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Leading article: Hit and hope

On the dance floor, Mark Ramprakash more than fulfilled his potential. Alas, as an international Test batsman, it was a different story. Despite his talent with the willow, Ramprakash never flourished for his national side. He was dropped in 2002 and that, most of the cricket world presumed, was that.

But was it? So bad was England's performance with the bat against Australia in the fourth Ashes Test at the weekend that the selectors are casting their eye over the top performers in county cricket. And who should stand out but Ramprakash who, just shy of his 40th birthday, is playing the best cricket of his life. Could the nearly-man of English cricket be given one, final, shot at glory? "I'm not ruling anybody out", said the England selector Geoff Miller teasingly yesterday.

George Orwell described cricket as "a game of forlorn hopes and sudden dramatic changes of fortune". Will fortune spin her wheel one more time for the Tango-dancing batsman?