Interesting Times

It's often seemed as though the cricket world's been going mad these last two weeks and I've been away in Derbyshire visiting my family, so I haven't managed to post anything for a while. Now that things are returning to normal (England are losing a One-Day International as I write) it seems as though it's time to jot down a few thoughts.

I haven't got much to say about England's continued problems in limited-over cricket apart from stating what seems to be obvious, namely that if they'd been up against the current Pakistan attack - with Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and the massively impressive and skilful Mohammad Asif all firing - earlier in the summer, it seems highly unlikely that they would have won the Test series. In fact, in all probability they would have lost it and would be going to Australia having failed to win a series since the conclusion of the last Ashes contest. However, as the pros (and various other people, including me) always say, you can only beat what's put in front of you. This England did, but their uneasy and complacent performance at The Oval until they were let off the hook by Pakistan perhaps gave a clearer pointer to how tough things are likely to be in Australia than their comfortable wins at Old Trafford and Headingley.

Meanwhile, on the domestic scene, two tales from the last few days stand out. One, Graeme Hick (you may remember that I follow his career quite closely) scored two centuries for Worcestershire against Essex, and two, a pair of leg-spinners, Yorkshire's Mark Lawson (6-88) and Adil Rashid (4-96), bowled out Middlesex at Headingley.

The first time that's happened for a while, surely, but hopefully not the last.

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