Nothing lasts forever, no matter how great it is. Graeme Swann’s retirement came as a shock to many, but ever since his recovery from his elbow operation, he hasn't performed at the match winning standard we were once all so familiar with. There has been contrasting reactions to the timing his retirement. Should he have stayed to try to help an England bid to hault further capitulation? Don’t forget that there was no guarantee that he would maintain his place in the side. I’m in agreement with Geoffrey Boycott, labeling Swann’s retirement as ‘honest’ and ‘brave’. I think it’s easy for the armchair viewer to speculate why a player retires. I've heard many calling the news as cowardly, with the view that Swann has lost his bottle against the aggressive Aussie team and media. I think Swann’s retirement is a result of physical reasons, as he mentioned in his press conference, but also a result of complete lack of confidence in the competitive and intense environment of the Ashes, where players are exposed at their most.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Australia's hugely impressive rout of England in the Ashes series so far has not come by chance and the Baggy Greens deserve huge credit for picking themselves up following their defeat earlier this year and responding in the best possible manner.
Make no mistake, Darren Lehmann's side have battered England in the three Tests so far and, in contrast to the Three Lions' own win on home soil, the 'contests' in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth are actually barely worthy of that description.
One team has been on top for the whole series and, save for the very first day at The Gabba, Australia have been totally, utterly dominant.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Young, talented and full of potential, Ben Stokes is sure to play a prominent part in the future of English cricket. Making his debut in test cricket, he has a real chance to prove himself, maintain his place in the team and establish himself as a permanent feature in this England side in all forms of the game. Despite only bowling 8 overs today, it was enough to get a quick glimpse of him to show that, above all, he has the temperament for international cricket. His first ball was smack on a length outside off stump allowing Watson to let it sail through to Prior. His speeds were consistent and by maintaining tight lines, he gave the Aussie batsmen few scoring opportunities.
Monday, December 2, 2013
England’s chances of winning the second Ashes Test in Adelaide this coming week look increasingly slim after their fast bowlers toiled to a forgettable draw against a Cricket Australia XI in Alice Springs. Following a quite humiliating 381-run defeat in the first Test in Brisbane, there was hope among cricket betting fans that England would regain some sort of credibility in their between-Tests fixture.