CategoryTest Cricket

The Knockout Blow

If this was a boxing match, the ref might well have stopped the contest at Port Elizabeth. After all, this series stopped being just that – a contest – quite a long time ago. However, the struggling side gets no such respite in cricket. There’s a duty to fulfil the fixtures. And therefore South Africa’s humiliation – or perhaps ’emasculation’ might be a better word – continues to be played out in a very public manner. No wonder the local...

Crawley Shines – Day 1 at Johannesburg

It was a gloomy day at The Wanderers. There was rain in the morning and bad light in the evening. But for all those grey clouds there was a silver lining that warmed the cockles: young Zak Crawley made his first test fifty. Although it’s easy to get carried away when a youngster plays well, and predictions including the words ‘big future’ become ubiquitous, there was something joyfully perky and natural about Crawley’s breezy 66. His talent just shone though. Yes Zak’s not the finished...

Wondering About Wanderers – Who’s In The Spotlight?

We’re going to win the series, right? Even England can’t screw this one up. It’s the eve of the fourth and final Test against South Africa and yours truly is feeling confident. I’m almost smug. How refreshing it all feels. England have the edge on paper in this game (Kasigo Rabada is banned of course) and we’ve certainly got the psychological edge too. Surely only losing a vital toss (or making the wrong decision at the toss) plus some really boneheaded team...

Strong England Or Weak South Africa?

Professional sportsmen can’t win sometimes. If they lose they’re losers. And if they win it’s often because the opposition are losers rather than them being winners. Sometimes this approach – unfair as it might seem – might seem appropriate. After all, there’s no point declaring a team world-beaters when they’ve only beaten poor opposition. The rest of the world might have something to say about cocky upstarts getting ahead of themselves. However...

Two Countries, Two Directions

I’ve seen this movie plenty of times. It starts off with what looks like a pretty even fight, but one team gradually gets on top, and then the weaker side eventually folds. And when the end happens it often happens quickly – as if the inferior force knows that its cause is hopeless and submits almost willingly. The major difference this movie, however, is that it’s England in the ascendancy and their opponents on their knees. I think I prefer this version. Don’t you? This Test has...

Wood, Archer, Woakes, Or Overton?

Are you ready for Port Elizabeth? Personally I’m raring to go. It’s been almost ten days since Newlands and I’m beginning to crave some of the good stuff. Let’s hope for another enthralling contest that convinces the authorities to ditch this 4-day Tests idea. Speaking of 4-day Tests, the MCC made a short but sweet statement rejecting the idea yesterday. This was a very positive development. The blunt nature of the statement – which was just 40 words –...

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