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


W G Grace once progressed easily to 93 then gave his wicket away. When asked why he explained that he had never been out for that score before. Kevin Pietersen’s innings yesterday was a bit like that. An untroubled beginning, a sublime middle and a bizarre end, out on 99 to a ball that seemed harder to miss than to hit. Despite having been dismissed for just about every other score in the 90s, Pietersen’s mistake wasn’t deliberate, of course, as the disgusted hurling away of his gloves once off the field betrayed. Read more…

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Prince William unlikely to fill void left in the England team by Andrew Flintoff

Prince William’s attempt to fill the void left in the England team by Andrew Flintoff looks set to founder.

His brief cameo with the bat against a succession of Australian kids, suggested a dogged front-foot technique, and a vague and rather stiff swing of the bat which tended to loft the ball into the outfield. Read more…

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South Africa v England: Ryan Sidebottom lacks any zip or snap

Hard though he laboured and grimaced through 17 overs Ryan Sidebottom could make little impression on the South Africans. He did eventually dismiss Graeme Smith with a fine delivery, and punched the air in ecstasy, but the home captain had made a hundred and nudged his team into the lead. It was all rather too late.

That perhaps might be Sidebottom’s epitaph. Too inexperienced when he was first selected for England in 2001, he went back to county cricket and slowly found his aim. Read more…

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Paul Collingwood beats Dale Steyn in most marvellous of battles

Paul Collingwood’s 4½ hours of dedicated resistance on Thursday – in association with the admirable Ian Bell – not only saved the match and ensured England can’t lose the series, but it confirmed that this England team, spineless a year ago, have unbreakable backbone.

Dale Steyn’s final-innings figures belied his persistent venom and superlative control. He bowled his heart out but had little to show for it. Read more…

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South Africa v England: Kevin Pietersen in need of cricketing version of Samaritans

After the hiatus of the last year he is back in his former homeland trying to reassert himself for England. The results have been mixed. There is an overriding impression that he is still searching for himself.

His brief sortie to the crease in the second innings of the third Test was a microcosm of his series. He was off the dreaded pair straight away – not one of his customary crazy singles this time – and then essayed a crisp drive through the covers for two. Read more…

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