eased to victory in the 2015 Ashes Test series after winning three of the first
four matches, ensuring that they take an unassailable lead into the final
Test of the series. The final clash is underway at the iconic Kia Oval, home of
Surrey County Cricket Club. The Aussies were heavy favourites going into the
tournament and were odds on with most major bookmakers to retain the Ashes
after England endured a topsy-turvy few months prior to the series.
However, Trevor Bayliss took
over as head coach and has been an inspiration since
arriving at the helm back in May. England's big players have all produced
match-winning performances throughout the series and pressure has been lifted
off captain Alastair Cook. As good as the hosts were, Australia were extremely
poor and they will be very disappointed to lose the Ashes after whitewashing
England 5-0 in the last series. Michael Clarke was especially poor and the
captain has announced his international retirement after the final Test of the
series next week.
for Australia, they have failed to win an Ashes series on English soil since
2001 - a run of four consecutive series defeats. While this isn't necessarily a
problem in terms of personnel, defeats outside of Australia will continue to
play a key role in psychological preparation for future cricket matches in
other countries. For many years, the Wallabies were the dominant force in
cricket. Nowadays, they have slipped down to second behind South Africa in the
world rankings and will be nervously looking over their shoulders at the likes
of Pakistan and India who aren't too far behind and have played fewer matches in
2015 Ashes series was a complete disaster for Australia, all hope is not lost.
They still possess a talented side but are clearly lacking confidence away from
their native land. In fact, the Wallabies remain the best side in the world in
one-day cricket and will fancy their chances of success at the 2016 ICC World
Twenty20 tournament next spring. Australia will be one of the bookmakers
favourites to succeed and you can keep up with all of the latest cricket
odds and news ahead of
the tournament's opening fixture on 11th March.
England, meanwhile, they will enjoy their latest success but will know just how
important preparation will be for next year's World Cup in India. While
Twenty20 cricket isn't England's strongest form of the sport, they will be
eager to make a huge statement of intent and could reach the latter stages of
the event if they perform at their very best. With Twenty20 star Kevin Pietersen
currently out of the team due to a difference of opinion, it will be
interesting to see if Bayliss can convince him and Strauss to settle their
problems ahead of the tournament. England impressed in the one-day
international series with New Zealand and - although we are yet to
see if Alastair Cook will stand down from his post as captain
- will be full of confidence heading into next year's Twenty20 competition.
Being a sports nut is hard enough without having to suffer the ignominy of being out of the loop. Not knowing what's going on in a match can turn me into a nervous wreck, scrambling for my phone at every opportunity to load the heavy pages of reputed sports news websites. Sportskeeda's app (on Android here, where it boasts a 4.8 rating) made this easier for me, being an easy-to-use source of constant updates on any sport you might follow, from cricket and football to kabaddi and archery.
Upon installation, you'll be given a little tutorial on what content goes with which tab: hot content, live updates, most popular content and the last tab allows you to browse the vast variety of sports. Then you get to pick the sports you follow, which dictates what content shows up for you. Yup, it's customizable with a few taps - you can basically use it as an app dedicated solely to certain specific sports of your choice. And you're all set!
The content is easy to read and pictures can be viewed independently. The live coverage of current games are fun to follow, making the best use of analysis and humor found on social media.
As far as data usage goes, the Sportskeeda app won't be causing any problems. In fact, it's a great deal better in that regard than any other app you may be using - it has a download size of 4.4 MB and it appears to be well-optimized. The live-stream data usage is negligible. It's lightning quick and takes no time at all to switch between tabs and content - which, by the way, can be easily shared to Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp as well as any other apps you may have.
In conclusion, this really is the app that can (and will) quench your thirst for updates from the ever-revolving world of sports. You'll get your news and your scores, and you'll get them fast. If you have 10 seconds to get an update, you won't spend 8 of them on a loading screen and a menu like on other options you've been forced to try; you'll be reading the content in a flash. And it's still just in the beta stage! Again, available here for Android.
The World Cup remains young. And yet, if any team has already damaged itself beyond repair, it's England. The English have had a truly sorry showing to date, and as shown clearly in the official pool standings, they now sit at fifth place in the viciously competitive Pool A. While English sports fans are unmatched in their ability to self-deprecate - often in an almost admirable fashion - it seems the media has thus far failed to capture the full scope or severity of the nation's World Cup meltdown.
Fortunately, we're here to do it for them! So without further ado, here are some honest and cynical translations of the media's coverage of the English team's performance so far.
We'll start with an early betting analysis that took an objective look at England's chances for success. Posted at Bet Fair by cricket writer Ralph Ellis just after England suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Australia, the article pointed to England's "captain crisis" as a reason for its struggles. The piece even suggested that former English captain Alastair Cook may have been better after all (despite being brutally and continuously criticized by the British media) than newcomer Eoin Morgan. Ellis writes, "Whatever his failings as one day captain, Cook never suffered a run as bad as the one that his replacement is on now."
Translation: Fine! We admit it! We were wrong! Alastair Cook isn't perfect, but damned if he's not the best man we've got for the job! He's like the Wayne Rooney of English cricket, and that's better than nothing! For the love of God, STRIP EOIN MORGAN OF HIS CAPTAINCY BEFORE WE EMBARRASS OURSELVES!
Next, we'll look at a somewhat sad article that was written by Mike Selvey of The Guardian about English cricket coach Peter Moores' having felt compelled to apologise for his side's play. Indeed, the two crushing defeats England suffered to start its World Cup run demanded an explanation, but it almost seems unfair for the coach to have to answer that demand when play between the lines was so disastrously lopsided. In analysing the losses, before he got to Moores' quotes, Selvey wrote, "England though were dismal, a collective failure to cope with conditions in which they, of all teams, ought to be able to cope."
Translation: You're damn right the head coach should apologise! How on Earth can a team with England's talent and experience show up to these conditions unprepared? Are they lazy? Unfocused? Is there any excuse whatsoever?
And finally, we'll come to a sort of match recap of the New Zealand dismantling of the English cricket squad, posted by former star Sir Ian Botham at Mirror. Evidently utterly disgusted by England's performance, Botham pulled no punches in expressing his discontent, beginning his column with: "In nearly 40 years of playing for and watching England in one day cricket, I have not seen a worse performance than the one I saw in Wellington on Friday."
Translation... You know what? Never mind. Botham pretty much said it all, about as harshly as it can be said.
Ladies and gentlemen, your British sports media and 2015 English World Cup squad!