Joe Root chips in

After England had beaten South Africa in the first Test, several pundits remarked that in a weird way Alastair Cook might be quite happy that the win had been achieved without any major contribution from either himself or Joe Root. Root made 97 runs. In a relatively low-scoring game by

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South Africa scrabble for paper

South Africa are currently undergoing vivisection. Their press and fans are twanging stretchy bits and gouging their fingers into squishy bits trying to work out what’s caused a death that has yet to take place. An obvious issue is that they’re currently missing half their first-choice bowling attack and having

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Marlon Samuels needs to go

We’ve always liked Marlon Samuels. He’s mischievous and funny and his favourite cricketer is Nasser Hussain. He’s also skilful. In the 2012 World T20 final, Samuels waded into Lasith Malinga as if he were a particularly inviting jacuzzi. He’s made Test hundreds. He’s looked really good in doing so. But

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Nick Compton’s back

As in ‘returned’. He hasn’t got ankylosing spondylitis or anything. If anything, he appears entirely unaffected by spinal ailments, awaiting each delivery with a relaxed upright stance. We got plenty of opportunities to see this as Compton stuck around for over six hours, doing his level best to ensure he

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James Anderson’s calf

James Anderson has been for scans and has been found to be carrying a calf. He may therefore miss the Boxing Day Test unless it is born prematurely. Either that or he’s slightly injured in the leg. This is weird and frightening because as a general rule James Anderson doesn’t

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