England retain the Ashes in style

Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , ,
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So, this is a special day for England cricket fraternity. England have taken an unbeatable 2-1 lead in Ashes 2010. It's special because it's Ashes but even more special because it's in the land of the rivals, the kangaroos. It's been 24 years since England retained the Ashes last time. This is the first time Australia have lost twice by an innings in a home series. Quite remarkable. It's only the third occasion that a visiting team has averaged over 45 in a series (minimum three matches) in Australia. I'd say England has had it easy. It seems like they have won easily I mean even though Australia won at Perth (3rd Test). In the other 3 matches, the kangaroos have looked like chickens. Picking Bresnan has worked. But I didn't quite enjoy this Test. At times, I switched on the TV but got bored. Thus, did other things while watching it. Both the batsmen and the bowlers did their job. But not all. Paul Collingwood has averaged 28.55 this year with one ton, against Bangladesh. He is a fighter but needs a break. The Aussies must be tired of Shane Watson's starts, who has only scored 2 centuries in his 26 matches. He has 15 half-centuries by the way.

Brief scores:

  • Aus 98 in 42.5 overs
  • Eng 513 in 159.1 overs (Trott 168, Prior 85, Cook 82, Strauss 69, Pietersen 51, Siddle 6/75, Hilfenhaus 2/83, Johnson 2/134)
  •  Aus 258 (Haddin 55*, Watson 54, Bresnan 4/50, Swann 2/59)
Related Posts:

KO: England hammers Australia, gone in 2 sessions

Posted: Sunday, December 26, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , ,
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England vs Australia 4th Test: 26-30 December
Day 1
England continued Christmas celebrations by crushing the Aussies at Melbourne on Day 1. I, surprised by the selection of Tim Bresnan, wasn't expecting this. England for Bressie over Finn, a mistake in my book. Prompted by the dismal performance of English batsmen, Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss picked Bresnan for a longer batting order. The batting should be stronger, not longer. When they fall, they do. True, the batsmen are good but falter under pressure. So work needs to be done on their mental attitude rather than tail-enders' batting. England already has Swann, Tremlett, no need for another bowler who can bat a bit. Tail-enders' usually only contribute when there is no pressure. And it isn't Finn's job to take wickets and score runs too. And my mates, you shall remember, Finn was the leading wicket-taker of the series before this Test.

Nevertheless, England seamers knocked up old rivals at the MCG in front of a near 90,000 witnesses on the Boxing Day. Jimmy Anderson, Chris Tremlett with assistance from Tim Bresnan have set the path for a 2-1 lead in the Ashes with one Test to go. Australia's 98 is their 2nd lowest total on this ground. Their lowest being 83 against India. This is also Australia's 4th score below 120 since 1990 in home Tests. Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss are now 4th on the list of opening pair with most century stands. They have had 10 so far. The ones above them are the pairs of Greenidge and Haynes, Hobbs and Sutcliffe, Hayden and Langer. They are tied with Chauhan and Gavaskar, Gambhir and Sehwag, Slater and Taylor for the 4th position. James Anderson is now the leading wicket-taker in the series with 16 wickets.

Paul Collingwood has saved England quite a few times but he also goes on a spree of runless matches. And England cannot afford that. However, finding a replacement isn't easy. Carberry and Morgan are in reckoning. I'd go for Carberry, looks determined.



Brief scores:
  • Aus 98 in 42.5 overs
  • Eng 157/0 in 47 overs (Cook 80, Strauss 64)

Australia on the way to leveling the Ashes

Posted: Saturday, December 18, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,
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England vs Australia 3rd Test: 16-20 December
Day 3
This Test has been exciting. 35 wickets have fallen in 3 days. Tremlett has been a real star, he has taken 8 wickets in the match, all of which were among the top 7. There is been a bit of drama. Collingwood was given out on a referral, overturning the decision of the on-field umpire in the 1st innings. I didn't watch it live, though it looked out in the replay much later. It was unexpected. The height and whether it was struck outside off were in question. To me, height didn't seem a problem though. There have also been word exchanges. Johnson and Anderson have liked chirping up. Today, Watson, on 95, was given out and he referred it straight away. He was stunned when the 3rd umpire too, gave it out. Showed his bat to the umpire. We have seen naked pitch invaders in the past and it happened today as well. The second time at WACA in 2 years. He only started to undress after invading the pitch and was carried off by authorities. The Aussies were busy laughing, didn't mind the delay!

When Australia posed a target of 391, I thought both teams have an equal chance of winning since the highest successful run chase at Perth is 414/4 by South Africa against Australia in December '08. Last time England toured Australia, England managed 350 in the 4th innings but lost. But now that England have lost 5 wickets for 81, it's needless to say who has a better chance. The icing on the cake for Australia was getting Collingwood out on the last ball of the day. England sent Jimmy Anderson when the 4th wicket fell. Why do they always send a nightwatchman? Now with Strauss, Cook, Pietersen, Trott, Collingwood back in the dressing room, England are in trouble. And Australia couldn't ask for a better chance to level the series. And remember, there are still 2 days to go.

Until next time, take care. Cheers.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 268 (Johnson 62, Hussey 61, Haddin 53, Anderson 3/61, Tremlett 3/63)
  • Eng 187 (Bell 53, Strauss 52, Johnson 6/38, Harris 3/59)
  • Aus 309 (Hussey 116, Watson 95, Tremlett 5/87, Finn 3/97)
  • Eng 81/5 (Harris 2/22, Johnson 2/28)

Related posts:

Tremlett & co make Australia falter

Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,
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England vs Australia 3rd Test: 16-20 December 2010
Day 1, just before tea
England won the toss and elected to field first at WACA, Perth. Despite Stuart Broad's injury, Finn didn't get the new ball. Thankfully, England went for Tremlett. The other options were Shahzad and Bresnan. Though they probably didn't consider Shahzad. I have heard writers and commentators describe Twenty20 as 'blink-and-miss'. Well it has just been like that today at Perth. The pitch was bouncy, as usual and made use of it. There was also just a little bit of movement. There are talks of England being the new Australia. Well, England is certainly winning more than they have in a lot of years and even dominating down under. The UDRS actually helped today, in two decisions, it saved Watson in the very first over of the match, bowled by Anderson. It got England the important wicket of Hussey. Australia made quite a few changes to the side. Katich (injured), North, Doherty and Bollinger made way for Hughes, Smith, Johnson and Hilfenhaus. North wasn't scoring runs and I think Hilfenhaus is good. Johnson has the power to swing the match either side. The Aussies were aggressive today but that didn't help as they lost their 5 wickets for 69. Currently, they are 163/6. Cheers.

