Alastair Cook might have reached the 5-figure mark in the tests

Alastair Cook might have reached the 5-figure mark in the tests at a lesser age than Sachin, but, it’s still a herculean task for him to even challenge the master’s tally of runs in the longest form.

Yes, Cook is 31. His fans can say the batsmen, if fit enough, can play the game till 38 or 40, but, looking back, how many English batsmen have played till that age?

It is realistic and common in the subcontinent yes because batting in that region is not much about the reflexes.

The speed of the decks is very, very gentle, the movement of the ball remains disappeared and thus, even the slow reflexes can carry you through for a few years as proper foot movement is not an essential requirement in those conditions.

But, in England, the ball plays tricks. It hoops around. And, to deal with that, you need quick reflexes particularly if you are an opener and are facing the music with the red duke. So, foot movement becomes essential.

But, the older you get, the foot movement does not remain quite proper and you start reacting to the moving deliveries much slower. That’s why, as most of the English batsmen get close to 34-35, their international starts to close down.

Most Young Players should watch Jonny Bairstow

The young players can see Jonny Bairstow and learn how a comeback to the highest level of the game can be scripted.

Bairstow, when he had donned the whites for England previously, was exposed horribly.

If you are playing most of your Cricket in the toughest conditions in the world and that too with the Duke ball which swings more than the red balls of any other brand, you must not be awfully vulnerable to deliveries which angle in to you.

But, that’s what was happening with Bairstow. He was getting done by the incoming deliveries almost every innings and when he was left out, any other youngster at his place could have been really worried about his technique.

Bairstow, however, kept the patience and rather than altering his technique majorly, all he did was to make small adjustments in the way he was batting so that he could give himself better chance to deal with the balls he had been having the problems with.

And, then he stocked hundreds and hundreds for his county which was the most important thing because when you are discarded from international scenes, the confidence takes a hit and to have that back again, you need to score big at the domestic level.

Michael Vaughan reckons England should go with the “horses for courses”

Michael Vaughan reckons England should go with the “horses for courses” policy rather than picking the playing XI on the basis of reputation in the upcoming test series against Pakistan.

According to Vaughan, James Anderson is a swing bowler and in Abu Dhabi where the first test is to be played, the conditions might not be ideal for him to be able to trouble the opposition that much and if that is the case, he would be better off being kept out.

In one of his columns in a daily, Vaughan wrote, “Anderson’s one of the greats of English Cricket without a shadow of doubt, but, it’s also important, especially when you tour overseas, that you are a little smart with your selections. England has got other fast bowlers who would probably be better suited to those conditions.”

“I don’t think the ball would nibble in the air in Abu Dhabi. You can expect it to happen a little bit in Dubai and for that game; England can have Anderson back as he will have better chance of making an impact over there. It’s all about picking the right horse for the course. You have to make sure the combination that you are going with is the best for the conditions.”

James Taylor scored his maiden hundred at the international level

James Taylor scored his maiden hundred at the international level the other day in Manchester.

Batting one down in the third One Day game against Australia, Taylor played a fighting knock of 101.

It was all about grind for Taylor in that innings. There were not many fancy shots played. He rotated the strike well, relied on singles and milked the Australian bowling.

Because of the dryness of the pitch, hitting through the line was not all that easy and it was important for England that somebody held one end up and made sure the scoreboard didn’t get stuck and Taylor did that for them.

Australia had played an extra spinner in Ashton Agar and he and Glenn Maxwell were getting a bit of purchase, but, with good use of the feet, Taylor put them off their lengths.

And, his solidity let Eoin Morgan, the England captain who was batting at the other end with him, express himself.

A hundred-run partnership got stitched by the duo and that paved the way to a good total for the Three Lions.

Chasing was always going to be difficult for Australia with England having two quality spinners in the line up.

The ball gripped and turned more in the night and the visitors could not even go close to the target.

Michael Vaughan wants the English batting order to be shuffled slightly

Michael Vaughan wants the English batting order to be shuffled slightly and Ian Ball to bat one down.

Currently, Gary Ballance comes one down for England.

The left hander had occupied that position for the whole of last summer in the absence of Jonathan Trott and had performed distinctively well.

But, in the last few games, his technique has been exposed a little bit.

In the Ashes, he will have to face the best bowling attack in the business and that’s why, according to Vaughan, it would be better, both for him and England, if he comes slightly lower and maybe bats at 4 or 5.

Also, Vaughan believes if Bell is asked to bat one down, he will feel more responsibility on his shoulders and that might as well do a bit of good to his form which has been shaky recently.

Bell is originally a top order batsman and he has opened regularly for England in limited-over Cricket.

Even in the test matches, he has batted 3 whenever that position has happened to be vacant.

So, he will be fine against the new ball if in good touch.

However, to be fair to Gary Ballance, he had shown great levels of concentration and dedication facing the attacks of India and Sri Lanka in 2014, but, one must say those were mediocre attacks and did not pose much threat to him.