Tag Archive: Alastair Cook

Stuart Broad is congratulated by his England team-mates as his six wickets help England win another Ashes series (Image | Action)

Stuart Broad is congratulated by his England team-mates as his six wickets help England win another Ashes series (Image | Action)

The 2013 Ashes Series (mark 1) has not always been a display of two world-leading teams giving each other their best shot. There has been inconsistency of umpiring, sub-par batting aplenty and the occasional, inevitable washout.

What this series has had throughout, however, is drama. It was punctuated in characteristic style at Durham this weekend by the stoic Ian Bell, unarguably the outstanding performer of the series thus far.

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As another sporting year begins there may be a certain feeling that nothing could top the unforgettable year of 2012, which saw a magnificent Olympic Games, the European Championships, a British Grand Slam winner after so long and much more.

Mario Balotelli | Why, oh why is it always him? (Image | Manchester City FC)

Mario Balotelli | Having once again hit the headlines after a row with manager Roberto Mancini in training, we ask: why, oh why is it always him? (Image | Manchester City FC)

However, there are more than enough prizes to be decided over the next 12 months, some of which are fairly easy to predict, while others remain very much open to debate.

The Armchair Pundits, therefore, has taken a look at the calendar and pinpointed five “sure-fire successes”, some of which are bound to be as controversial as Mario Balotelli and about as likely as Tom Daley being handed his own diving-themed show on televi… Oh, hang on.

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Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen were two of England's best performers with the bat - especially in Mumbai (Image | S. Subramanium via the Hindu Business Times)

Leading lights | Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen were two of England’s best performers with the bat, especially in Mumbai. (Image | S. Subramanium via Hindu Business Times)

India is not supposed to be a happy hunting ground for the England cricket team.

The slow, dusty wickets and near-Equatorial climate have caused England no end of problems in recent tours, and the Three Lions were without a Test series win in India in 25 years until the events of the past few weeks.

Now, not only have Alistair Cook‘s side delivered Test triumph, but a seriously depleted Twenty20 side have made a statement ahead of the build-up to the South Africa series next summer.

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Final concerto | Strauss has gone out on a high note, but his departure will have ramifications for England. (Image | BBC)

Press conferences are, by their very nature, meant to generate hype, suspense and a palpable sense of dread, if only to encourage interest and enthuse people to sit up and pay attention. Which the entire cricketing world did yesterday, as Andrew Strauss announced that he intended to retire from all forms of cricket immediately, bringing an end to a career that began with a first class début for Middlesex County Cricket Club in 1998.

Stating that he wished to “keep things brief” at the conference, in order to avoid turning proceedings into an Oscar acceptance speech, Strauss proceeded to, with the finesse of a Hollywood star, bow out, expire, cease to perform – the curtain was being lowered, not by the stage hand, but the lead star.

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Dominant: England took a 2-0 lead against the West Indies at Trent Bridge to win the series, but they didn’t have to work too hard for it. (Image | The Bolton News)

Before the Test series against the West Indies began, Andrew Strauss was having to defend his captaincy of the England cricket team and refute rumours that he was set to cast the role aside.

A series win over the Windies later, and all is well in the England camp. As has been observed by many, the hosts barely had to move into second gear at Trent Bridge as the West Indies were bowled out for 165 all out, having fallen to 61-6 at the close of play on day three.

The visitors’ collapse was spectacular, as James Anderson, Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad all claimed wickets amid the ruthless destruction of the West Indies batting order.

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