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Rahul Dravid batting

Stuck in the Middle

February 27, 2008. Batsmen in what should be their most prolific years are more prone to falling prey to the weight of expectations, and thereby being brought face to face with their limitations. As a breed, batsmen are haunted by the prospect of failure. It hardens them, tightens them, sometimes exhausts them. A centre-forward unable […]

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Mitchell Johnson bowling against India in 2010

Australia not charred by the Ashes

9 November 2011: Things don’t seem as dismal as they did in January. And that’s because some tough and necessary decisions have been taken. Australia start a pathetically short Test series in South Africa with more hope than foreboding. A year ago the Poms arrived in Perth and were astonished to be informed by locals […]

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Marcus Trescothick

Cricketers Open Up

February 13, 2008. It is a mark of maturity that the likes of Shaun Tait, Lou Vincent and Marcus Trescothick have made public their turmoil. In the space of a few weeks two prominent and respected cricketers have broken ranks with the macho presentation that has long been part and parcel of the sporting ethic, […]

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India vs Australia SCG 2008

Rotten Match from Start to Finish

Aug 1, 2008. India has been dudded. No-one with the slightest enthusiasm for cricket will take the least satisfaction from the victory secured by the local team in an SCG Test match that entertained spectators at the ground, provided some excellent batting but left a sour taste in the mouth. It was match that will […]

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Sachin Tendulkar

Come Together

January 31, 2008. India needs to stop acting like an aggrieved outsider and take up the responsibility that comes with power. Australia needs to understand that its teams are supposed to set an example. For the good of the game, the two have to find a common language. India and Australia have been going hard […]

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Kumar Sangakkara

The all-round art of Sangakkara

16 September 2011: Balanced yet intense, ruthless in his need to succeed, always contributing to his team’s cause, he is among the finest cricketers Sri Lanka has produced. Kumar Sangakkara counts among the most polished and prudent of batsmen. Nothing catches the eye about his work except its consistency and efficiency. Although he pulls and cuts […]

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Harbhajan Singh

What Price Justice?

January 30, 2008: If this is the way the Indian board intends to conduct its affairs hereafter, then God help cricket. India’s performance in chartering a plane to take the players back home in the event of an independent judge finding against them in the Harbhajan Singh case counted amongst the most nakedly aggressive actions […]

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Adam Gilchrist

Craftsman and Cavalier

January 26, 2008. Adam Gilchrist has given more outright joy to followers of the game than any cricketer since Sir Garfield Sobers. He will be missed as a cricketing force, as a contributor and as an entertainer. Throughout his career he has played with a gusto that has set him apart from the common run […]

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Matthew Hayden

Hayden’s Hundred an Act of Will

January 26, 2008. Matthew Hayden’s hundred at the Adelaide Oval was an act of will. From the moment he walked to the crease he steeled himself to construct a massive score. Forced to watch the Perth Test from the sidelines, he suffered as his team slipped to defeat. He spent the first two days of […]

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England vs South Africa 2005

Did You Break the Code?

17 January 2008. Cricket, unlike other sports, lacks a code that – although not mentioned in any rule book – is universally accepted and lends the sport a commonness of purpose. Every game has codes and customs handed down by the generations and honoured by tradition. Often it is these customs that supporters point towards […]

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Ricky Ponting batting

Arrogant Ponting Must be Fired

Jan 8, 2008: Ricky Ponting must be sacked as captain of the Australian cricket team. If Cricket Australia cares a fig for the tattered reputation of our national team in our national sport it will not for a moment longer tolerate the sort of arrogant and abrasive conduct seem from the captain and his senior […]

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Harbhajan Singh

Personal Distractions Make for Poor Match from Ponting

Jan 6, 2008: Ricky Ponting has had a fractious match at the SCG. From a distance it is hard to avoid thinking that he has allowed a petty squabble with an immature opponent to affect his judgement. His confrontation with Harbhajan has taken a toll of his form as a batsman and tactician. He has […]

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Indian cricket team

Raise your sights, India

2 January 2008. The world’s most fanatical cricket nation must get serious about long-term success in the game and doing whatever that takes. India faces a stark challenge in the years that lie ahead. Not once in 60 years of independence has this cricketing powerhouse attained top ranking in its chosen game. Certainly, it has […]

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3rd Test Perth 2006

The Aussie Way

19 December 2007. Australian cricket is fierce, attacking and spirited. In many ways it reflects the country’s origins and history. A tour to Australia counts amongst the most challenging experiences cricket has to offer. Teams visiting the antipodes and returning with the spoils are honoured. Englishmen coming back from an Ashes triumph in 1928-29 were […]

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Harold Larwood

A Man Undefeated

5 December 2007. A working man without ego or vanity, Harold Larwood, having beaten the Australians, went and joined them. Harold Larwood is my favourite cricketer because he was honest, modest, and the epitome of the properly raised working man. Nothing of the celebrity could be found in him, no hint of glamour or touch […]

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Brian Lara

Decline and Fall

4 December 2007. Self-indulgence and self-interest are to blame for West Indies’ present condition. Not long ago a rising West Indian batsman asked an old hand for help with his game. Since the elder was a selector, the youngster might have supposed that he’d be happy to offer advice. Not a bit of it. Instead […]

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Edwin J Tyler, cricketer for Somerset

Learning by Degrees

23 November 2007 Over the years cricket has not handled throwing well. Thankfully that seems to be changing, if slowly. Throwing has been the most emotional topic the game has known. Considering the fury of the argument, it might be imagined that batting was in peril and practitioners were constantly taking blows from some demonic […]

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Kensington Oval Barbados

Australians Too Good in All Areas

May 5, 2007: Australia was overwhelmingly the best run side at the 2007 World Cup. As ever the deeds of champions can be instructive. By no means did Ricky Ponting have a bunch of supermen at his disposal. To the contrary the Australians looked vulnerable, arriving with their tails between their legs, not an easy […]

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Bangladesh cricket team

Bangladesh, Ireland Light up St Patrick’s Day

Mar 18, 2007: When the mighty fall they land with a thud. What a week it has been to be sure!  And what a night! India crushed by Bangladesh, Pakistan given a St Patrick’s Day drubbing by the Irish, two titans tasting the sourness of defeat within an hour of each other. Inzaman’s bedraggled troupe […]

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African Counterparts Need to Make Stand at Cup

Mar 16, 2007: Unless cricket prospers in Africa it will soon resemble an antiquated game reserved for enthusiasts on two continents and hardy souls elsewhere. Australian mining companies have noticed that Africa’s potential remains untapped. Around the world immigrant communities from the continent are starting to escape from their ghettos to make their mark in […]

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Bob Woolmer

Woolmer Lived for the Game until Stumps Were Called

Mar 3, 2007: Bob Woolmer was a softly spoken cricketing philosopher with an observant, probing mind that penetrated numerous layers of the game without ever quite reaching the core. No-one who met him could dislike him yet few knew him intimately. Throughout he was in love with the game of bat and ball, endlessly thinking […]

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Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib the Imposter

Mar 2, 2007: Enough is enough. Shoaib Akhtar does not belong on a cricket field anywhere let alone as a participant in the forthcoming World Cup. An impostor whose reputation relies upon a handful of bursts spread over a career lasting a decade, he has been more trouble than he is worth. No captain, no […]

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