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December 2009
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Daniel Brigham: Gooch looks to have sorted Cook flaws

December 10th, 2009 by Daniel Brigham in England, Test cricket


Alastair Cook’s assured 81 for England in the current warm-up match is cause for a bit of back-patting. One goes to Andy Flower for bringing in Graham Gooch as a temporary batting coach, another to Gooch himself for working with Cook’s technique and the final one to Cook for turning those changes into runs.

When Flower called on his old Essex coach Gooch, it was clear that although he was there for all of the batsmen, it was Cook who was to be his main focus. Cook’s place in the team has been under serious pressure for too long. He looked out of his depth in the Ashes and had there been a realistic alternative to open the batting it is likely he would have been out of the Test side in South Africa.

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Posted in England, Test cricket | 24 Comments »

Sam Collins: Shah attacks England selectors

December 10th, 2009 by Sam Collins in England, One-day cricket


You could accuse Owais Shah of many things, but not recently of being a bland interviewee. The frenetic intensity so evident as he grips his bat-handle like a fireman’s ladder is as prevalent in his wide-eyes and earnest manner in conversation – PG Wodehouse could have had Shah in mind when he wrote of Mr Cootes, “There was an impulsiveness about his character which did not go well with the possession of fire-arms”. As Shah faced the media yesterday, words were his weapon when he took aim at the England selectors.

It has been two months since Shah gave a heartfelt reaction to Sky Sports News on his omission from England’s one-day squad for South Africa, and clearly it still rankles. Consistency is the byword, and his main gripe. “I was extremely surprised and disappointed to be left out,” he says. “I was told that I wasn’t consistent enough and that’s the only reason I’m not playing for England. I was the highest run-scorer for England over the last 12 months. I don’t really know where they’re coming from”.

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Posted in England, One-day cricket | 1 Comment »

Fraser: O’Brien Understands My Pain

December 10th, 2009 by Alan Tyers in County cricket


With the signing of wholehearted uphill trundler Iain O’Brien, is Gus Fraser seeking to remake Middlesex in his own image? His diary reveals all…

Met O’Brien to have a chat about contracts. We walked from the Grace Gates to my office; by the time we got there we were both sweating buckets. Iain had done his hip and I had a bad feeling my left leg was going to fall off again. I was pretty bloody exhausted after the slog, so I just sat on the floor for a bit eating salt tablets and muttering. I don’t think people realise how much hard work walking from one end of the ground to the other can be.

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Posted in County cricket | No Comments »

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