Sport

What a fine mess English cricket finds itself in. Yet for supporters of a certain age, the last two months in Australia have just been a return to normal service.

Steven Finn broke New Zealand's resistance

Angus Fraser deserves credit for unleashing Steven Finn's growing aggression

When a cricketer suffers poor form, his wisest move is usually to speak to those who know his game best.

Pair of aces: Joe Root (left) is congratulated by Jonny Bairstow after hitting a four to bring up his maiden Test century against New Zealand yesterday

Local hero leaves Nick Compton with plenty to think about

Try to avoid thinking about pink elephants and you can be sure of the image that will pop into your mind. The more you seek to escape a train of thought, the more closely you follow it.

Alastair Cook must recapture the touch he had early in his captaincy

Edgy England need Alastair Cook in form

Kevin Pietersen will be welcomed back but captain is key for a side whose batting is wobbling worryingly

Ian Bell is expected to recover from tonsillitis in time to play for England in the second Test against New Zealand

Ian Bell to recover in time to play for England in the second Test against New Zealand

Ian Bell is expected to recover from tonsillitis in time to play for England in the second Test against New Zealand starting on Friday.

Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan are both recalled to the England squad to face New Zealand

Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan return for New Zealand series

Duo back in 12-man England squad after missing Tour of New Zealand

Joe Root played a captain’s innings for the England Lions

New Zealand 285 England Lions 219-2 report: England to stick not twist as Joe Root is still pulling up trees

England will announce their first Test squad of the summer on Saturday. The chairman of selectors, Geoff Miller, will not be required to learn new lines.

James Taylor could be the man to fill England's middle order hole

There is less than a week until what for many is the true start of the cricketing summer, the first Test Match of the year, and yet there is still some uncertainty about the composition of England's batting lineup.

Fawad Ahmed: 'I'm happy in Australia. I'm looking forward. Now i have a new life and this is a new era'

Australia's spin options for the Ashes

Since the retirement of Shane Warne, the Baggy Greens have struggled to fill the void

Despite a couple of scares Kevin Pietersen made 68 by lunch

Confusion surrounds Kevin Pietersen injury: England batsman out of third Test in New Zealand and IPL with knee problem - will he miss the Ashes too?

Management handling of ailment picked up three weeks ago leads to doubts over return

New Zealand v England: Stuart Broad and Matt Prior keep tourists in control

England wicket-keeper Matt Prior struck an outstanding innings of 82 to put the tourists in a strong position after day two of the Second Test against New Zealand.

Despite a couple of scares Kevin Pietersen made 68 by lunch

Second Test: Kevin Pietersen takes over after England lose their concentration and early wickets

New Zealand fight back following opening day dominated by marker for the future from Compton

A frustrated Alastair Cook in New Zealand

England captain Alastair Cook labelled a 'genius' by Brendon McCullum

England play New Zealand in the second Test from tonight

New Zealand v England first Test: Steven Finn heroics can't cure England of first Test syndrome

England 167 & 421-6 drew with New Zealand 460-9 dec: Nightwatchman secures the draw but tourists still don't know how to remedy cardinal defect

New Zealand v England first Test: England produce abject batting performance

Tourists all out for 167 in first innings

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003