Cow Corner

  • England players look on frustrated in West Indies, 2009 - not much has changed in tour openers

    Somewhere through the middle of day three, the current Test series with New Zealand appeared to begin in earnest for England.

    James Anderson, several shades angrier than the Bruce Banner would need to be to turn green and crush things, made the second new ball talk and scored England some precious wickets. The only problem, of course, was that by the time he did England had sleepwalked their way into a Hamish Rutherford-sized hole, dismissed cheaply and staring down the barrel of a huge lead.

    Anderson’s persistent sledging and chirp – his send-offs to dismissed batsmen could yet land him in

    Read More »from Seven slow England starts abroad under Andy Flower (and one good one)
  • The story of KP’s five golden ducks in Test cricket

    England’s wretched start to the Test series against New Zealand was perhaps best exemplified by Kevin Pietersen’s golden duck. The batsman simply didn’t pick up a fuller ball from Neil Wagner, misjudged the length, and was plumb lbw.

    The dismissal represented KP’s 10th duck – and half of those have been first-ballers. It's still a little way short of the world record - 14 - held by Muttiah Muralitharan, or indeed the England record of 9 by Steve Harmison, but for a recognised batsman it's a high figure, and a high ratio. Mark Waugh, with seven golden ducks in 128 Tests, is the leading

    Read More »from The story of KP’s five golden ducks in Test cricket
  • Is surgery the beginning of the end for Graeme Swann?

    Graeme Swann’s absence from the first Test was something of a shock, but it would not be a great surprise if this spelled the beginning of the end of his Test career.

    Instinctively, if the spinner is a doubt for the Ashes, it feels like a major hit to England's hopes. Having seen Australia buckle in successive Tests in India this past fortnight, it was clear that England enjoyed a significant advantage in the spin department. Swann, England’s most prolific off-spinner, a fixture of the team for approaching half a decade, still rated one of the world’s top 10 Test bowlers, was surely a

    Read More »from Is surgery the beginning of the end for Graeme Swann?
  • One bowler’s ‘bad habit’ leads to a bizarre law change

    The rule-changer: Steven Finn

    It is generally accepted that if a sportsman repeatedly does something wrong, unhelpful or against the rules then they will be punished for it or admonished; it is less likely to directly result in a positive and welcome rule change.

    England paceman Steven Finn is far from an awkward or controversial type, and is as nice a man as one could wish to meet, most often to be found Tweeting inanely about his love of boybands, hair products and breakfast cereals.

    But it is his 'bad habit' of clumsily hitting the stumps on his follow through that has prompted a sudden and, previously considered

    Read More »from One bowler’s ‘bad habit’ leads to a bizarre law change
  • The ODI has to go

    In the beginning there was Test cricket.

    At some points it was timeless, at others it was six days long with a day off in the middle, but it was always the longest, most testing, and most revered form of the game.

    Then, to spice things up, there came limited-overs cricket. 60 overs-a-side, then 50, with World Cups and coloured clothing and excitement. It got a little stale, and there were too many meaningless (and occasionally suspect) bilateral and tri-series in far-flung venues. Eventually, it lost its crowds.

    And then there was Twenty20 cricket, with its three-and-a-half-hour format, its

    Read More »from The ODI has to go
  • England beaten by Martin Guptill’s two toes and one hamstring

    Martin Guptill, barring a miraculous recovery, has played his last match in this series.

    But the New Zealand opener is no stranger to miracles, prising victory from the jaws of defeat for England after coming out to bat having retired hurt after pulling a hamstring.

    People who look like walking is an intense effort (Mike Gatting excepted) are not generally associated with great feats of batsmanship.

    And nobody would have begrudged Guptill an evening with the medics, assessing his injury and working out what the best way would be to get him ready for the Tests next month.

    But Martin Guptill is

    Read More »from England beaten by Martin Guptill’s two toes and one hamstring
  • India v England: ODI series player ratings

    England have gone to India and lost an ODI series once again - but 3-2 sounds an awful lot better than the 5-0 drubbing they suffered in 2011.

    There were positives; England will point to the fact that the result came without the likes of Jonathan Trott, James Anderson and Graeme Swann, all of whom would surely command a place in the side had they not been rested.

    But there were familiar failings, as two predictable batting collapses took the wind out of their sails, and the wicketkeeper and strike bowler got changed midway through the series.

    So with the series done and dusted, all that's

    Read More »from India v England: ODI series player ratings
  • Will England ever settle on a limited-overs wicketkeeper?

    Keeping wicket for England in limited-overs cricket is, it seems, an impossible task. Many have tried to fit the role, but all have fallen short of what was expected and have been duly replaced.

    Jos Buttler, the 22-year-old Somerset star from Taunton, became the 13th different wicketkeeper England have employed in the one-day format alone since 2002, and he is unlikely to occupy the position for an extended period.

    Perhaps more than with any other position, wicketkeepers are constantly scrutinised, with runs, catches and stumpings closely monitored and compared with all the alternative

    Read More »from Will England ever settle on a limited-overs wicketkeeper?
  • Nasser Hussain right to brand England showing ‘pathetic’

    Stuart Broad isn’t in India because it snowed so much that he ended up coming home from Heathrow Airport yesterday. What’s the rest of the England ODI team’s excuse?

    England lost the toss in the third game of the series against India in Ranchi, but they were given a chance to bat on what looked a very good pitch, because of concerns over bowling in the dew later. No matter – by the time they were all out, there was precious little chance of either side having to cope with the moist ball in the Indian evening.

    What followed was everything that was wrong with England’s ODI batting over the last

    Read More »from Nasser Hussain right to brand England showing ‘pathetic’
  • Time for Jade Dernbach to prove he’s not another Saj Mahmood

    Cow Corner gets things right with the regularity of a stopped clock, so you’ll forgive it taking you back almost two years to the day that Jade Dernbach was parachuted into England’s World Cup squad.

    Dernbach was a surprise inclusion, and Cow's concern back then was that the Surrey bowler had been picked on potential, rather than performance:

    ‘Never mind his credentials as a cricketer, Miller explained that the Johannesburg-born bowler is "a talented athlete".

    Now, forgive Cowers if he is overly cynical in this regard, but that very term used by Miller to justify the decision is in keeping

    Read More »from Time for Jade Dernbach to prove he’s not another Saj Mahmood