Alastair Cook goes into the Boxing Day Test against South Africa wary of the wounded animal that is the world’s No1 side; England, he claims, remain underdogs for the series and will relish the licence that gives them to throw a few punches.
Alastair Cook is 31 on Christmas Day and, while his double dose of festivities will be tempered by the tedium of a training session and a press conference before the first Test with South Africa in Durban, the England captain will at least be free of any anxiety over his own form and that of his fellow batsmen.
Alastair Cook touches down in South Africa on Friday with the sense his England side have a good chance to overturn the world’s No1 Test team in their own backyard despite leaving one of their most experienced batsman back at home.
Allan Border had played seven series against the West Indies. Six had been lost, and one drawn. This time would be different.
This England team do not quite know when they are beaten.
Have England dropped a clanger for the South Africa Test series?
Such was the anticipation for the first day-night Test in cricket history, more than three hours before the start of play, the queue outside the South Gate of the Adelaide Oval already stretched all the way to the Torrens footbridge.
On a balmy Abu Dhabi evening England politely yet professionally defeated their hosts in a friendly match so gentle it bore little relation to the three imminent T20 matches against Pakistan. At least let us hope that is the case.
"These are golden days for English cricket" according to ESPN Cricinfo's George Dobell. He spoke to HITC's Rana Malook about Ian Bell amongst other things.
Mohammad Amir is poised to make his return to Test cricket at Lord’s next month, scene of the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, after reportedly being granted a UK visa for Pakistan’s tour of England this summer.
The England fast bowling coach, David Saker, has been told he is surplus to requirements for next month’s tour of the Caribbean and Ottis Gibson is expected to return for a second spell in the job.
Trevor Bayliss first floated the idea of Joe Root moving to No3 at the end of the Test series victory over South Africa last winter and now six months on, after Nick Compton’s final series proved one too far and much discussion behind the scenes, the button has finally been pushed.
This time there would be no collapse and no last-ball thriller. Instead England served up the most comprehensive 10-wicket win ever witnessed, as Alex Hales and Jason Roy, in plundering unbeaten centuries, knocked off 256 with 95 balls to spare to win the second one-day international with Sri Lanka at a canter.
Fifty-four overs and no result was the gloomy outcome of another Bristol one‑day international.
The only discernible difference was the absence of a mop of jet-black hair.
Heather Knight must be wondering what the guff about the rigours of high office is all about. For her first day in the captaincy job that Charlotte Edwards held for a decade she led England to a clinical seven-wicket win to go one-up over Pakistan in their series opener. In the process she became the first captain to combine a five-wicket haul and a half-century in almost 1,000 women’s one-day internationals.
England began their post-World Cup rebuilding operation on the idyllic Caribbean island of St Kitts today with the start of a low-key two-day game against local opposition.
Will the 2016 T20 World Cup Final be pitch perfect?
It was much to the amusement of his press-box colleagues that not so very long ago, John Woodcock, the eminent former cricket correspondent of The Times, began a piece with the words: “As recently as 1936 …”
A tired but satisfied Joe Root revealed some words from England’s bowling coach, Ottis Gibson, on the first day at Old Trafford were the inspiration behind the highest and longest of his 10 Test hundreds.