Cow Corner

  • Five stats that sum up England’s terrible tour

    It has been a frankly disastrous tour Down Under for England so far and it is showing no signs of turning around before it is over.

    In what is fast becoming a humiliation, Alastair Cook's side failed to perform with the bat on a single occasion over the course of humbling defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide, while Australia look set to make it three out of three in Perth.

    Many different theories are being offered as to why this is such a startlingly lopsided Ashes contest given that England won 3-0 in the reverse series over the summer, so here are a few facts to provide some sense (well, okay,

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  • Why Ashes not welcome at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

    Sports fans can often take things far too seriously, even when not attending a match itself.

    Supporters appeared to have taken the Melbourne Cricket Ground's status as an Ashes venue all too literally by smuggling in the mortal remains of loved ones to scatter on its turf during an open day.

    The Melbourne Cricket Club does not allow the scattering of ashes at the iconic cricket and Australian Rules venue but several piles of remains were left behind after some 30,000 visitors had departed the stadium.

    MCC spokesman Shane Brown said the ashes were a potential hazard to athletes and were

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  • Kevin Pietersen's sloppy dismissal to Peter Siddle was no less predictable than the hysterical reaction from England supporters that followed it.

    It was almost fitting that Pietersen reached a hugely significant landmark before infuriating everyone with a staggeringly nonchalant error of judgement.

    One minute the talismanic hero, the next a brainless and frustrating villain.

    But as much as Pietersen's lax shot was frustrating, Australia's disciplined strategy and approach to him has been hugely impressive.

    England's most free-spirited and mercurial batsman has been completely subdued and

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  • The view from Down Under: Stevie Wonder

    All hail Steven Smith, the latest Australian hero of this Ashes series and a batsman who is apparently on his way to greatness after a superb century on the opening day of the third Test.

    Smith's leaping celebration on reaching 100 is plastered across most Aussie sports pages today - and rightly so. Arriving at the crease with his team teetering on the brink of collapse, Smith managed to stop the rot and guide them towards the high ground with an innings that belied his tender years.

    At the age of just 24, Smith clearly has a great future in front of him, with respected cricket writer Malcolm

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  • Ashes captains share in historic day of landmarks

    Two very different personalities though they may be, Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook each received a wonderful reception on day one of the third Ashes Test at Perth after reaching a very notable landmark.

    Both men had the honour of captaining their countries in their 100th Tests with the Ashes very much on the line after Australia raced into a convincing 2-0 series lead at Adelaide.

    They came into this Ashes series with one's stock very high and the other's not quite so. Clarke was widely derided for releasing his 'Captain's Diary' of a 3-0 defeat in England earlier this year; Cook,

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  • The View from Down Under: Aussie mongrel set to devour England

    Anticipation of a series victory is palpable in Australia as a salivating home nation gears up for the third and potentially decisive Ashes Test in scorching Perth.

    Michael Clarke's side are just one victory away from prising the Ashes out of English hands and there is a very real sense that the WACA, with its fast and bouncy wicket, is the ideal place to do just that.

    Mitchell Johnson in particular has been singled out as a possible match winner once again, with the quick bowler the man most responsible for bringing the "mongrel" back into the Australian team and "injecting Australia's

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  • Is there any way for England to save The Ashes?

    Mitchell Johnson celebrates yet another five-for in the 2013-14 Ashes

    Already 2-0 up in the series and with Mitchell Johnson running riot, Australia could hardly be charged with more confidence as they look to rout a dispirited England in the third Ashes Test and recapture the coveted urn.

    In a remarkable turnaround, Australia have transformed themselves in a few short months from plucky 3-0 losers in England into an aggressive outfit which has dominated every aspect of play in crushing victories in Brisbane and Adelaide.


    Starting on Friday, they have a chance to drive home their advantage and win the

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  • ‘This will be 5-0 unless something drastic changes’

    Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen

    Former captain Michael Vaughan believes drastic changes are needed if England are to avoid a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia.

    The tourists went down to a 218-run defeat in the second Test at Adelaide, that coming off the back of a 381-run hammering in Brisbane to leave them 2-0 down in the series.

    Alastair Cook's team have endured a tumultuous time Down Under so far with the captain's form among that of many to come under question and batsman Jonathan Trott returning home due to a stress-related illness.

    Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson has also been giving England a torrid time, claiming

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  • It almost felt like an understatement describing England as 'lost' before a desperately despondent Alastair Cook addressed reporters at the Adelaide Oval after the captain's downbeat assessment.

    An utterly dejected Cook for once did not roll out the usual platitudes of 'putting things right' and 'returning to form', rather he talked of 'taking a big hit' and the need for 'looking hard at ourselves', 'searching deep into the inner soul' and 'dragging ourselves up'. It was a disarming and surprising set of reflections free of the usual cliché-ridden fare.

    The England captain is very clearly at

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  • Impressive Root shows senior England players what is required

    For Joe Root, this series is representing yet another challenge of his ability to demonstrate maturity and application patently absent from many of his team-mates.

    It should not be the case with so many senior England players around him, but the 22-year-old has had to find patience, courage and maturity when it has been sorely lacking from those around him.

    Having been asked to open the batting in his maiden Ashes series over the summer and been duly demoted, he has now been instructed to move up again to face the new ball at 'first drop'. Moving around the order like that would be a savagely

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