathered momentum as the tournament went along […]

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Tim Southee bowling

Attack, But Skilfully

5 May 2010. At no point in the history of one-day cricket has as much emphasis been put on taking wickets as there is now – though not too many are getting it quite right. In a recent Twenty20 match against Australia played in the land of the long white cloud, Tim Southee produced one […]

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40-over cricket

So What if There’s 40-over Cricket?

21 April 2010. An abbreviated format may not provide enough of a canvas for greatness to be displayed, but cricket is about entertainment foremost. A lot of nonsense is talked about lengths of matches. It does not make much difference. A cricketer is a cricketer. If he is any good, he will quickly learn to […]

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Graeme Swann

The Return of the Cheeky Chappie

24 March 2010. England’s spin sensation plays like a man eager for a scrap and bowls like one expecting to take wickets. Long may his tribe last. Like all countries of any age, England has endured its share of caricatures. Basil Fawlty, Captain Mainwaring, Richard the Lionheart, Robin Hood, Jonathan Ross, Beau Nash, George Formby, […]

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Shaun Tait bowling

Quick Money Trumps Hard Yakka

10 March 2010. Twenty20 offers fast bowlers their most convenient stage. It will be a pity if it becomes their only space for expression. Fast bowlers don’t actually like bowling. Labourers don’t like digging holes. Give them a chance to put their feet up and have a cup of chai and they’ll grab it with […]

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Dale Steyn

Old-school Dale

20 February 2010. Hunting and fishing are still part of his life but the rawness and inconsistency have dropped away and Steyn has emerged as one of the best fast bowlers in the world. Dale Steyn likes fishing and hunting and bowling fast. In his time he has caught a crocodile, shot an impala, and […]

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Wasim Akram of Pakistan

Power to Pakistan

10 February 2010. They have long been among cricket’s most compelling teams, and though the current turmoil in the country bodes ill for the game, there is hope yet. Pakistan is a team struggling for direction, from a nation batting for identity. Ever since the tragic death of its founding father soon after independence had […]

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Australia Must get its House in Order

2 February 2010. Cricket Australia ought to consider banning alcohol at matches. It has gone well beyond a joke. Australia needs to start addressing the real issues. Indian students killed in Melbourne, Pakistanis assaulted on the field in Perth, blazing headlines around the world, a nation’s reputation dragged into the mud, and never mind that […]

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Nathan Hauritz bowling

Return of Finger Spin

27 January 2010. It’s back from the dead courtesy of Swann, Hauritz, Benn and others, relying on good old accuracy and slight disguise. Long ago consigned to a cricketing graveyard, finger spin has rallied in the most unexpected and impressive manner. Any student of the rankings will rapidly discover that numerous members of the orthodox […]

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Angelo Mathews

Thirteen to Watch

13 January 2010. Kohli, Roach, Parnell and 10 other youngsters to look forward to in the years ahead. If cricket changes half as much in the next decade as it did in the last, followers of the game had better fasten their seatbelts. Of course the game itself has not actually changed all that much. […]

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Sanath Jayasuriya

The Joy of Jaya

16 December 2009. No mere smash-and-grab artist, Sanath Jayasuriya has revolutionised opening and done it with a shy exuberance and no hint of swagger. Sanath Jayasuriya has been at once a devastating hitter and amongst the foremost opening batsmen of his period. It is no mean combination. His career, his very life, has told of […]

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Andrew Strauss

Tradesman at the Top

2 December 2009. With his matter-of-fact approach, Andrew Strauss is better placed than his predecessors to develop the winning culture his side so needs. Among England captains of the last 20 years Andrew Strauss sits nearer the top than the bottom. Although he lacks the predatory instincts that characterised Michael Vaughan’s best work or the […]

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Sachin Tendulkar

India’s Proudest Possession

14 November 2009. Tendulkar has gone two decades being a blend of the sublime and the precise, incapable of ugliness or of being dull; and those are among the least of his achievements. Sachin Tendulkar has been playing top-class cricket for 20 years and he’s still producing blistering innings, still looking hungry, still demolishing attacks, […]

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Ireland cricket team

Why Ireland Should be a Test Nation

5 November 2009. Cricket needs to move beyond its cosy cartel of countries, bring in more teams, and have two or more divisions. Ireland’s current application for Test status ought to be taken seriously. Indeed, it ought to be accepted, and that means convincing at least seven of the 10 established nations to give it […]

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Marcus Trescothick

Long Live the Champions League

21 October 2009. The tenacity of the South Africans, the efficiency of the Australians, and the flair of the Caribbean players have made the event an unqualified success. Although sated locals seem to regard it as a flop, from further afield the Champions League Twenty20 has been thoroughly enjoyable. Indeed it has been the most […]

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Daniel Vettori

Leave it to Dan

7 October 2009. Bowler, batsman, fielder, captain – none of Vettori’s roles fails to lift a side that badly needs inspiration. Daniel Vettori deserved better. Cricket has a wicked sense of humour. That a long-serving cricketer of high distinction and considerable merit, a player universally admired, a captain whose team has been recognised as the […]

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