More..

Australia butchered by England!

Posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,
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It's the best day for England. They came out like tigers and crushed Australia. It took England 20.1 overs to take 6 Australian wickets. There is a storm of anger, criticism and sadness in Australia. This is Australia's biggest defeat to England at the Adelaide Oval in 118 years. Also, England's 100th Test win over Australia. The last time Australia was beaten by an innings was in 1993, by West Indies. It has been 24 years since England took the lead in an Ashes series in Australia. Before the series, former cricketers had regarded this Ashes as the best chance to beat Kangaroos at home and that seems true. Ricky Ponting has lost 2 Ashes already, will this be the third? Not many Aussie captains have achieved that! I don't expect Australia to bounce back. Kevin Pietersen may have observed Australia as wounded animals before the Ashes but they are not rebels, not revenge-takers, they are like those fast bowlers, who become losers once they go for runs. Australia were on a  winning streak for a long time. It's time for the reverse. Since England arrived in Australia, everything have gone their way. The media reckons Stuart Broad's injury as the only loss in this Test, but it may be a blessing in disguise. Sure, Broady was bowling well but not taking wickets. Bring Tremlett or Shahzad and please, no Bresnan this time!

I'm sure more records were broken and I'll take a look at them later. For now, let me sink in the victory. Big cheers to England fans!

Man of the Match: Kevin Pietersen

Brief scores:
  • Aus 245 (Hussey 93, Haddin 56, Watson 51, Anderson 4/51, Swann 2/70)
  • Eng 620/5 dec (Cook 148, Pietersen 227,Trott 78, Bell 68*, Collingwood 42, Harris 2/84)
  • 304 (Clarke 80, Watson 57, Hussey 52, Katich 43, Swann 5/91, Finn 2/60 Anderson 2/90)
Related posts:

Rain a concern as England aim to take lead in Ashes

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , ,
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Thanks to Kevin Pietersen, England are much ahead in the game after Day 4. The entertainer didn't only hit a double ton but also took the crucial wicket of Michael Clarke on what turned out to be the last bowl of the day. It's been 4, no, I shall say just over 3 days because many overs on Day 3 and 4 were washed out. And Australia's over rate doesn't help either. I'm certainly very pleased with KP's success, I was even against it when he was dropped from one-dayers against Pakistan in summer. I said it out loud here, I'm with KP, are you? He's massive, so is his ego and ambitions. The guy rises against challenges, like playing against South Africa, who didn't pick him over racial quota or rivals, Australia. Most of this series so far, things have gone England's way. Now, after declaring on a massive 620/5, England need to get 6 Australian wickets for less than 136 more runs.

Steven Finn is the leading wicket-taker in the series but I don't think Strauss knows it. Or does he know it and believes in saving runs? With such a huge lead in the kitty, I don't think Strauss needs to worry about that and when the wickets fall, no one gets going! Finny has taken 8 wickets in the series, followed by Anderson, Siddle, Swann (6 each). With 2 wickets, Stuart Broad is the lowest wicket-taker among the main bowlers who have played in both the Tests. Shane Watson has also taken 2 wickets and bowled 46 overs but he is the opener. Mitchell Johnson has been the biggest disappointment but wasn't picked for the ongoing Test.

Only Sachin Tendulkar has hit more centuries (19) than Alastair Cook before the age of 26. Don Bradman struck as many centuries as Cook has hit (15). Also, Sachin hit 21 50s before turning 26, while Alastair has already struck 23. Bradman lags behind with six 50s before 26. But Cook still has the chance. He'll turn 26 on December 25. The 3rd Test will begin on December 16, Perth.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 245 (Hussey 93, Haddin 56, Watson 51, Anderson 4/51, Swann 2/70)
  • Eng 620/5 dec (Cook 148, Pietersen 227,Trott 78, Bell 68*, Collingwood 42, Harris 2/84)
  • Aus 238/4 (Clarke 80, Watson 57, Hussey 44*, Katich 43, Swann 2/72)
Related posts:

Another ton by Alastair Cook puts England on top!

Posted: Saturday, December 4, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,
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England vs Australia 2nd Test: 3-7 December
Day 2
Seems like England carried the momentum of the Gabba to Adelaide. After getting Australia out for 245, Alastair Cook continued his innings of 235*. At the end of Day 2, he is on 129*, along with star batsman Kevin Pietersen. There were question marks over the places of both before the Ashes began. Day 2 started in a dramatic fashion with the wicket of Andrew Strauss. But that was all for Australia. Australia bowled 88 overs after that and could only take one wicket - Trott (78). Alastair Cook is having a great series. He was under pressure when it began and the action has been around him. If Day 4 of the 1st Test was about his and Strauss' ton, Day 5 was about his double ton. He has been on the field for most of the series so far. In my post, England ends on a high as 1st Ashes Test drawn I've mentioned exactly how much time he spent on the field. He is young, he is sexy and he is selectors' favourite. Ali Cook will turn 26 this Christmas. He has struck 15 centuries so far.

