Stephen Brenkley

Stephen Brenkley is Cricket Correspondent for The Independent.

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Gary Ballance (right) reaches 150 at Southampton with Ian Bell, who was given the No 4 berth in order to keep the young batsmen apart

England vs India fourth Test: Level-headed Gary Ballance puts his shirt on being an England fixture

New boy’s centuries at No 3 have consigned Jonathan Trott to memory already and was able to use nightclub shame as motivation

M S Dhoni heads for the pavilion at Southampton after losing his wicket to Jimmy Anderson, second left, at Southampton

England vs India fourth Test comment: India need Dhoni to get his eye back on the ball

Whatever Jimmy Anderson does or does not think of M S Dhoni, there is no doubt that Dhoni is one of the coolest customers in cricket. According to the judicial commissioner’s report of the disciplinary hearing which followed the notorious lunchtime incident at Trent Bridge, Anderson referred to Dhoni as a “f****** fat c***”.

Steven Finn of England looks dejected as James Pattinson (left) and Brad Haddin plunder runs during an Ashes Test

England vs India fourth Test preview: Steven Finn back in his stride but the big test is yet to come

Middlesex paceman who had forgotten how to bowl steps into the spotlight again as England head to Old Trafford

Steven Finn is set to feature for England in the fourth Test against India

England vs India fourth Test: Steven Finn called up to the squad to replace Liam Plunkett

Plunkett is out with an ankle injury

His family join England at the Ageas Bowl last week

Declaration of war... but the show goes on

It took a while for the county game to come to terms with the conflict in the summer of 1914 – but then W G Grace stepped in
Anderson was found not guilty of any breach of the ICC Code of Conduct at a costly hearing last Friday

England v India: For the good of the series, just shake on it and forget the spat

It has been a great battle between two well-matched teams, but in the probable absence of any handshaking the mutual antipathy is likely to continue this week
Jimmy Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja in action during this ill-tempered series

James Anderson comment: Whole daft mess didn’t merit the ill-feeling or money wasted on it

If the players want to annoy each other they might do it without resorting to litigation

England bowler James Anderson

James Anderson verdict: England bowler found NOT GUILTY by the ICC over Ravindra Jadeja altercation

The fast bowler is clear to play in the two remaining Tests of the series against India

Jimmy Anderson looks on in the field during the final day today

England victory over India clouded by Jimmy Anderson’s ICC hearing

Bowler faces hearing on Friday and could be banned for four matches

England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
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Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
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Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
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Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
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Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

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Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
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Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
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Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there