Cow Corner

  • ODI rules for fools

    It’s a New Year in cricket, so that can mean only one thing: new rules for one-day internationals.

    The ODI is a curious beast – it lacks the depth of Test cricket, and it does not possess the dynamism and pace of T20.

    In a calendar that is bursting at the seams, it’s the format that has the least powerful compelling reasons to continue. The argument that it makes a stack of advertising rupees in India is not, despite certain influential voices to the contrary, a particularly good one.

    So what’s the answer? Give the format a little tweak. Not a Shane Warne-esque rip, not a even a Graeme

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  • Year in review: Falls from grace and happy reintegrations

    Looking back at 2012, it was not the greatest year for England after the glorious successes of the previous campaign, but it ended with a stunning success in India.

    From the Kevin Pietersen debacle and under-performance in the World Twenty20, to the poor performances against Pakistan in the UAE and a home series defeat to South Africa, England did not have much to remember fondly until the winter tour.

    But the colourful triumph of a resurgent West Indies side in the shortest form of the game and the unwavering rise to glory from South Africa provided much to be admired.

    There have been

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  • India v England: Series player ratings

    England can boast several heroes as they return from India having won their first Test series there in 28 years, but they also have some dilemmas and selectorial decisions to consider ahead of the spring tour to New Zealand, and the summer's Ashes series.

    Cow Corner rates the performances of the 15 players who represented England as they retained the Anthony de Mello trophy.

    Have your say on the series ratings in the comments section below...

    Alastair Cook (9.5/10)

    First series as captain, on the wrong end of a hiding in the first Test match of his tenure. The turnaround was led from the

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  • After year to forget, Cook leads England back up

    The BBC's Sports Personality of the Year Awards are, as Early Doors has touched on this morning, essentially a rather silly exercise, but in this year of British sporting excellence the one thing they did was illustrate how much cricket had been shunted to the periphery.

    The celebration was all about the Olympians, but then there were Tours de France, US Opens, Ryder Cup comebacks and more to boot. It was utterly irresistible.

    And in this glowing summer of sport England lost their number one status in Test cricket after comprehensive series defeats in the UAE to Pakistan and at home to South

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  • Groundhog Day suits England fine

    Neither side is going anywhere fast in Nagpur, where the series is inching headlong to its conclusion. If India were going to knock England out of their stride it was surely going to take something unexpected, or different at least, to get the job done.

    If you aren't a fan of the pitch, there was little to change your mind. 190 runs in the day did not make for thrilling cricket, but it was no different from the fare served up in the previous three days. According to one man with more time on his hands to research it than is strictly healthy, the current Nagpur run rate is the lowest Test

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  • Appalling Nagpur wicket damages Test cricket

    Cow Corner, it will surprise nobody to learn, likes Test match cricket. Loves it, in fact. Give him Zimbabwe v Bangladesh over five days and he'll try to find a stream from Harare and hunker down for the next 450 overs.

    T20 and ODI cricket is usually good fun as well, but the Test match is the thing — a contest between bat and ball, an examination of your talent and your application. And for the most part, despite the pay packets that the short form of the game has produced, the players themselves recognise that Tests are the format in which their skills will be judged and their legacies

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  • Root takes hold of number six spot

    Whisper it gently, but England may finally have solved their long-standing problem at number six.

    Joe Root's knock of 73 may not, once it is committed to the annals, sound like an overwhelming innings, but context is everything, and the omens are pretty good too.

    The last England cricketer to make his debut in Nagpur was also a 21-year-old batsman, and after a half-century in his first innings (and a ton in his second), it's fair to say that Alastair Cook has gone on to enjoy a half-decent Test career.

    On the evidence of this knock, Root possesses some of the tenacity and determination that

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  • Bell’s slump highlights sensitive issue of paternity leave

    Sportsmen — they're nothing like us, are they? They are globe-trotting superstars, never short of cash, attention or plaudits. We're just weary-eyed normal folk reading a cricket blog.

    But of course, it only takes a moment's reflection to remind yourself that that is nonsense.

    The key difference between you and, say, Ian Bell, is that Belly probably doesn't want to watch you work. There's probably a channel that would broadcast it, but England's middle order man will probably be doing something else.

    Like starting a family. Midway through this series, Ian flew home for the birth of his son,

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  • Indian press savage own team

    The fans who came in to Eden Gardens on day five saw 83 balls of cricket. They saw 49 runs and four wickets, but only one result — a foregone one.

    England had done more than enough in four days to allow themselves a mini-collapse on the fifth and still win with something to spare. Who knows — given how they dominated, losing early wickets may simply have been an elaborate ruse to allow the misfiring Ian Bell to play himself back into form ahead of the final Test in Nagpur.

    When Alastair Cook was born on Christmas Day of 1984 England were knee-deep in the last series they won against India.

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  • Excellent England or insipid India?

    As six wickets fell for 59 runs in the afternoon session at Eden Gardens, and the eulogies to Indian batting were being carefully crafted by the cricket writers, the debate rumbled on Eurosport-Yahoo!'s live text commentary: was this great play from England or desperate fare from India?

    As fans of a team, it is hard not to look at your results through the prism of your allegiance, rather than objectively. Win handsomely, and it is because you have eleven heroes in your team. Lose, and it was your boys who blew it. It is human nature to believe that whatever the result, it is largely in your

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