The weather forecast says it will remain mostly cloudy at Adelaide with chances of shower at times. But then, it predicted thunderstorm for today as well. Rain has the best chance of saving Australia, followed by Hussey, Ponting and Clarke. England shall declare at 600 and aim for an innings defeat. Lastly, I would like to congratulate Ricky Ponting for his 150th Test. What a game it's turning out to be for him.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 245 (Hussey 93, Haddin 56, Watson 51, Anderson 4/51, Swann 2/70)
  • Eng 317/2 (Cook 136, Pietersen 85,Trott 78)
Related posts:

Australia tumbles as Anderson rumbles!

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , , ,
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England vs Australia 2nd Ashes Test: 3-7 December
Day 1
I woke up when England had already taken 5 Australian wickets. Though later, I did see the wickets. Their celebration made me as jubilant as the score did. Actually, more. They were running all across the ground. The wonderful thing was taking 3 Australian wickets for just 2 runs. How often do you see any team at 2/3? And that too, Kangaroos at home? Can it get any better?

The Australians brought Harris and Bollinger in place of Johnson and Hilfenhaus. I would have kept Hilfenhaus, by dropping Doherty. It's not a rule to have a spinner, is it? So, when your faster men are way better than your spinner, why keep him?

The star again was Jimmy Anderson. He did not take as many wickets as Finn in the 1st Test but he was equally good. Today, he must have been tremendous. Stuart Broad has struggled for wickets in the Ashes so far. This is not something new, I expected this to happen until he took wickets against Pakistan and in the warm-ups. Broad and Finn picked up one wicket each today. Graeme Swann is going to take some wickets, as he is a spinner, bowls a lot of overs and he's good, especially against  left handers. But I don't expect him to do what he has been doing since he debuted - rip off the opposition. The UDRS brought controversies today as well. It may fail to serve justice but it sure brings the drama. The man at stake was Ryan Harris and he kept referring from the dressing room after been given out.

I was unsure about writing this post, not having watched most of the day's play so I kept it nice and short rather than stretching it out. Hope you are enjoying the Ashes as much as me. Until next time, take care. Goodbye from jimmymycrushie.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 245 (Hussey 93, Haddin 56, Watson 51, Anderson 4/51, Swann 2/70)
  • Eng 1/0
Related posts:

England vs Australia 2nd Ashes Test: The Preview

Posted: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,
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Kevin Pietersen is furious at the pitch curator of Adelaide Oval, Damian Hough. He expressed it in person and then on twitter. England were forced to practice indoors due to rain which frustrated KP. He tweeted when it was about 4pm in Adelaide (5:30 am GMT):

What should a groundsmen make sure he does 2days out from a test match????
Cover the nets when it rains maybe???
PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To which, Cricket Australia replied,
SACA has put out a statement re rain 2day, 1st priority was to protect Test track, practice wix [wickets] then covered, normal practice 2moro.

Guess where they replied? Twitter of course. Soon, it will replace media conferences too.That time is not far away when team will be announced via twitter.

The England team will probably be unchanged unless there are last minute injuries. The Australian media suggests it's almost finalised that Johnson will miss the 2nd Test. It doesn't come as a surprise, since he got for duck, didn't take any wicket and dropped a catch too, at the Gabba. Reports say that Johnson missed Australia's practice session following a brawl with Aussie selectors who told him he wouldn't be playing at Adelaide. Though no wonder Michael Clarke denied it. Bollinger is likely to replace him. And Ryan Harris, notched his pace up during the practice session to impress the keen-eyed selectors.

Although Johnson was the highest wicket-taker in both Tests and ODIs last year, has a good record in Australia, I personally don't believe in him. His bowling is many times wayward and either he gets 5 or none. Johnson averages 27.61 in Australia, with a strike rate of 52.7. The only places he fares up better in, are New Zealand and South Africa. His worst average is against England, 41.05 while his career average is 30.08. That is an enough reason to drop him. During the 1st Test, we could see how sunken his body language can get.

I received a tweet from Adrian Duell (@RedL1on), an Australian, which said:
@shadds_criclova @Jimmymycrushie only England would be happy and upbeat because they didn't loose.

To which I'd like to say that the one who comes out of a hole is victorious. Sometimes, a draw is like a win. Obviously, this wasn't as much of a triumph as the Cardiff Test (Ashes '09) was but it proved to be quite a thumping for the Aussies. Most of the Aussie side and fans looked mashed. Aussie fans were a rare sight on Day 5 and the Australian team was down in the dumps in the field. Except, a few, like Ponting.

An English journalist, reports from down under, how the Austrlian media and fans are keeping up and it's a must read, Interview with the man down under: 1st Test

Cheers.

Related posts:

England ends on a high as 1st Ashes Test drawn

Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,
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It was a record breaking day at the Gabba. Alastair Cook continued from his overnight score of 132* and scored his first double hundred. Till his 173 against Bangladesh, he used to get out soon after completing his ton but when he got out against Bangladesh, he was in distraught. Alastair Cook is liked by most. England have wanted him to be the permanent opener. He has never been dropped in Tests. He is the king on flat pitches and his concentration is hard to match. In this Test, he stayed on the field for 1705 minutes (over 28 hours), 1302 runs, 402.1 overs. Whoa! Not many players must have spent so much time on the field in a match. In England's 1st innings, it took him 168 balls to score 67, when he got out, England were 197 and were bowled out for 260. He stayed on the field for Australia's 481. Opened in England's innings, England declared on 517/1. And lastly, stayed on the field for Australia's 107/1. Alastair Cook's 235* is the 2nd highest by an Englishman in the last 30 years.

When Strauss declared, I didn't think he did the right thing. The pitch was flat and he posed a target of 297 in 40+ overs. But England's attitude assured me that from no way would England lose from such a situation. Throughout the Test, England did well, whether they were fielding, batting or bowling. Though 260 in the 1st innings was below par, a catch was dropped, overthrows were given during Australia's 2nd innings. England have certainly never been so good in Australia. They dominated the warm-ups, bowled superbly and came back after being 200-odd behind. Though the pitch should take most of the credit. Strauss, Cook (235*) and Trott (135*), Ponting (51* off 43) cashed in.

