• There's surely no stopping the Aussies now. After a hesitant start, they have got their act together and Ricky Ponting's men should be prohibitive favourites to retain the Ashes. The manner in which they comprehensively thrashed England at Headingley bodes ill for the hosts.


    Without KP and Freddie, England are a considerably weakened side and even if the iconic all rounder plays at the Oval, one cannot see the Aussies faltering. Once they regroup it is almost Mission Impossible for the opponents and England's hopes of regaining the Ashes is no longer a credible alternative, particularly, since even a draw will suffice for the Aussies to keep the urn till the next contest. 


    What a defeat, by an innings and plenty and inside three days does for a side is not too difficult to imagine. The confidence levels are all but shattered and it is clear that Andrew Strauss and his men are a battered lot. One just cannot see them recover in time for the final Test which commences on August 20.

    Read More »from Ponting holds all the aces
  • If I could make one change to the England side for the final Test at The Oval it would be to bring in Robert Key at the expense of Ian Bell, and drop Ravi Bopara down to bat at number five.


    I think the Kent batsman has got the character to thrive in the heat of the battle and the mentality to step in and bat at number three.


    Can you back Bell and Ravi Bopara when it really matters? I have always said that the Essex batsman is not suited to batting so high up the order as he goes hard at the ball. He must be dropped further down the line up.


    England were in disarray at Headingley, but if you would have said to anyone who has played against Australia in recent years that you have the chance to win the Ashes at The Oval, they would have bitten your arm off.


    The major job for Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower is to make England believe that they can win the series and to realise that the fourth Test is done: they have to just forget about it.


    Bopara looks as though he is really

    Read More »from Batting mentality Key for England
  • When a legend retires he is quite irreplaceable. That is what Australia is realizing at the moment. They have been able to make up somewhat for the retirements of Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Adam Gilchrist, Damien Martyn, even Glenn McGrath as the bench strength consisted of able batsmen and fast bowlers. But, it is the absence of Shane Warne that has really hit them the most.


    To make matters worse Stuart MacGill called it a day at about the same time and the spin attack is as bare as Mother Hubbard's cupboard. The gallant efforts of Nathan Hauritz and Jason Krejza notwithstanding they have their limitations and it was not exactly a surprise that the Aussie team management opted for an all out pace attack in the fourth Test at Headingley. There is little doubt, however, that a quality spin bowler lends balance to the bowling line-up.


    Looking at how the Australians are struggling without Warne, I am reminded of how Indian spin bowling - Indian cricket's traditional strength -

    Read More »from Indian spin bowling will never die


(1,347 Stories)




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