Entries by Oliver Brett

Tigers find their bite in Colombo

You may be familiar with the CLR James epigram which features in the preface of Beyond A Boundary: “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?” I often find a total break from the game – in my case a week covering horse racing’s Cheltenham Festival – gives me renewed energy to enjoy […]

India can still take the series

The India v Australia Test series has been set up for the remainder of the rubber quite beautifully thanks to Australia’s comprehensive win in the Pune opener. India began by losing the toss on a dry, excessively spin-friendly surface, but after bowling Australia out for 260, the hosts’ WinViz moved up to just shy of […]

India, NZ bask in cricket’s capacity to surprise

One of the most enticing qualities that sport possesses is unpredictability. Over time, enough spectacularly improbably outcomes are achievable to keep us in thrall to the nuances of whichever sport(s) we are most drawn to. Cricket does not necessarily reign supreme against other disciplines in this aspect. There have been enough predictably one-sided outcomes in […]

Flaky batting and the demise of the draw

Throughout 2016, some 47 Test matches were played around the world. Of them, only seven resulted in draws and three of those were so severely weather affected no result was even possible. Of the other two draws, the match between West Indies and India at Kingston was badly affected by rain (the equivalent of a […]


You would not have required an expert knowledge of cricket to make the visual observation that the wicket prepared for Bangladesh’s historic Test win over England was a raging “bunsen”. The pseudo-Cockney slang term (bunsen burner = “turner”) indicates a wicket particularly conducive to spin, and traditionally alien to cricketers brought up in English conditions. […]


Dale Steyn is 32 and injuries are creeping up on him. Morne Morkel is 31 and will surely be a fading influence too as time goes on. Meanwhile, Vernon Philander is not far from his 31st birthday and has a potentially difficult rehab in front of him after snapping ankle ligaments late last year. No […]