Man of the Match: Alastair Cook

You would rarely see such a Test where: the pitch helps bowling in the start and slowly becomes flat, one team rattles behind by 221, then declares at 517/1. By the way, this was only the 6th time in history when a team reached 500 with only one wicket down. The instances of 500/1 are listed below.
  • West Indies against Pakistan, 1958
  • Australia against West Indies, 1965
  • Sri Lanka against India, 1997
  • Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe, 2004
  • South Africa against Bangladesh, 2008
  • England against Australia, 2010
But these kinds of records don't help the team much. It may help in managing to draw but usually, when one team scores so many, so does the other, unless it's a minnow side.

The 2nd Ashes Test starts on December 3 at Adelaide Oval at 00:00 GMT. Until next time, take care. Cheers.

Related posts:

Centurians Cook, Strauss and flat pitch get England out of trouble

Posted: Sunday, November 28, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,
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England vs Australia 1st Ashes Test: 25-29 November
Day 4
After surviving the last hour on Day 3, England started Day 4 on 19/0. Andrew Strauss smacked the ball all around the park and Alastair Cook batted with such determination as if he would never get out. His place was under scrutiny against Pakistan where he scored a ton to retain his place. But I, and many experts, doubted if he would succumb against Australia. England have been a good team for long, they have had the good players, they have been hard working. But now, they are also finding winning ways and are more consistent. There have been quite a few series in which all Ali Cook did was scoring a ton. In the 1st innings of this Test, he made 67 and is not out on 132 in the 2nd. That's a total of 199 runs. On his previous Ashes tour, he made 276 runs, though he still struck a ton at Perth. I reckon times are changing because of his determination and 67. The pitch was flat and on top of that, Australia dropped a few catches. Mitchell Johnson dropped Andrew Strauss when he was on 69. Siddle, Clarke also dropped catches. Clarke dived and almost caught it but couldn't hold on, Trott was the batsman.

It's probably going to be a draw but a result is possible. Australia would need to get England out very early and England would need to get to 500 quickly, declare and get Australia out in about 50 overs. Both are unlikely though. The highest successful chase at this ground is 236. The pitch helped the bowlers on Day 1 and slowly became flat.

Brief scores:
  • Eng 260 (Bell 76, Cook 67, Pietersen 43, Siddle 6/54, Doherty 2/41)
  • Aus 481 (Hussey 195, Haddin 136, Katich 50, Finn 6/125, Anderson 2/99, Swann 2/128)
  • Eng 309/1 (Cook 132*, Strauss 110)

Other posts:

Aleem Dar and Hussey leave England wrecked

Posted: Saturday, November 27, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , ,
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Yesterday, Michael Clarke was out, caught behind off Finny Steve. Aleem Dar didn't give it out. England referred but to no avail. Snicko suggested there was a nick, hot spot didn't agree. Finn and Prior were in dismay. I do remember English commentators talking about hot spot against Pakistan this summer. They did say that it works better in cold conditions. As far as I know, Australia is a hot place. Also, it can be deceived to a degree by stickers, Vaseline and even by keeping your bat in the fridge before you come out to bat. I have seen it working well at times but doesn't always work, right? Snicko works quite well I think. Even though the information to judge a decision is double this time, because of new technique of cameras, it still doesn't help much. I've said it before and I'd say it again, UDRS only helps when a blunder has been made, not close calls. And now, it can't even overturn the decision when there is an edge. It's a waste of time and reduces excitement. When Siddle got a hat-trick, Broad referred it and it looked out but we still had to wait. Teams also consider a lot of times whether to refer or not. The on-field umpires need to improve in their job. Umpiring standards must be raised. And if an umpire wants, he can check with the 3rd umpire or the 3rd umpire can interfere when he thinks the on-field umpire has made a mistake.

Day 3 has left England in a turmoil. Australia started Day 3 at 220/5. The first session was very frustrating. Actually, the whole day.Early today, before Hussey reached 100, he was plumb lbw off Jimmy the hottie. The ball flicked both of his pads. The double noise is the only thing Dar can say in his defence. Despite the English putting in a superb effort together, Australia finished on 481. Now, that's a lot really. When Australia were 248/5, I was wondering what Hussey and Haddin are still doing there. Haddin was struggling like a tail-ender and the ball was zipping around their stumps. The man in black pants changed the game. James Anderson was superb all throughout the innings and Finny, on his Ashes debut grabbed 6. After bowling so well, England are in such a position that winning seems like a distant dream. England can just hope that the sun will be shining bright till tea, Day 5 and the pitch would help bowling afterwards. England have managed to draw a few times since Ashes '09. It started at Cardiff, when Collingwood, Jimmy and Monty showed their resilience. Happened again against South Africa, twice. They must have learnt from it but in all those times, they were not required to survive so much of time. Rain and bad light are wanted.

Brief scores:
Eng 260 (Bell 76, Cook 67, Pietersen 43, Siddle 6/54, Doherty 2/41)
Aus 481 (Hussey 195, Haddin 136, Katich 50, Finn 6/125, Anderson 2/99, Swann 2/128)
Eng 19/0

Other posts:
Ashes 2010 gets underaway: England thumped on Day 1
England fights back on Day 2: The game is on!
England on top as Ashes about to roll
Anderson And Panesar Save The Day!

England fights back on Day 2: The game is on!

