Cow Corner

  • Broad full of it after penny finally drops

    The penny has finally dropped for
    Stuart Broad, and boy did he come good: bowl a full length, draw the batsmen
    forward, and rewards will follow.

    Broad has long been maligned for
    his seeming incapability to bowl in the batsman's half of the wicket, coupled
    with England's defensive deployment of his talents.

    Indeed, given the apparent
    predictability of the lanky seamer's length, Cowers was among the many people
    pacing around in frustration as Broad was once again preferred to the
    blisteringly in-form Timmy Bresnan on Thursday.

    The agitation grew further when
    England were batting as Broad, who

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  • Patience proves a productive virtue for KP

    There are many superlatives which
    do justice to Kevin Pietersen's batting when the preening peacock is in good
    nick, but the virtue of patience was most impressively apparent in his quite
    epic 202 at Lord's.

    Pietersen
    had gone 20 innings since his last home Test century: it was almost three years
    ago that he hit a ton against South Africa at The Oval back in 2008.

    There
    was no doubt about it: Pietersen found himself very much under pressure ahead
    of this, the 2,000th Test match in the history of the game.

    KP's
    approach to batting has long been maligned, lamented and publicly criticised -
    and

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  • Cricket still looks resplendent in hardback

    How did you come to love the game?
    Personal encounters of cricket come in many forms: from fierce backyard
    rivalries; to village green heroics; to the deeply professional sport we find
    ourselves utterly engrossed in.

    Perhaps no sport is so suitably
    and gloriously captured and enjoyed on the page, and it is not only Wisden
    Almanacks and prematurely published autobiographies of fledgling international
    careers which can be pored over.

    Cowers has been asked to review
    many cricketing titles over the years - including Ian Botham's inauspicious
    dabbling into the world of carp fishing - but few have

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  • Zaheer blow could leave India hamstrung

    When five esteemed cricket experts were asked who was India's key player ahead of the series with England, two said Sachin Tendulkar, while three believed it was fast bowler Zaheer Khan.

    It may seem surprising, indeed staggering, that the best batsman since the great Sir Donald Bradman is not considered the indispenable part of the Indian machine by the overwhelming majority.

    But that would be to neglect the influence held by India's one truly world class paceman, and the man who has proved himself a consummate exponent of swing bowling in English conditions.

    On a day of drab batting, dank

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  • What have mercurial England learnt?

    You can look at it two ways: England shaded a
    typically topsy-turvy series in characteristically mercurial fashion; but
    equally, they showed a newfound ruthless edge to clinch a tight challenge.

    Sri Lanka are officially (well, according to those ICC
    rankings) the fourth best side in pyjama cricket, while England are one place
    lower: it was always supposed to be a finely balanced series, and so it proved.

    The hosts showed their composure in the final
    encounter of a five-match money-spinner which failed on the most part to seize
    the public's imagination, but which ended with an engrossing finale

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  • 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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