• The German playwright Goethe once wrote "It is better to hope than to despair." This self same German playwright never, I will guess, had the hair brained idea of commentating on the Ashes through a cold wintry night in London whilst being in thrall to the England cricket team.

     

    It all started so well. The Test Match Sofa crew arrived in tact, sober and bursting with nervous anticipation. We had gradually convinced ourselves (well most of ourselves), that this series was finally going to result in an English victory against the most stubborn serial sporting winners, in their own backyard.

     

    After all, Australia are ranked fifth in the world. Most of them can't bat, their best bowler is a wayward walking mural with Oedipal issues, their spinner averages 48 in 1st class cricket, and their captain hasn't a clue how to set a field. To compound matters and fan the flames of hope, they'd even dropped Bollinger for the unremarkable talents of Peter Siddle.

     

    True, England have issues of

    Read More »from The return of Siddle
  • Both India and New Zealand will have mixed feelings at the conclusion of the just concluded three-match series. For the hosts it can be said that end justifies the means and victory in the contest however narrow is a matter of some satisfaction. 

     

    It's not however a series that will be remembered fondly by cricket fans in this country or the Indian players - not even Harbhajan Singh. He might have been adjudged man of the series and notched up a feat that has been beyond anyone batting at No 8 in Test history, but the celebrations will be tempered by the fact that his bowling continues to be without zing, his career average and strike rate is climbing alarmingly.

     

    With a tough series in South Africa round the corner it is a matter of acute discomfort that the Indian spin spearhead is struggling. What is even more disturbing is that the greater improvement in his batting may see a further fall in his bowling standards. The Indian team needs Harbhajan the bowler much more than

    Read More »from Team India needs Harbhajan the bowler
  • - Abu Dhabhi became the 103rd ground in the annals of test cricket to hast a test match. It became the third ground after Sharjah and Dubai to host a test match in United Arab Emirates.

     

    - Pakistan capped Ashad Rafiq and Tanvir Ahmed for this test. They became the 201st and 202nd cricketers to represent Pakistan in test cricket. They became the 10th and 11th cricketers to make debut against Pakistan.

     

    - South Africa posted 584 for 9 declared in its first innings to provide the 42nd occasion of it posting a total of 500 plus runs in an innings against various oppositions. This total represents the second occasion of South Africa posting a total of 500 plus runs in a test innings. The first occasion was at 620 for 7 declared at Cape Town in Jan 2003.

     

    - This total represents the second highest total in an innings posted on a neutral ground. The highest total is 594 posted at Dhaka against Sri Lanka in Dhaka in Mar 1999.

     

    - JH Kallis scored 105 in this test which is his 37th test

    Read More »from 2nd Test: Pak vs SA at Abu Dhabhi – Statistical Highlights

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