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Author Archive for Vic Marks

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England face tyranny of choice and South Africa’s galaxy of backroom stars | Vic Marks

Chris Silverwood’s Test series squad looks excessive at 19 while their hosts have stacked their staff with heroes of the pastBefore landing in South Africa the sages in the England setup had an abundance of options, enough to keep them agonising for ho…

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Joe Root seeks crucial gains against familiar leader of the opposition | Vic Marks

The England captain needs runs and victories against a South Africa side who have turned to their former captain Graeme Smith for guidance at a time of disarrayThe last time England set off on a winter tour at election time they were also heading for S…

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Joe Root left out of England’s T20 squad to face South Africa

England Test skipper will play in 50-over matchesAll other senior players are back in the T20 squadJoe Root has been omitted from England’s T20 squad to play against South Africa in February after the Test series. This is likely to provoke mixed feelin…

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Jack Leach: ‘To see how my one not out affected so many was a special thing’ | Vic Marks

The England spinner’s innings during a remarkable Ashes win at Headingley turned him into a cult hero, known even to those who do not usually follow cricketJack Leach has learned to take nothing for granted. He is England’s senior spinner while Moeen A…

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Jack Leach: ‘To see how my one not out affected so many was a special thing’ | Vic Marks

The England spinner’s innings during a remarkable Ashes win at Headingley turned him into a cult hero, known even to those who do not usually follow cricketJack Leach has learned to take nothing for granted. He is England’s senior spinner while Moeen A…

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England’s contract issue central to the international future for Moeen Ali

All-rounder is not on trip to South Africa with Test team and can plot career path on lucrative franchise circuitThe size of England’s tour party to South Africa betrays the uncertainties. A squad of 17 players is unusual given there are two warm-up ma…

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Bob Willis, hero of Headingley, inspired teammates with his excellence| Vic Marks

Former England fast bowler and captain helped turn around the 1981 Ashes before becoming an outspoken commentatorBob Willis was one of England’s greatest fast bowlers. His 325 wickets from 90 matches place him at number four in the list of all-time Eng…

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Domestic calendar makes Test selectors’ task harder with The Hundred centre stage | Vic Marks

There will be only three rounds of matches next year in the three months that constitute high summer, offering few chances for those seeking to break into Joe Root’s teamOne day after a numbing, naive innings defeat against New Zealand the impetus for …

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Domestic calendar makes Test selectors’ task harder with The Hundred centre stage | Vic Marks

There will be only three rounds of matches next year in the three months that constitute high summer, offering few chances for those seeking to break into Joe Root’s teamOne day after a numbing, naive innings defeat against New Zealand the impetus for …

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The Spin | Travel fails to broaden the mind when it comes to the Hundred

New tournament divides opinion between those with a vested interest and those who fail to see the need for a fourth formatThe little cricketing hiatus seems to be over. We can tell that is the case because the admirable and ubiquitous Isa Guha is back …

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Chris Silverwood brings more homely touch to England’s quest for success

England’s new coach likely to be a calm supporter of players rather than a constant cajoler in the mould of Peter MooresThere are those who are distinctly underwhelmed by the elevation of Chris Silverwood to England’s head coach. They complain of a cos…

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England experience a boon for Chris Silverwood but it’s a big step up | Vic Marks

Chris Silverwood knows England’s cricketers and selectors well but the erstwhile bowling coach has taken on a great deal of extra responsibilityIn becoming only the second Englishman in two decades to be appointed as the national head coach, Chris Silv…

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Sacrificing Ashes for a World Cup win appears worthwhile for England | Vic Marks

It was not a perfect summer and the Test side requires work but Trevor Bayliss delivered the prize England coveted the mostAfter it was all over there were smiles rather than jubilation at the Oval and a few sighs of relief – from both sides. Australia…

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Captaincy burden may be robbing England of Joe Root’s greatest asset | Vic Marks

England need only to look to the example of Steve Smith to see how relinquishing the captaincy can restore batting formThe serious postmortems are on hold since there is barely time to breathe between Test matches. The outsiders have not been playing a…

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Ben Stokes’s teammates have chance to pay off their debt at Old Trafford | Vic Marks

All-rounder kept the Ashes series alive with his brilliance at Headingley and surely enabled some of his England colleagues to retain their places for the fourth Test in ManchesterThanks to Ben Stokes, there is still an Ashes series to savour. Thanks t…

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From ‘village cricketer’ to cult hero: Jack Leach relives his 17-ball epic | Vic Marks

He scored just one run but in his match-winning stand with Ben Stokes, England’s No 11 became the owner of cricket’s most famous pair of spectacles since the days of David SteeleWell, his running between the wickets borders on the diabolical. It is not…

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England and Australia openers under scrutiny amid Ashes uncertainty | Vic Marks

Jason Roy’s form has England pondering their order while Australia may juggle their bowlers again at HeadingleyAct III may bring some new protagonists. There are a few batsmen out there whose contributions so far have been akin to that of the second gr…

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Steve Smith’s fitness doubt and Jofra Archer’s impact provide mood swing | Vic Marks

Australia’s key problem heading into the third Test surrounds their best batsman while England have a new special weaponThe respite between Tests is brief but at least there is some scope for measured decisions. For Australia the key problem surrounds …

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Lord’s awaits Jofra Archer and England will hope for instant impact | Vic Marks

Joe Root needs Archer’s debut to be like that of Tony Greig or Kevin Pietersen rather than Graeme Hick or Andy CaddickThe advent of any Test debutant is a source of excitement. But some are more exciting than others. On Wednesday, if the weather permit…

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Moeen Ali can be an England stalwart again despite Nathan Lyon mauling | Vic Marks

The spinner has been dropped after struggling in the first Ashes Test, leaving England with more questions to answer at Lord’sNathan Lyon has not been as vociferous at the start of this Ashes series as he was before the last one in November 2017. There…