Posted: Friday, November 26, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , ,
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Day 2 turned out to be wonderful for England. At the start of the day, the battle was on, the bowlers won some, lost some. Jimmy Anderson was amazing. Early on, Alastair Cook missed a run out chance. But things turned around after lunch. Jimmy Anderson grabbed 2, Finny 2, Swann 1. Yesterday, I was worried Jimmy's bowling may be a hindrance to winning Ashes. I wanted him to perform for my personal liking over him but most importantly, for England. I'm most interested in Finn at the moment but the bowling and looks of 'The Burnley darling' (as Ian Chappel remarked today) have stimulated me for years. I expected Stuart Broad to take 1 or 2 wickets, Finn to perform and didn't expect Swann to excel today. Broad didn't take any wicket but bowled well, Finn was good and Swann took one but not many. After Day 1, I had suggested that England and especially Broad must bowl more at stumps. Not like my idea couldn't work, but Broad did well even with those predictable short balls. This tells us that he is really good at it. Finn didn't fall during his follow through today and caught a good one of his own bowling.

England's plans worked and the discipline showed. This was great. England's bowling is becoming more consistent, Ian Bell is finally getting out of the classy 40 mode and England have the potential to be the best now. It's our time now. Australia will bat last, which is a good thing. Though England need to set a target of at least 300. If they get Oz all out for 300, they'll need to score 339 at least. Looking forward to Day 3.

Brief scores:
  • Aus 220/5 in 80 overs (Hussey 81, Katich 50, Anderson 2/40, Finn 2/61)
Goodbye from jimmymycrushie for now, post your comments below and hope you enjoy the Ashes!

Other posts:

Ashes 2010 gets underaway: England thumped on Day 1

Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Day 1 belonged to Australia. When Straussy got out, I thought Cooky would score because usually he does if Strauss goes before him. I fell asleep at lunch and woke up after about 2 and a half hours only to find Bell and Cook batting. I had seen KP reach 23 and heard he went for 43 and was in a good flow. Belly and Cooky looked good at the crease. Cook played patiently and his pulls were as good as ever. Until Cook got out, things were looking good for England. Siddle changed the course of the game by taking a hat-trick - Cook, Prior, Broad. Bell was looking to score big but was running out of partners, ended up landing a catch to Watson. Doherty got his first wicket in Test cricket as Ian Bell and his dad was rather overjoyed, he must have been waiting for this moment. Jimmy Anderson didn't show any faith in No.11 Steven Finn which I didn't appreciate. He played sweeps and reverse sweeps and got out for 11, 4 balls after Ian Bell went. Siddle, the birthday boy, was the man of the day, taking 6 wickets. If Australia wins, lots of credit goes to him.

England didn't do much with the ball. James Anderson and Stuart Broad shared the new ball while Steven Finn waited on the boundary, but wasn't given a chance. Whenever I had thought about how good England would be down under, I worried about Jimmy Anderson who may bring back memories of Ashes 2006. His 3 overs went for only 5 runs but the bowling wasn't impressive and obviously, Australia wasn't thinking about banging Jim straight up, they were just looking to survive the remaining overs of the day. Stuart Broad did have 1 or 2 chances of taking a wicket but as expected, most of his deliveries were short. I don't except Aussies to fall in his trap, being so predictable won't work . And if you don't ball at stumps, you take out 2 ways of taking a wicket - bowled and lbw. Swanny bowled the last over and this time, he couldn't get a wicket first up. I'd say they must have tried Finn. He is awesome and the Australians have never faced him. He is attacking, doesn't rely on swing like Jimmy Anderson and doesn't bowl short like Stuart Broad. True, it would have been risky, but then, playing him in Australia is risky enough. If you give someone the chance to play for England, you also have to give him enough chances to excel.

Being bowled out for 260 wasn't exactly the start England was hoping for, but the Aussie batsmen aren't in their best form. So England stand a chance, given Jimmy doesn't bowl crap and Finn is supported enough. When I had heard the probable Aussie squad many days ago, I was surprised to hear that Siddle might not play. Both Hilfenhaus and Siddle bowled well in Ashes 2009 and Siddle proved his mettle today.

Brief scores:
  • Eng 260 in 76.5 overs (Bell 76, Cook 67, Pietersen 43, Siddle 6/54, Doherty 2/41)
  • Aus 25/0 in 7 overs
Other posts:

England on top as Ashes about to roll

Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,
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England began their Ashes tour with grandeur by beating Western Australia by 6 wickets. England winning their 1st tour game in Australia is a rarity so this was an absolute delight, which Andrew Strauss expressed as well. England's mainstream bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn were impressive in the first 2 tour matches, against Western Australia and South Australia. The 2nd tour match was drawn.
Here is how these fared in the 2 matches:

James Anderson (58 overs)
6 wickets
All batsmen







Stuart Broad (49 overs)
6 wickets
5 batsmen










Steven Finn (53 overs)
5 wickets
3 batsmen










Graeme Swann (71.3 overs)
9 wickets
3 batsmen


In the 3rd tour match, England gave Tremlett, Shahzad, Bresnan, Panesar a chance while the best bowlers practised in Brisbane, the venue of the 1st Ashes Test. Australia A batted first, were bowled out for 230 which set the foundation for victory. All bowlers did well with Monty being the least successful. Tremlett flourished the most, followed by Bressie lad. Though I strongly recommend not playing Bresnan except perhaps when England plays 5 bowlers. The batsmen were the same and batted superbly except Trott I guess. Every England batsmen averaged above 50 except KP and Trott (excluding Prior). Bell is still in the form of his life whose 192 against Australia A was among his best for sure. Collingwood and Bell got England out of trouble who were struggling at 137/5. The bowlers finished their job by routing Australia A for 301.

Alastair Cook coming out for good was a an important positive for England, who have shown complete faith in him. He scored 111* against South Australia. A special mention of Paul Collingwood, who not only scored runs but also provided the breakthrough and broke a partnership of 87 runs, produced a run out against Western Australia (1st innings) and substitute Eoin Morgan (run out, Western Australia 2nd innings).

So, England have done quite well so far but the real test lies ahead.

The highlights of the tour games are available on skysports.com. The Ashes begins on November 25, The Gabba, Brisbane at 00:00 GMT. Until next time, take care. Cheers.

