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Author Archive for Vic Marks

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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…

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England forced to consider how many, not whether, to make changes | Vic Marks

Chance to lift gloom after defeat in first Ashes Test is not helped by the lack of red-ball practice of possible replacementsWe all make mistakes but most of us manage to do so without attracting too much attention. However, this luxury is not given to…

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Old enemies ready for battle but Ashes series is much too close to call | Vic Marks

England’s World Cup triumph has meant a shorter, lower-key buildup to a series against Australia that promises melodramaThis is the summer that keeps on giving. It is debatable whether fans are ready for another gut-wrenching, umbrella-handle-chewing s…

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Ashes fervour is sure to maintain melodrama of this crazy summer | Vic Marks

A tied World Cup final, 85 all out against Ireland and a face-saving demolition have left the public wanting more and the Ashes between England and Australia is next in lineThe melodrama cannot be sustained throughout the Ashes, can it? A tied World Cu…

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Ben Stokes named vice-captain as Jofra Archer makes England’s Ashes squad

• England announce 14-strong squad for first Test at Edgbaston• Stokes reappointed after 2017 sacking; Jack Leach misses outEngland may have one Test debutant at Edgbaston and they will certainly have a different vice-captain. The selection of Jofra Ar…

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Epic final defines a triumphant World Cup – will it spark a cricket revival? | Vic Marks

England have the spoils, to New Zealand goes the glory, and the nation has a chance to fall back in love with cricket againIt is a phrase that is usually painfully glib or laden with irony but for once it may be appropriate: perhaps cricket really was …