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Captains come and captains go. But Graeme Smith of South Africa seems to plough forever onward and upward. By the end of the series against England which begins at The Oval on Thursday, he will be the most enduring captain in Test history.
He could plausibly make Pakistan the best Test side in the world within two years
He was disappointed and he was defiant. If he was going anywhere he was not saying so. It was neither the time nor the place. There was a series still on the line and, if it cannot be won by England now, it can be drawn.
History suggests tourists need five-man attack to counter pitch and heat
It is not easy leading a losing side. I know, I played in enough of them and watched the pressure get to Gower, Atherton and Hussain in different ways.
Sometimes it's the little things that say so much. Plenty has been written about this England side's unity, but actions speak louder than words and yesterday Jonathan Trott stepped up to the plate, as I believe they put it in a game not entirely dissimilar to cricket. Noticing at the change of over that Alastair Cook's collar was a little askew, the South African-born batsman leant over and corrected it. Now that's team spirit.
The mood is grim in Australia. After the euphoria of day three, day four proved what Englishmen hoped and Australians feared: the home attack will struggle to bowl England out this summer without the aid of freakish good luck or sloppiness from the visitors. If only the Aussies had a gun-fast bowler to call on who could turn England over.
In one of the stories about the origins of the informal name of the Brisbane cricket ground it means “fight talk place.” That is apparently the translation of the word Woolloongabba, actually the name of the suburb where the ground stands and known to all and sundry as The Gabba.
Farhat falls to perfect off-break that evokes memories of Warne's leggie to Gatting in '93
Olonga stunned cricket and the wider world when he donned a black armband at the World Cup, mourning the death of democracy in his homeland. Seven years on, he has told his life story to Derek Clements
Essex 484 Durham 83-1
Graeme Smith took on a wave of English hostility yesterday as he refused to walk when he was still a long way from a brilliant, clubbing 20th Test century and then he sat with his big shoulders hunched watching lightning flashes light up the storm-laden highveld sky.
Australian arrives back home promising his desire to carry on is stronger than ever
Don't study the statistics, listen to the audience. Andrew Flintoff's flamboyant cameo in his final innings in Test cricket at the Oval yesterday means he finishes with a batting average of 31.77. The Big Man hit four boundaries, scoring 22 off 18 balls before holing out to long on, and left, as he had arrived not long before, to a standing ovation of unconditional fondness.
Sooner or later, and probably sooner, something will have to be done about Test cricket. Kevin Pietersen became the latest significant player yesterday to cast doubt on the status of the longest, purest form of the game.