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Wallpaper: Sexy England Cricketers!

Posted: Friday, November 5, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,
9

Click on the image for the 1024x768 size view. Ah, I'm knackered, never spent so much time on a wallpaper!

Currently, I'm reading Coming Back To Me: The Autobiography of Marcus Trescothick. The best thing is that he has been totally frank and honest while writing the book. Unlike Gibbs, he has not tried to make it dramatic. It's just dramatic because of how his life has been. He has mentioned a lot of cricketers but Jimmy Anderson has been mentioned the most!

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All Out Cricket Goes Digital - video interviews and more...

Posted: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,
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You'll no longer miss out on All Out Cricket since you can have it, right here, on your computer! The 14 page 4th issue will give you insights on the PCA Awards, pictures from the boot camp that I hadn't seen before, video interviews with technically sound Ian Bell and hotties Steven Finn and Stuart Broad. And also the chance to buy  bats and other cricket accessories for a less than usual price.

Check it out here!

You can win a track day with Jaguar, the official vehicle supplier of the England team, if you are over 18. However, participants at the track day must be 28 or over. You must also be a resident of UK. So I cannot enter the contest, not like I'm into cars anyway.

Click here to enter the contest!

Win a bat signed by the England team

International 2011 tickets on sale!

Click here to watch Maximuscle Steven Finn Video Interview

Steven Finn has taken over James Anderson in my heart. By the way, Stuart Broad is on twitter (@stuartbroad8) and Matt Prior (@mattyp635) had joined twitter but left after just one tweet.

Watch Stuart Broad Maximuscle Stuart Broad Interview

Remember, you heard it here first! Don't forget to subscribe to the blog so that you don't miss out on things like these in the future!

Related Posts: Stuart Broad Wallpaper
                      England cricketers off the field
                      England cricketers on twitter!

Stuart Broad Wallpaper

Posted: Saturday, October 23, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,
2

How KP fared up at SA and who knocked out Jimmy Anderson

Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,
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Much to England's adversity, Kevin Pietersen's bad form continues. A 48 ball 36, after which he said that he is "feeling like he used to play" was followed by a second ball duck. But he always faced challenges, battered the best so I still expect him to come out good in the Ashes. Many had felt that he used to be good, blah, blah...I think he is still good, just struggling at the moment. Though it was still good to hear that he was feeling like he used to play because let's face it, he was a basher back then. And it might have to do something with things other than his batting, like the change in his personality, hairstyle, attempt to play a long innings and helping England draw Tests. Though as far as I can remember, he hasn't really helped much when it comes to draws.

I was a bit confused about South African domestic cricket until I did my research today. I had heard there are only 6 teams in their domestic cricket, like Australia, but there are different competitions and different teams play in them. Like, 13 teams play in CSA Provincial Three-Day Challenge and One-Day Challenge but yeah, 6 teams in SuperSport Series (4-day matches), MTN40 and Standard Bank Pro20 Series. I had read that KP will play for Kwa-zulu Natal some time ago but he actually played for the Dolphins.

John Buchanan, who is working with England this Ashes series, has said Pietersen "has the potential to be fragmentary and an individualist" and could be a "major problem". As you may have imagined by my past comments, I don't agree with this and whether or not he is true or not, I've never appreciated someone criticising its own players. It's good to tell someone personally what's wrong with them so that they can improve but since Buchanan is working with England, speaking publicly like this is not ideal. Strauss on the other hand, said:

Kevin Pietersen has never been a problem for the England cricket team. Buchanan is off the mark to say that - I'm sure Kevin will come to the party.

He also said that there is no chance of dropping Kapes for the 1st Ashes Test, no matter what happens in the warm up matches.

Despite Jimmy Anderson's injury, he defended the boot camp saying that they gained a lot from it.
We weren't expecting injuries and the guys taking the course were told to make sure that did not happen, but things do happen. We are professional sportsmen and you are going to get injuries, whether it is in the nets, the gym sessions or on one of these camps.

Andrew Strauss on James Anderson acquiring an injury during the boot camp in Germany.

Yeah we all know sportspersons can get injured even when they are not playing, like Nel  was at his own home when he opened refrigerator and then a water filled bottle fell on his toe. He got injured so much that he could not play that series. But we shall do our best to avoid injuries, shan't we? Chris Tremlett was the one Jimmy was boxing with. Oh, that's a good way to make his way to the team but he might have to injure other bowlers too. Just joking.

Cheers.

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Blow to the Ashes - Jimmy Anderson to miss first 2 Tests

Posted: Friday, October 15, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,
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Just as I was busy tweeting people about my post, What causes more death than war?, @Ellaw638 informed me that James Anderson has broken his ribs. I freaked out a bit and wondered how it could have happened since England are on a break. How it happened? Well...on the boot camp in Germany. In my post The 'Secret' Bonding Camp I wrote that this wasn't the right time for a boot camp. After a long, tiring (both mentally and physically) controversial summer, the last English cricketers needed was boxing, hiking and abseiling. Jimmy hurt his ribs while boxing and is almost certain to miss the first 2 Tests. Yorkshire's Ajmal Shahzad, whom I reckon should have made to the team, is likely to replace Anderson. If Shahzad plays in any of the first 2 Tests and succeeds, England will have to choose between Anderson and the other bowlers who would play in the first 2 Tests. There have been quite a few times when someone, doing well in county cricket, was selected for England 16 member squad but didn't play any match. I hope they don't do that to Shahzad, he would be better off with the Performance squad, rather than sitting on the sidelines in Ashes. Swann, Broad, Finn will be the obvious choices for the 1st Test so England would have to choose between Bresnan, Tremlett and Shahzad. I so deeply hope they don't play Bresnan.

