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It’s nearly a month now since all cricket halted, and while boards make contingency plans for when lockdowns are lifted, players are settling into the lull, catching up on documentaries, spending time with their families, or, in the case of Pakistan players, hitting the home gym because their fitness tests will be evaluated on video. ESPNcricinfo writers, meanwhile, are using this time to look back at classic matches, imagine different outcomes to iconic games, and play captains to their imaginary teams. Here’s a catch-up on what you may have missed.
Australia ‘too scared’ to sledge Virat Kohli’s India because of IPL deals – Michael ClarkeThe former Australia captain waded into a bit of controversy by saying Australia went easy on the visitors during the 2018-19 tour because they didn’t want to jeopardise their IPL deals, a notion captain Tim Paine rejected outright.
‘I see light at the end of the tunnel’ – Michael Holding on West Indies cricketThe fast-bowling legend says Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope can lift the team to a bright future. Meanwhile former captain Jason Holder says he struggled to transition back to being just a player after the limited-overs captaincy was handed to Kieron Pollard last September.
Video fitness tests for locked-down Pakistan playersIf the Pakistan players were hoping this lull in cricket would be a time for some R&R, the PCB has other plans for them. Centrally contracted domestic and international players will have to take these tests on April 20 and 21, and clear a tough set of benchmarks.
‘This is the biggest challenge I have faced’Former India bowler Joginder Sharma is remembered as the player who bowled India to victory in the 2007 T20 World Cup, but few know that he’s a deputy superintendent of police in the Hisar district of Haryana today, currently trying to keep citizens safe among the Covid-19 chaos in the country. He spoke to Nagraj Gollapudi about his job and the challenge of dealing with this unprecedented situation.
What cricket can teach us about surviving pandemicsThe qualities that make for a successful athlete – patience, determination and initiative – will also see us through these tough times, says Ian Chappell.
Downtime diariesHow is Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor living life in the shadow of Covid-19? Hygienically, that’s how. “I wash my hands about 20 times a day now,” he says. England women’s Tammy Beaumont, meanwhile, has got “sucked into that terrible documentary, Tiger King”, like the rest of us.
Hot seatOur writers have been incisive armchair analysts for years, but what will they do when they’re put in the hot seat and made to take decisions in scenarios? In the first of this new series, the ESPNcricinfo staff play captain, and have to decide who will bowl the 19th over, given a certain scenario.
Who’s the better ODI batsman: Richards or Tendulkar or Kohli?Anantha Narayanan analyses the leading batsmen in each period of ODI history, and an overall comparison.
The King and IWatching and playing against Viv Richards was a privilege accorded to a few, and everyone came away with a story. Mark Nicholas has several.
Come to think of it: Were New Zealand always this cuddly?Not quite, says Andrew Fidel Fernando. Until the eras of McCullum and Williamson, they were just as nasty as any other team.
Alternative universe: Pakistan win the 2007 T20 World CupAlan Gardner reimagines the 2007 World Cup final and its aftermath, when a new era unfolds where Misbah is our Thala and Dhoni is a helicopter pilot.
How Hansie rose and fellTwenty years ago, a South African captain made a confession that would change cricket forever. Luke Alfred looks back at Cronje’s legacy.
The fighters, the lifters and the leadersWho all make it to David Gower’s all-star England XI?