Cow Corner

  • What level of dominance makes a farce?

    On a day in which Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen produced two quite remarkable innings to give a packed party crowd at The Oval a fabulous Friday treat, there were wider questions that were being asked.

    After yet another day of unbridled England dominance, there were some spectators - from both camps - who were simply finding the one-sided nature of the series increasingly irksome.

    As Bell and Pietersen plundered runs with consummate and almost alarming ease, England ran amok over a hapless India side who looked demoralised, disgruntled, dispirited and downright despondent.

    Surely, it is not

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  • Do not doubt the Dutch

    As the Netherlands prepare to face hosts England in the opening match of the World Twenty20, it is high time we reacquaint you with a few key members of this eclectic rabble.

    First up is Dirk Nannes, the former World Cup skier and Middlesex bowler, who hastily swapped his allegiance to the Dutch side after repeated omissions from the Australia squad.

    The left-hander, who when asked to describe his pace simply replied 'scary', is less Frank 'Typhoon' Tyson, and more James 'Typhoo tea' Kirtley, but could still shock the England batsmen.

    Nannes, to whom modesty is gross negligence for aspiring

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  • Dreary India matched by the weather

    It was still only the first session of the first day, and already the entire India field (with the exception of wicketkeeper MS Dhoni) had their hands firmly rooted in their pockets, with world-weary expressions on their faces.

    Pundits often read far too much into body language, but it was impossible to witness the tourists in action at The Oval without lamenting the fact that they simply did not wish to be a part of the contest.

    Mahendra Singh Dhoni was at pains to insist that his side "do not need a wake-up call, because we have never been sleeping" prior to the fourth Test, but his

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  • England: From losers to winners in 10 steps

    As the dust
    settles on England's ascent to the top of the Test ladder, it could easily be
    forgotten that just two and a half years ago the team were squabbling amongst
    themselves.

    A fractious
    disagreement between then captain Kevin Pietersen and coach Peter Moores saw
    England begin 2009 without direction, floundering in sixth position in the world
    standings.

    The
    captaincy was handed to Andrew Strauss, and batting coach Andy Flower was
    appointed stand-in coach for the upcoming tour of West Indies.

    How did
    England get from where they were then to where they are today? Cow Corner looks
    at 10 key

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  • How good can this England side be?

    So there we have it: England are the new number one Test team in the world. Officially.

    Talk of an era of dominance may be perhaps a little premature, but it's impossible to ignore the growing expectation and excitement surrounding this England side.

    Andrew Strauss's men have comprehensively usurped India at the top of the ICC world Test rankings, and their series victory could hardly have been more emphatic.

    Inevitably, all the talk is now of how dominant England can be on the world stage. Can they remain top of the rankings for a sustained period of time?

    This settled group of players

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  • Captain Dhoni drops back down to earth

    It has been a galling tour for Mahendra Singh Dhoni - the hitherto untouchable and apparently invincible captain of the world's number one team, India.

    After his side won the World Cup on home soil, Dhoni was heralded as the best captain in international cricket and the plaudits never ceased thereafter.

    But a mere four months later, India continue to toil haplessly on their tour of England without sufficient runs from their much-lauded batting line-up, without wickets from their bowling unit, and devoid of leadership and inspiration.

    It has truly been a woeful time for India and, in

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  • A winner and a loser for England

    Alastair
    Cook stole the show at Edgbaston today, giving England fans 294 reasons to
    forget a man who might be about to make an extended trip into the shadows.

    Essex
    team-mate Ravi Bopara was the next man in midway through the evening session on
    day two. It was 218 runs and the lion's share of 24 hours later before he got a
    chance to get to the crease.

    As England
    enjoyed a third consecutive day of grinding down - a word Cook himself used to
    describe it - their illustrious opponents, Bopara was doubtless steeling himself
    for the most important innings of his career. Whenever the cameras cut to

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  • The best bowling attack in the world

    They say that batsmen set up matches, bowlers win them. It was another sterling effort from England's pace attack to skittle India out for a paltry 224 at Edgbaston.

    But for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 77 batting with the tail, the tourists would have been all out for a meagre 147, thanks to another hugely impressive performance from Messrs Anderson, Broad, Bresnan and Swann.

    Indeed, India were 111 for seven at one stage thanks to the menacing, consistent and ultimately potent bowling unit.

    It cannot even be argued now that England's bowlers flourish to such an extent occasionally, with four of the

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  • Who are the world’s best team?

    It may not have been apparent to casual observers so far this summer, but India are officially the number one side in the world right now.

    South Africa are the second best side, according to the ICC Test Championship rankings, while England are the next cab in line. Below that, Sri Lanka and Australia occupy fourth and fifth places respectively.

    This series has been billed as the two best sides in the world locking horns to decide who is the best. But is this fair? After all, South Africa must be sitting in second spot wondering why their claims are being largely ignored.

    ICC chief executive

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  • Are England the world’s top side in waiting?

    All the conservative platitudes will be rolled out after the match - warning against complacency, extolling the virtues of taking each Test one at a time and of not getting too far ahead of the present moment - but England's clinical and emphatic dismantling of the world's number one side India was truly startling.

    Such was the convincing manner of England's win late on day four at Trent Bridge, that it was hard to believe that India had occupied match-winning positions twice over the first two days in Nottingham.

    Indeed, the hosts' victory margin of 319 runs is the largest by a team who had

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