Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Oh, what to do about the Colly wobbles

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CRICKET-ASHES/With the fourth test steaming up on us like Santa’s sleigh with an inebriated Rudolf at the helm, time is running out for England to decide on what to do about a problem like Paul Collingwood.

Is it me or does “Brigadier Block” always seem more out of form than in form?

In his last 12 innings since his century against Bangladesh in Chittagong, “Colly” (who still averages a respectable 41.14 in test cricket) has managed to reach double figures in a test innings on only four occasions, passing 50 just once in that time against Pakistan in Nottingham in the summer.

Marcus North (2 centuries, 2 half-centuries in his last 12 innings) was dropped from the Australian team for lesser crimes against cricket.

Doctor’s orders mean changes for Australia but belief is key

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CRICKET-ASHES/Did somebody call for a doctor? A psychiatrist more like! A serious amount of surgery is needed on the Australian cricket team to help them turn around their fortunes in the third Ashes test starting on Thursday.

Australia could make five changes for the Perth test as they shuffle their pack in an attempt to find the magic combination to take 20 English wickets and take advantage of the “Freemantle Doctor” (the term given to the breeze that blows across the WACA ground which can be a useful asset to any bowling attack).

A test comeback for Warne? Australia are not that desperate

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CRICKET-ASHES/“Bowling, Shane” are not words English batsmen would want to hear ever again, but how would the Australians react to Shane Warne making an astonishing return to answer his nation’s plea for help in the wake of the second test defeat to the ‘Poms’?

To say Warne was England’s primary Ashes tormentor for years and years is an understatement. Every time the leg spinner had the ball in his hand he had the opposition quaking, and even off the pitch he was a handful.

England are confident but will the Ashes dream go up in smoke again?

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CRICKET-ASHES/With Australia’s current cricket team seemingly keen on proving they can be just as hopeless as any cricket team England produced circa 1990-2000, what better time to go Down Under and watch England defend the Ashes?

I was meant to go four years ago after the epic 2005 series, only to pull out at the last minute and buy a house instead.

from India Insight:

IPL Kochi on its way out?

A policeman stands guard at one of the entrances to a cricket stadium during a match in the IPL tournament in Kolkata April 19, 2010. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files
It's intriguing arithmetic. After adding two new franchises to its stable, the Indian Premier League now runs the serious risk of going into its fourth edition with seven cricket teams, one less than the original eight.

In that March 21 news conference in Chennai, Lalit Modi, still one month away from a dramatic dumping, was doing what he does best -- reeling off mindboggling numbers.

The Sachin Tendulkar jinx

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India's Sachin Tendulkar is bowled by Australia's Peter George for 214 runs during the fourth day of the second cricket test match in Bangalore October 12, 2010. REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

In getting out to debutant Peter George of Australia in the second cricket test at Bangalore, India’s Sachin Tendulkar has established another test record.

Of the 251 times he has gotten out in a test match, the little master has been the debut wicket of at least ten bowlers – Hansie Cronje, Mark Ealham, Neil Johnson, Ruwan Kalpage, Jacob Oram, Monty Panesar, Ujesh Ranchod, Peter Siddle, Cameron White and Peter George.

Records not enough for little master Tendulkar

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CRICKET-AUSTRALIA/INDIABy Adveith Nair and Krishna N. Das

Having dominated international cricket for over 21 years, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar sets a world record practically every time he steps out on a cricket pitch.

The second India-Australia test that begins on Saturday will be no different. Fans will be counting down the 27 runs the little master needs to become the first ever player to chalk up 14,000 test runs. Given his recent prolific form, it is more than likely the little master will reach that milestone in the southern Indian city of Bangalore with ease.

All-time world cricket XI proves difficult to choose

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Garfield Sobers stirred a minor controversy when he stated a preference for India’s Subhash Gupte ahead of Shane Warne in a mythical all-time World XI.

In an introduction to “In a League of their Own”, a recently released book in which 100 great cricketers select their ideal XI, Sobers said he found it too difficult to select his greatest team.

Monty’s back but England Ashes hopes rest on Swann

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CRICKET-ENGLAND/England’s commitment to a four-man attack for their Ashes defence in Australia this year has directly influenced the decision to recall left-arm spinner Monty Panesar.

Panesar and Surrey fast bowler Chris Tremlett, another recall, won the two extra bowling places at stake in the 16-man squad named at the Oval on Thursday.

Cricket’s Muralitharan scaled new heights

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Prodigious spin propelled by an abnormally strong wrist and an iron resolve forged in bitter acrimony over his unique action took Muttiah Muralitharan to unprecedented heights in world cricket.

Muralitharan, 38, took his 800th test wicket with his final ball in 133 tests on Thursday. With Twenty20 cricket cutting increasingly into the test programme it is a mark that is unlikely ever to be exceeded.

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