Dhoni defends four-bowler strategy

When Bob Dylan asked who killed Davey Moore, the answer was everyone involved with boxing. Yet they didn’t want a finger pointed at them. MS Dhoni, after enduring a Test where everything went wrong, didn’t mind pointing that finger. In Ishant Sharma’s absence, the bowlers were flat. Forget 20, they didn’t look like picking up 10 wickets. India’s shoddy slip catching contributed to debutant Pankaj Singh ending up wicketless. The opening partnership is yet to add 50 outside Asia. The middle order got in and fell to soft dismissals. Mooen Ali taking six wickets against accomplished players of spin was the perfect riposte to Ishant’s bouncing out of England’s batsmen at Lord’s.

“That’s what international cricket is all about,” Dhoni said. “It was not like we were expecting England to win. We knew they would come back strongly at us, and for us also it was a new challenge to keep the momentum going after the Lord’s win. This Test showed some areas where we have to improve. Read more

New Zealand to Impose Lengthy Jail Terms for Match-Fixing

New Zealand is to slap a seven-year jail term on anyone caught match-fixing under a new law due to take effect before it hosts the Cricket World Cup and Under-20 FIFA World Cup next year.

The Match-Fixing Bill, introduced to parliament Thursday with unanimous political support, would apply the lengthy sentences to anyone caught trying to influence or benefit from the outcome of a match or race.

“Match-fixing is a growing problem internationally and has been described as the number one threat to the integrity, value and growth of sport,” Sports Minister Murray McCully said.Read more

England v India: Moeen Ali takes 6-67 as hosts win to level series

England ended a year-long wait for a Test win by wrapping up a 266-run victory over India in the third Test at Southampton.

After setting the tourists 445 to win, England took the six wickets required on the final day to bowl the tourists out for 178 and end a 10-match winless run.

Moeen Ali claimed his first Test-match five-wicket haul to finish with 6-47, while James Anderson picked up 2-24. Read more

Back injury forces Sarwan home

Leicestershire captain Ramnaresh Sarwan has returned home to the West Indies to receive treatment for an ongoing back injury.

Sarwan had featured in just five championship matches because of his back problem, and his place in the team as an overseas player will now be taken by the former New Zealand allrounder Scott Styris.

“I am naturally very disappointed to have had my season cut short at Grace Road,” Sarwan said. “It has been a frustrating time not being out in the middle with the lads and I want to wish all the players and the coaching staff the best of luck. Read more

India in England: Desperate to Win Southampton Test, Says Joe Root

England batsman Joe Root on Wednesday expressed joy at the “good day” his side experienced and was also confident that they can take the six remaining Indian wickets on day five of the third cricket Test. (Third Test, Day 4 Report | Highlights)

Chasing 445 runs, the visitors were placed in a precarious position of 112/4 at stumps on day four. (Anderson celebrates birthday with fifer)

“It was one of the better days for us. You want to have such days as a team,” said Root. (‘Hurt’ BCCI to contest Ravindra Jadeja fine) Read more

England v India: Alastair Cook relieved by end to barren run

Alastair Cook says the 226-run win over India in the third Test has prevented the pressure on him to resign as England captain from coming to a head.

Both Cook and England had suffered a year-long run of poor form, but his innings of 95 and 70 not out helped them end a 10-match winless run.

“It was getting to a crux situation,” said Cook, who had averaged 22.10 with the bat over the previous 10 Tests.

“If it had carried on like that who knows what would have happened?”
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Chandimal, Mendis dropped for Pakistan Tests

Sri Lanka have left out wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal and spinner Ajantha Mendis from their 15-man squad for the Pakistan Tests starting next week. Fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep returns to the squad after missing the recent South Africa Test series due to injury and youngster Niroshan Dickwella keeps his place as wicketkeeper after an impressive debut earlier this week. Lahiru Thirimanne remains the vice-captain, though he was dropped for the previous Test against South Africa.

Chandimal had lost his place in the XI for the second Test against South Africa after a poor outing in Galle, prompting a surprise call-up for the 21-year-old Dickwella, who had been in England with the Sri Lanka A side before having to dash back to Colombo to make it in time for his Test debut. Chandimal has joined the A squad in England. Prasanna Jayawardene, who was the first-choice wicketkeeper till he got injured before the second Test against England in June, was still not 100% fit. Read more

Jacques Kallis, a Master All-Rounder Who Knew His Boundaries

South Africa’s Jacques Kallis has surprisingly decided to call time on his international limited overs career six months before the World Cup.

The 38-year-old, one of the greaTest all-rounders in the game’s history, retired from Test cricketlast year but had been planning to finish his South Africa career at the 50-over World Cup inAustralia and New Zealand in February and March.

However, he announced a change of heart on Wednesday, just weeks after helping South Africawin a one-day international series in Sri Lanka for the first time.Read more

Jonathan Agnew: England’s ‘complete performance’ rewarded

Almost everything went according to plan for England in the 266-run win over India in the third Test in Southampton.

It was a complete team performance to end a 10-match winless run and, with the series square at 1-1, sets up a terrific contest in the penultimate Test at Old Trafford next week.

Naturally, a lot of the focus will be on Alastair Cook, because he was under such tremendous pressure after the second Test defeat at Lord’s. Read more

England set India target of 445

England continued to play the near-perfect Test and India were powerless to hinder them. At times, it looked like they weren’t even trying. James Anderson made extremely short work of the last two Indian wickets, and England’s batsmen toyed with the Indian bowling after Alastair Cook decided not to enforce the follow-on, extending the 239-run first-innings lead to 444 before the declaration came 25 minutes before the scheduled tea break.

England’s run rate of five allowed their bowlers a minimum of 132 overs to bowl India out and level the series in Southampton. India have batted more deliveries in the final innings of a Test on only six previous innings. The icing on England’s cake was that their out-of-form captain, Cook, scored his second half-century of the Test, this time in a far more convincing manner. Read more