Simon Hughes, aka The Analyst, gives you daily insight into the world cricket scene. Also on this site you can sample his books, podcasts, browse his video archive and post comments of your own.Read More


You don’t get much time off on current tours, with travelling and attending team practice sessions, but I took the chance on Friday afternoon to visit the old city of Dhaka, once the capital of the state of Bengal when Bangladesh was part of India. The old narrow streets are teeming with life, fruit vendors, crowded little rooms selling freshly made chappatis and dhal, tea stalls, colourful fabrics displayed on walls, cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, little men pushing barrows loaded with furniture or vegetables, women carrying apples on their head, children, beggars and the odd stray dog. A beautifully chaotic scene,l vaguely reminscent of 18th century London. It could have been a scene from Oliver! Read more…

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Paul Collingwood takes another bruise for his country

Paul Collingwood has become England’s Steve Waugh. Cussed, determined, bloody minded, he’s the uncrushable cockroach in the batting order, which is exactly what Waugh was for Australia. The comparison will give Collingwood some satisfaction since, among opponents, Waugh is the man he most admires. He had a stark introduction. ‘I was coming out to bat for my first one day international against Australia at old Trafford and Waugh was standing in my place at the crease setting the field, putting in slips and gullies [England were 40-4 on a damp Manchester night.] I had to stand out of the way and wait til he’d finished to take guard! It was typical of him. He had this amazing aura and I realised then I was nowhere near being good enough for international cricket….’ He tails off in the memory of that fraught night when he was out for 9 and England were humbled for 86. Read more…

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alastair cook and graeme swann celebrate england's win

Seasoned English watchers are used to travelling with equal supplies of beer and valium. England alternately pulsate or frustrate. It is not so much a lack of talent that makes them inconsistent, more an attitude thing. In this test like most others, the dominant characteristic is conservatism with a small c.

England did a thoroughly professional job on Bangladesh. Notice the word ‘professional’ rather than ‘demolition.’ Their approach was comparable with the way local labourers painstakingly disassemble, panel by panel, the obsolete container ships that are deliberately run aground on the banks of the Karnapuli River in Chittagong. It was systematic and efficient, but largely routine. It may seem churlish to criticise an emphatic test win. But with a slight change of mindset it could have been more emphatic and less exhausting. Read more…


  • Posted: March 14, 2010
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  • Author: Simon Hughes
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  • Filed under: Cricket Analyst, England
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This game was always going to be more a test of England’s bowlers than their batsmen. Bangladesh’s pop gun attack was never likely to seriously discomfort Cook, Collingwood Bell and Co., which makes it all the more bewildering that England picked six specialist batsmen instead of five bowlers. On this benign, blameless surface you need all the bwicket-taking variety you can muster. You find out more about bowlers than batsmen on such insipid pitches.

steven finn bowling for middlesex

It is hard to draw many conclusions from Michael Carberry’s two visits to the crease. He looked a serviceable opener, though nothing special. Evaluating whether he has the aptitude to play against Australia in Brisbane having seen him acquire a few runs here would be like judging a prospective England footballer after a run out against Carlisle United.England’s other first-timer Steven Finn has, however, put down a significant marker. Read more…

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graeme swann takes another wicket in chittagong

The cricket world seems to be simultaneously expanding and contracting. The arrival of IPL 3 has got India buzzing, and it is, apparently being broadcast in 126 countries. Zimbabwe also are on the comeback trail, and have appointed Alan Butcher as coach. At the same time West indies cricket remains in semi-turmoil and Pakistan cricket is imploding. Despite all their prodigious talent and their continued local enthusiasm for the game, they lost every match on their recent tour of Australia, two leading players have been banned indefinitely and several others have been suspended. Discipline and infighting are the problems. It was ever thus. Read more…

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