Alastair Cook hopes to draw a line under a selection issue he described as “slightly messy” and now wants the focus to be on squaring the series with Pakistan following some honest chats among the squad in the wake of their defeat at Lord’s.
So Pakistan’s four-man attack has outstripped England’s five. There is one obvious reason for that: Yasir Shah. The wrist spinner from the north-west frontier has been the key component in Pakistan’s victory in north‑west London. No Pakistan bowler had taken more than eight wickets at Lord’s. Here Yasir took six in the first innings, when he was not supposed to be so effective, and four in the second.
Marc Wilmots has been sacked as Belgium head coach following the national team’s poor showing at Euro 2016.
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.
It is mid-afternoon on the south coast. For the first time, the brooding clouds that have covered the south coast have dispersed and the sun has broken through, glinting on the ear stud of the strapping young pace bowler striding up the hill from the sea end.
Normal service was resumed from Jos Buttler in a new role as England chalked up another victory in Sri Lanka’s last match on tour. They needed only 141 for victory but on a surface that did not allow constant, free-flowing strokeplay they needed Buttler, the opening batsman, to be at his most ruthlessly clinical.
It would be fair to say that Steve Eskinazi has enjoyed an eventful start to his first class career. Last September, he made his debut for Middlesex against Yorkshire at Lord’s, batted at five and found himself walking to the crease at the end of the first over of the match as Ryan Sidebottom disposed of Paul Stirling, Nick Compton and Dawid Malan.
The only discernible difference was the absence of a mop of jet-black hair.
Fifty-four overs and no result was the gloomy outcome of another Bristol one‑day international.
Paul Farbrace, the England assistant coach, is confident Alastair Cook will base his upcoming decision over the Test captaincy on what is best for the team but expects him still to be in charge for next winter’s Ashes series.
BT Sport has announced the addition of Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen to their punditry team for the Australia v South Africa Test series next month. The two former England Test captains are joined by Graeme Swann, the former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, the BBC commentator Alison Mitchell and Radio 1’s Greg James as the anchor.
HITC Sport writer Rana Malook caught up with West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle at the launch of his academy in London.
A round up of the latest news stories from across the world of sport.
Alastair Cook has described the series defeat in India – one that was completed with a Test to spare by a crushing loss in Mumbai – as the type of result that “naturally” leads him to question his future as England captain but he will not be making any decisions until the new year.
England are bad at endings. The last Englishman to win his final series as captain was Keith Fletcher, who led his side to victory over Sri Lanka in a one‑off Test in Colombo and was promptly sacked by Peter May.
The man in the Hampshire tie in the Robin Smith Bar had a quizzical air about him. “The thing is,” he confided in subdued tones, as if addressing his physician, “I have never seen Ben Stokes bat. So I want to see him do well, but not too well, if you get my drift.”
Everyone is doing the Broady, are you? We know we bloomin' are!
Andrew Strauss, the director of England cricket, has stated his belief that Alastair Cook will continue his role as Test captain into next summer.
Joe Root has long accepted the expectation that comes with being England’s top batsman and, after his opening day hundred against India, hoped a message has been sent to his team-mates that they too can thrive in this Test series.