15:14 (BST)
Turns out that Jimmy Anderson might actually play the 1st Test and the injury is not as serious as it was reported to be. I thought it might prove to be a blessing in guise if Shahzad plays or England might lose/fail to win from a good position if Bresnan plays. I've always doubted Broad's ability to take wickets in Tests and although he has improved, I'm not too sure about him so I would go for Jimmy, Finn, Swann and Shahzad but England probably doesn't agree with me. Earlier today, newspapers and top sites like Dailymail reported that Anderson is almost certain to miss the first 2 Tests. Bizarre.

Until next time, take care. Cheers.

More..

What causes more death than war?

Posted: by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,
1

Water scarcity is an issue you must have read about in your school books but you can't imagine how much it effects the world. On 11th October, I received the weekly newsletter from change.org, a site which raises awareness about important causes and empowers people to take action. I came across change.org when I was searching about Jimmy Anderson's photoshoot for gay magazine Attitude. When I started reading the newsletter, there were some shocking revelations, it said,

more people die each year from contaminated water than all forms of violence and war combined.


The newsletter also notified me about Blog Action Day 2010, held every October 15th. The goal of Blog Action Day is to take a single day out of the year to focus the world's attention on one important issue. 13,000 bloggers took part in it last year. The United Nations voted recently to make access to clean water a human right. But it will take some time and effort for this to be implicated. What we can do, is generate awareness on this issue.

90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. Clean water alone can reduce water-related deaths by 21%. Sanitation alone can reduce water-related deaths by 37.5%. Handwashing alone can reduce water related deaths by 45%. These numbers are staggering but just talking and shocking will not be enough. This calls for a need for good hygiene. People often ignore washing hands after using the toilet, before and after eating, before touching their eyes or using eye drops. These are the basic hygiene guidelines.



1 in 8 of us lack access to clean water

True, alone we cannot provide water to nearly 1 billion people worldwide who rely on bacteria-infested water. But together by making small contributions, we can change the current scenario. Developed countries use far more water than poor countries. In the United States alone, on just one average day, more than 500 billion liters of freshwater travel through the country’s power plants—more than twice what flows through the Nile.

Why water is important.

According to a report dating back to 1999 and sponsored by the UN Development Program, fighting over limited resources as the scarcity of water, over the next 25 years, will possibly be the leading reason for major conflicts in Africa, not oil.

Relieving hunger in Africa has to begin with access to clean water. It may seem simple, but we forget that without water, food is impossible to grow and difficult to preserve and prepare. It takes huge amounts of water to grow food.

As a blogger, I've taken this opportunity to enlighten people, here is how you can contribute:

Register your blog or website  if you read this on October 15th, register and write about water crisis or Blog Action Day 2010.

Sign the petition: Together with US Fund for UNICEF, change.org is helping to build a movement of people across the world calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to accelerate the UN's work to supply clean, safe drinking water to the world's poorest populations. Help grow this movement by adding your name.

Raise funds for water: Raise money to provide clean drinking water to those in need through charity: water, which allows you to create a fundraising page to raise money to build wells in Africa, or Water.org, where a $25 donation provides clean water for a lifetime for one person.

If a 7-year old can build a well, why can't you donate $25?

Alastair Cook Wallpaper!

Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,
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Click on the image for the 1024x684 version.
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If you like this wallpaper, help me spread the word,

Not The Most Conservative Sport Anymore?

Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,
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Some regard baseball as the most conservative sport next to cricket, others settle for golf or tennis. All of them are changing and so is cricket. Called as the "Gentleman's game", cricket consisted of whites, sun and hard work for fast bowlers. The change started with one-day cricket and became more prominent with the birth of Twenty20 cricket. One-day cricket brought the colours, day-night games and most importantly, the reduction to 50 overs from 450 overs. Twenty20 brought in the moolah, popularity, a prospect of exposing non-playing nations like US to cricket. I like all these changes, including the one I'm going to talk about, except Twenty20. One thing which has really bashed conservatism in cricket is nudity. Yes, nudity. Not many cricketers have posed nude but Jimmy Anderson is someone who has done it thrice so far. The first time he did it, it was for Cancer charity, with fellow England cricketers Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad. The second time, he was  supporting Give Up Clothes for Good, a TK Maxx, HomeSense and Cancer Research UK campaign for children’s cancer research www.tkmaxx.com. Have you shopped for clothes in TK Maxx? Well, they’d rather go naked...


The third time, he posed for gay lifestyle magazine, Attitude. Here's what he said:

There's a perception of lots of committees and old men being quite prim and proper, but I think the game is moving with the times.
I think doing this could be fantastic for cricket. Hopefully this will attract a new sort of fan.
If there are any gay cricketers, they should feel confident enough to come out, because I don't think there is homophobia in cricket.

And also said that his model wife, Daniella Lloyd and her friends encouraged him for this shoot.
The magazine's editor, Matthew Todd, praised the bowler for his decision, which he said would send a 'strong, playful signal that sportsmen can be comfortable with homosexuality among team-mates and fans.'

The key to the Ashes: Steven Finn

Posted: Friday, October 8, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , ,
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ICC Awards 2010 were held in Bengaluru, India on 6th October '10. I didn't really enjoy the ceremony much though. The positives were Finny getting the emerging player of the year award, Swanny, Jimmy being named in the ICC World Test XI and Broady, Colly being named in the ICC World ODI XI.

Finn emerged on the scene when Jimmy Anderson was rested for the tour of Bangladesh. He played in both the Tests as Ryan Sidebottom, Graham Onions struggled with fitness. Bangladesh isn't a great place for a fast bowler to make his debut. He wasn't spectacular but showed pace and bounce. The moment I first looked at him, he was sitting in the balcony, looked good and I loved his attitude and poise. Finn rocked the Bangladesh batting line-up in the following summer, bagging 9 wickets in his home debut Test at Lord's and 5 in the 2nd innings at Old Trafford. However, he played down talks of comparisons with Glenn Mcgrath and Curtley Ambrose. He also commented that he is not targeting the Ashes. He said:

I'm not going to kid myself. I've had fun in this Test match and I'm loving playing for my country at the moment, but it'll be a lot of hard work for me, because there are guys to come back in who are ahead of me in the pecking order.
Fundamentally, it's up to me to make it difficult for the selectors to drop me, whether I do that playing for England or through consistent performances for Middlesex throughout the season. If I keep taking wickets, my name will be there or thereabouts, but it'll be a lot of hard work.

