CategoryTalking Points

England Must Eradicate Slip Ups

Today Mark Cohen discusses England’s habit of dropping crucial slip catches. He argues that consistency of personnel is the solution to our cordon woes … The cancellation of the fifth and final test at Old Trafford has robbed England of the opportunity to right a number of wrongs from a second Monday defeat of the summer. Captain Joe Root has often resembled Atlas in shouldering the middle order for much of this summer. England’s failures with the bat may continue to bear the brunt...

Is The Oval Better Than Lord’s?

Today we debate one of the ultimate ‘down the pub’ topics. Is watching cricket at The Oval, England’s traditional stronghold in South London, better than watching it at Lord’s, the home of cricket itself? There’s no right or wrong answer, of course. It’s like deciding whether Renior or Rembrandt was the better painter. It all comes down to personal taste – unless you support Middlesex or Surrey and partisan biases come into the equation. First let’s look at Lord’s – the cricketing Mecca...

England in a flap as ECB’s chickens come home to roost

I’ll start things off with a question. If the ECB bigwigs can pay themselves more than £2million in bonuses for setting up The Hundred, should they fine themselves a similar amount for England’s failure to win either one of their two home Test series for the first time since 2001? Unless Joe Root’s team win at Old Trafford in the fifth Test, it will be the first time we’ve lost both home series since the doldrums decade of the 1990s. Sadly, however, accountability never seems to be a two...

Temporary relief or signs of redemption? England’s win at Leeds

To coin a phrase, a week is a long time in cricket. Just tell that to Joe Root. As he did the obligatory post-match media duties on the Headingley outfield on Saturday, with his bowlers having just reduced India from 215-2 to 278 all out, Root probably wondered if events at Lords had taken place in an alternate universe. In that alternate universe, Mohammad Shami played the square cut like Kapil Dev and Ollie Robinson was physically unable to bowl an off stump line. In that alternate universe...

Mind Over Matter: The Curse of Elite Cricket

A few years ago my employer sent everyone off on a stress awareness course; previously happy people came back as nervous wrecks because they never realised how stressed they were. In all truth we had been fooling ourselves. An increasingly hectic lifestyle was taking its toll on our mental health. The ranks of Joe Public can manage their emotional wellbeing in private, free from scrutiny and judgement. But what about elite athletes who ply their trade in the public eye, where every move is...

So You Enjoyed The Hundred. But Did You Miss the Point?

The book has been written, apparently. The Hundred, a bit like Welsh Fire themselves, took on ‘the haters’ and secured a comprehensive victory against all the odds. Stakeholders like Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen, plus the entire Sky and BBC commentary teams have declared, in George W. Bush fashion, that the mission was accomplished. The ECB’s new tournament was a runaway success, they claim, and therefore they were right all along. As for those haters – the...

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