Cow Corner

  • How can the DRS be improved?

    The debate rages on. The controversial Decision Review System continues to divide opinion, frustrate, confuse, mystify, antagonise and infuriate.

    Yet again, the interpretation of the system left many utterly bewildered and disillusioned with coaches again storming into the match referee's office to demand explanations.

    Players, coaches and spectators were all left seeking clarification for decisions made with the aid of the DRS, and everyone seems to have their own solution to the problem.

    The latest talking point came when Sri Lanka were aggrieved about the dismissal of Tillakaratne Dilshan.

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  • KP’s switch hit sparks stand-off

    After an innings like the one we saw at the P Sara Stadium in Colombo Stadium today, it's only fitting that Kevin Pietersen's strokeplay is the first point of discussion.

    Unfortunately it is the switch hit will dominate the discussion, after a curious confrontation between Pietersen, Sri Lanka and the two umpires as KP arrowed in on his century.

    Pietersen had already played the switch hit on a couple of occasions, but in an extraordinary over during which Pietersen moved from 86 to 104, Tillakaratne Dilshan decided he wouldn't put up with it any more, and decided not to release the ball when

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  • England discover that patience is fruitful

    England's batsmen have come in for a lot of criticism this winter, and rightly so, but Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook demonstrated the value of a patient, pragmatic approach in Colombo.

    The ultra-defensive, negative batting in the UAE was followed by an overly ambitious and, ultimately careless, set of performances in Galle as the batsmen's struggles in subcontinent conditions continued.

    But Strauss and Cook showed a remarkable transformation in their mindsets as the pair played in a courageous, yet considered, fashion to give the tourists a strong platform from which to build as they

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  • Monty a victim of England’s bowling riches

    The question at the start of the second Test was whether England had made a mistake by dropping Monty Panesar from their bowling ranks.

    Out went the spinner and the injured Stuart Broad, in came Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan.

    For some, it evoked memories of the 2008 series in New Zealand, when after defeat in the first Test in Hamilton following a fourth-innings score of 110 all out, the selectors responded by dropping two bowlers — Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard, and keeping faith with the floundering batsmen instead.

    But the circumstances are different.

    Then the bowlers were at the end of

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  • England’s batsmen must learn from Trott

    England's batsmen again showed their frailties against spin on the subcontinent as Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv claimed all 10 second-innings wickets between them.

    Only one player showed the temperament, composure and sound judgement to provide a significant resistance as Jonathan Trott compiled a very fine 112 which, in the context of a fourth-innings knock, was hugely impressive.

    Trott showed the other England batsmen what was required of them as his gutsy, defiant innings threatened to deny Sri Lanka a victory they always looked likely to secure.

    Indeed, without the number

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  • Strauss’s slump is becoming an issue

    When England are winning and their collective batting is thriving, even the worst runs of form from a captain can be brushed to one side; but when the team is struggling and the batsmen are to blame, it becomes an issue.

    In terms of the immediate future, there is no doubt that Andrew Strauss is the right leader of this England team but, the longer his poor form continues, questions will have to be asked.

    Strauss has just one century to his name over the course of his last 48 Test innings and an average of 25.50 in the last calendar year. There lies the issue.

    England's batting let them down

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  • Have England’s batsmen learned nothing?

    The way England ended the second day of the first Test in Galle - taking five wickets to peg Sri Lanka back - belied the dejected faces in the camp earlier in the day after yet another failure with the bat.

    Rangana Herath exposed England's failings against spin bowling once more as the Sri Lankan spinner claimed six wickets and took his standing ovation at the end of the innings, only thinly veiling his own disbelief at the gifts he received.

    Seventeen wickets fell in the day as the batsmen of both sides struggled to play the turning ball, but it was the way England's frontline players

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  • Anderson a true England talisman

    Mahela Jayawardene may have grabbed the headlines with a typically masterful 168, but James Anderson became the sixth man to take 250 wickets for England and, in so doing, established himself as a true talisman.

    The paceman struck twice in as many balls in the morning session, and once in the evening, to boast figures of three for 56 off 17 overs in conditions which were not conducive to his art and in blistering heat.

    Anderson made the crucial double breakthrough in the third over of the morning, sending back Lahiru Thirimanne and key man Kumar Sangakkara for a golden duck before later

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  • Can England’s batsmen find form in Sri Lanka?

    A cursory glance back over the England series ratings following the Test series against Pakistan gives an indication of how far the batsmen have fallen in terms of recent form.

    The batsmen were primarily to blame. It was England's first Test series since India visited back in 1986 when only one of the batsmen averaged over 30, and that was wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

    The series averages for the top seven were as follows: Andrew Strauss 25.00; Alastair Cook 26.50; Jonathan Trott 26.83; Kevin Pietersen 11.16; Ian Bell 8.50; Eoin Morgan 13.66; Matt Prior 37.50.

    It would, therefore, be no

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  • Another little masterstroke in Tendulkar legacy

    Tendulkar celebrates his landmark hundred against BangladeshA hundred hundreds. Sachin Tendulkar has finally done it.

    Over the course of 33 century-less innings and 370 will-he-won't-he days, the watching world waited, champagne on ice, for another excuse to toast the career of a brilliant batsman.

    Glorious venues and scenarios passed Tendulkar by. The World Cup final, the chance of a first appearance on the honours board at Lord's, the Boxing Day and New Year's Day Tests in Australia all came and went, ungraced by another century.

    By the time the record arrived, the anticipation of the record had spiralled out of control. India, in the Test arena at

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