• I have no idea what Stuart Clark has done wrong because he should definitely be in that Australia team, no question about it.

     

    The seamer's consistency and accuracy with the ball has been severely lacking in the visitors' performances so far in the series.

     

    Brett Lee is a fine bowler and if he is fit to play, as he says he is, then he is worth a spot. However, including Clark would be the priority for me and Lee will not add the reliability which is required by Ricky Ponting.

     

    England have kept Australia's bowlers at bay pretty comfortably in this series, barring the first innings at Cardiff, and Mitchell Johnson is not the type of bowler you want at Headingley in this erratic form.

     

    Clark could be the perfect bowler to exploit the pitch at Headingley and, on the other side of the coin, Johnson is unlikely to have any effect at all.

     

    Headingley is a pitch that rewards discipline, and that is the same for batsmen and bowlers. The seamers will get what they deserve if they are

    Read More »from Australia missing a trick with Clark
  • Sri Lanka had a good captain in Mahela Jayawardene. Now they have an even better leader in Kumar Sangakkara. One has only to hear his predecessor gush about his qualities to know that Sangakkara is "a born captain, a natural leader." The results in the current contest against Pakistan confirm this.

     

    For all the batting and bowling successes, there is little doubt that Sangakkara, while inheriting a good side from Jayawardene, has within a very short period moulded it into a squad that will be difficult to beat in any format of the game. Certainly, a great deal of the credit for Sri Lanka’s current successful run can be attributed to Sangakkara’s leadership qualities.

     

    Supremely confident of his own ability and that of his teammates he has instilled that confidence in his side and particularly in the new boys. One has only to look at the way Paranavitana, Kandamby, Thushara and Mathews are performing to understand this. Here is someone who was ready for the captaincy having been

    Read More »from Sangakkara – a born captain, a natural leader
  • It is a sign of the times that magnanimous gestures such as Andrew Strauss' on the opening day of the Edgbaston Test receive a lot of positive publicity. In the good old days, incidents like these would have merited only passing mention for it was taken for granted that a captain keeping in mind the spirit of the game would readily agree to such requests.

     

    The England captain graciously spared the Australians a major dilemma by allowing them to substitute Brad Haddin with Graham Manou. Ponting and team manager Steve Bernard sought permission from Strauss, England team director Andy Flower and match referee Jeff Crowe. All acquiesced to the request but the key figure was Strauss. He could have refused within the laws of the game and under the circumstances it was a gesture to be appreciated.

     

    But then the ICC Code of Conduct clearly states that players and team officials shall at all times conduct play within the spirit of the game as well within the laws of cricket and the captains

    Read More »from Strauss has shown the way

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