Cow Corner

  • Snicko’ seen but never heard

    Batsman nicks it behind... Vociferous appeal goes up... White coat
    says 'not out'... Decision is referred... Snicko' shouts 'out'... Big Snicko'
    graph proves the contact with the outside edge... TV white coat says 'no'... Punters and pundits utterly dumbfounded.

    James Anderson takes a wicket, except that he doesn't. That's the wacky world of cricket we love watching.

    It was one of those regular occurences in international cricket
    when the entire ground, all the players, and every spectator is busy
    celebrating or bemoaning a wicket - but the white coats disagree.

    It was a farcical situation

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  • Tasty appetiser for Cook’s captaincy

    Before
    Alastair Cook's appointment as England one-day international captain is fully
    embraced, there are two trivial - piffling, really - question marks over him
    which need to be resolved.

    Namely,
    those are his ability to be a one-day batsman, and his ability to be a one-day
    captain.

    The concern
    about Cook's elevation has somewhat dissipated with every towering Test ton he
    has notched in the last few months, but the feeling remain sthat his promotion is
    undeserved.

    At best,
    most fans are prepared to give Cook a chance to make the role his - and to that
    end, all eyes were on The Oval for the

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  • England taught the art of scoring

    It is easy to read too much into a single result. On Tuesday, England were cocks of the walk after thrashing Sri Lanka at The Oval.

    Today they just looked like cocks, as the roles were reversed at Headingley.

    So despite the one-sided nature of today's result, Cow Corner is not going to declare the death of English one-day cricket.

    But England were shown up in an area where they struggle, even when playing well.

    Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara handed them a lesson in scoring quickly without slogging.

    Jayawardene won the game with a majestic 144, but took remarkably few risks.

    He scored

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  • Don’t hang classy Sangakkara out to dry

    There are
    few men in sport who not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Kumar
    Sangakkara did both with considerable distinction this week, but the
    ramifications of his words may see him unfairly treated.

    The ever
    classy Sangakkara captivated an engrossed audience at Lord's two days ago with
    his intelligent, frank and astute assessments of Sri Lankan cricket in the MCC
    Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture but, it's fair to say that his views have not
    been well received back home.

    The former
    skipper made his reticence patently clear before agreeing to take up the
    prestigious invitation of giving

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  • Broad-side hits England

    Ladies and gentlemen, your new England captain!

    Had Stuart Broad known what was going to happen at Bristol, he might not have been so declare himself fit following a run-in with a stray medicine ball in training.

    The new Twenty20 skipper saw his side comprehensively ourplayed by Sri Lanka, who won with nearly three overs to spare and looked like they could have chase at least 50 more than their 136 target had they been required to.

    It is obviously much too early to judge Broad's captaincy (though it was branded unimaginative by Nasser Hussain), but this demolition job illustrates the fickle

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  • England frustration mark of ambition

    There was a time when simply winning a Test series was considered
    to be the very height of acceptable ambition. That has now changed for England,
    and it reflects a newfound, bristling ambition.

    In the not too distant past, if the hosts had clinched a
    three-match series 1-0, it would have been a celebrated to the rafters: Botham
    barbeques, commemorative team golf days, not to mention epic sessions down the
    local.

    On this occasion it was entirely different. England won a tepid
    series 1-0, and ended it thoroughly peeved and narked that they did not win all
    three matches.

    No jigging on balconies;

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  • England finally learn how to declare

    England had become international leaders - pioneers, if you will -
    of executing staggering non-declarations to turn potential victories into dour
    draws.

    Andrew Strauss has been long maligned for his propensity to
    extinguish a winning situation with a heavy, sober dose of conservatism and
    apprehension.

    But all that has now changed, on the fickle evidence of today's
    showing.

    Andy Flower and Strauss spent about the amount of time it takes
    for Tim Bresnan to sign his autograph to work out with the help of a notepad
    when they should declare, and the result was magnificent.

    The gloomy collective

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  • Strauss still the man to lead England

    Memories are short in sport, and patience is even more fleeting.

    Andrew Strauss's place in the England side is reportedly under
    threat after a run of low scores, and the unabated rise to prominence of his
    perennial understudy, Alastair Cook.

    The choker-sporting opening batsman has not thrived in this series
    it is fair to say - indeed, it won't take England's entire 83-man backroom
    staff to surmise that he is presently in pretty shoddy nick.

    But since Strauss succeeded Kevin Pietersen (who, by his own
    verdict, contributed a great deal to England's subsequent success), the
    Middlesex man has won

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  • All shapes and sizes needed in England bowling

    If you could play God for the
    day and build the perfect bowler, he'd look a little something like Chris
    Tremlett.

    Six foot eight inches tall,
    strong and muscular, capable of bowling at 90 miles per hour and exploiting
    bounce from heights most of us cannot reach without a broom handle.

    Failing that (if we were short
    of the requisite clay, for example), we'd probably create a Steven Finn, just
    an inch shorter, or a Stuart Broad, rarely the shortest in any pace attack when
    he stands at 6'6".

    And yet, when the tallest
    attack ever to grace Test cricket got their turn to take centre stage at
    Lord's,

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  • Tremlett becoming a giant of the game

    On a day in which Cowers expected to be providing drop-by-drop
    updates for its readers, Chris Tremlett still managed to steal the show.

    Tremors sent shivers down the necks of the Sri Lanka batsmen with
    the sheer ferocity of his spell after an almost interminable delay before the
    start of play.

    England's players had spent a heady morning playing draughts,
    backgammon and chess before sheepishly emerging to do a few fielding drills
    after an irrelevant lunch break was taken.

    Andrew Strauss then followed his team huddle with an inspired, if
    extremely belated, decision to hand Tremlett the opening

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