That's quite modest I shall say. After taking the wickets at Lord's, he blamed himself for going for too many fours and said that he'd like to change that. He was very impressive against Pakistan too, taking key wickets. But I reckon he was under used by Strauss. Finn bowled 79 overs in the series as opposed to Anderson - 140.3, Broad - 113.5. Finn's career bowling strike rate is an amazing 36.9. In the history of the game, the best career strike rate is 34.1, followed by 37.7. He is a wicket-taker and wicket-takers are the guys who win you Tests. And that is why he is the key to the Ashes.

PS, this post was originally going to be about ICC awards but I just couldn't resist the temptation of writing and researching about Finn. I've never agreed with ICC Rankings and awards and this time it was no different. Absurdly, Eoin Morgan wasn't shortlisted for Emerging Player Of The Year Award so Finn easily beat Umar Akmal, Angelo Mathews and Tim Paine.

Related Post: Steven Finn Wallpaper!
 
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Steven Finn Wallpaper!

Posted: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,
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Click on the wallpaper for the 1024x768 view. Took me 4 & a half hours to create this one!

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                                                The Ones Who Blossomed In The County Championship 2010

The 'Secret' Bonding Camp

Posted: Monday, October 4, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,
4

The England team went for a boot camp just a day after the last one-day against Pakistan on September 22. It was a team bonding camp held in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany. The destination wasn't revealed beforehand. The players were asked to leave their cellphones in England so they went off twitter for a few days. Apart from Finn, all of them try to be cool on twitter. And now, they have started replying to a few fans. To get a reply from them, you don't have to say something noteworthy or special or funny. After all this, I think ECB would be doing them a favour by banning them from twitter.

They must have enjoyed themselves at the camp, indulged in boxing, hiking and abseilling. I think it was great but I'm not sure if it took place at the right time. After the long summer, they should have spent time at home, resting and with family. This was a pre-Ashes bonding camp but there are still 52 days to Ashes (from 4th October).

The Boot Camp in Pictures>>>


Click on the photos for full size.

Chinese Zodiacs Of English Cricketers

Posted: Saturday, October 2, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,
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A good way to know a bit about English cricketers would be through chinese zodiac. Most of you must be thinking that this kind of stuff is fun but inaccurate. Well, this is not like western zodiac and I've found it to be mostly true. It probably isn't 100% accurate, one reason being that people change. And you don't know where the original theory is written because it's somewhat different on websites, books, newspapers.

Rat
Forthright, tenacious, intense, meticulous, charismatic, sensitive, intellectual, industrious, charming, eloquent, sociable, artistic, shrewd. Can be manipulative, vindictive, self-destructive, envious, mendacious, venal, obstinate, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, intolerant, scheming.

  • Alastair Cook
Ox
Dependable, ambitious, calm, methodical, born leader, patient, hardworking, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, dogmatic, hot-tempered, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.
  • Luke Wright
  • Tim Bresnan
  • Ravi Bopara
  • Ajmal Shahzad
  • Liam Plunkett
Tiger
Unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish, aggressive, moody.
  • Steven Davies
  • Eoin Morgan
  • Stuart Broad
  • Joe Denly
Rabbit
Gracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.
  • Craig Kieswetter
Dragon
Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, eccentric, intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, artistic, generous, loyal. Can be tactless, arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, intolerant, dogmatic, violent, impetuous, brash.
  • Paul Collingwood
  • Adil Rashid
Snake
Deep thinker, wise, mystic, graceful, soft-spoken, sensual, creative, prudent, shrewd, elegant, cautious, responsible, calm, strong, constant, purposeful. Can be loner, bad communicator, possessive, hedonistic, self-doubting, distrustful, mendacious, suffocating, cold.
  • Steven Finn
  • Andrew Flintoff
  • Andrew Strauss
  • Ryan Sidebottom
Horse
Cheerful, popular, quick-witted, changeable, earthy, perceptive, talkative, agile—mentally and physically, magnetic, intelligent, astute, flexible, open-minded. Can be fickle, arrogant, childish, anxious, rude, gullible, stubborn.
  • Owais Shah
Sheep
Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be moody, indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer, weak-willed.
  • Graeme Swann
  • Michael Lumb
Monkey
Inventor, motivator, improviser, quick-witted, inquisitive, flexible, innovative, problem solver, self-assured, sociable, artistic, polite, dignified, competitive, objective, factual, intellectual. Can be egotistical, vain, arrogant, selfish, reckless, snobbish, deceptive, manipulative, cunning, jealous, suspicious.
  • Kevin Pietersen
  • Michael Yardy
  • Michael Carberry
  • Mark Davies
Rooster
Acute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative, critical, perfectionist, alert, zealous, practical, scientific, responsible. Can be over zealous and critical, puritanical, egotistical, abrasive, proud, opinionated, given to empty bravado.
  • Jonathan Trott
  • Chris Tremlett
  • Sajid Mahmood
Dog
Honest, intelligent, straightforward, loyal, sense of justice and fair play, attractive, amicable, unpretentious, sociable, open-minded, idealistic, moralistic, practical, affectionate, sensitive, easy going. Can be cynical, lazy, cold, judgmental, pessimistic, worrier, stubborn, quarrelsome.
  • Ian Bell
  • Matt Prior
  • James Anderson
  • Monty Panesar
  • James Tredwell
  • Graham Onions
Find your and other English cricketers' Chinese Zodiac, see how you match!

Wallpapers: Jimmy and Belly Wallpaper!
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