Darren Gough picks the top five batters he bowled against in Test matches including Australia and South Africa legends

13 Aug

Darren Gough has named the top five batters he ever bowled against in Test match cricket.

The former England fast bowler took 229 wickets in 58 Test matches and 235 wickets in 159 one-day internationals in an international career that spanned more than a decade.

The talkSPORT host came up against some of the greatest batsmen during his career in the 1990s and 2000s.

Darren Gough picked the top five batters he faced

Gough made his selections on the eve of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s and two Australians made the list.

5. Brian Lara

The great batsman twice broke the world record for highest individual score in a Test match, both times against England.

He scored 375 in 1994 and then 400 not out in 2004 with both coming in the West Indies.

Lara scored 11,953 in 131 Test matches at an average of 52.88 during his illustrious career.

Brian Lara is fifth in Darren Gough’s list
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He also holds the record for highest individual score in first-class cricket, which was 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham.

Gough said: “Number five because he got two massive scores, and I didn’t play in either. I joked with him about that.

“I had decent success against him but when he was on fire you would just have to get your tent out. When he’s in he becomes very difficult to bowl against.”

4. Jacques Kallis

The South African is one of the game’s greatest all-rounders with phenomenal records with both bat and ball.

In 166 Tests, he hit 13,289 runs at an average of 55.37 and took 292 wickets. Kallis also has 11,579 ODI runs with 273 wickets in 328 matches.

Gough said: “In terms of all round cricketer he is the greatest. Early on, you fancied him against the short ball. Once he got past the new ball he’d go on and make a big score.”

Jacques Kallis is a South Africa legend
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3. Ricky Ponting

The Australian great is the current assistant coach of his national side after being appointed in February.

He is Australia’s leading run-scorer and is one of four people to surpass 13,000 Test match runs. He averaged 51.85 in 168 Tests and 42 in 375 ODIs.

Ponting is statistically one of the most successful captains in history with 48 victories in 77 Tests between 2004 and 2010. He also led them to World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007 while was also being involved in their 1999 success.

Gough said: “I had decent success against him but he took me to the cleaners on a few occasions. If he got in you couldn’t bowl short, he would pull me for six. Great competitor.”

Ricky Ponting is one of the most successful captains in history
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2. Martin Crowe

Perhaps one of the lesser known players on the list but he still had a fantastic international record.

He averaged 45.36 in 77 Test matches with 5,444 runs during his New Zealand career between 1982 and 1995.

Gough said: “I faced him early on in my Test debut. He introduced me to Test match cricket. He had so much time and he played me like I was a medium pacer.

“He made me realise I would have to keep up my game. I realised the difference in calibre.”

Martin Crowe is second in Darren Gough’s list
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1. Adam Gilchrist

Gilchrist is arguably the greatest wicket-keeper batsman to play the game and revolutionised the position.

His aggressive style of play made him difficult to bowl against in the Australian batting line-up.

In 96 Test matches, he scored 5,570 runs at an average of 47.60 while he scored 9,619 ODI runs in 287 games at an average of 35.89.

Gough said: “Every time he came in, I’d bowled 15 or 16 overs before he came in. He batted seven and averaged 50. He would come in and decide he would want to bat in a one day match.

“The reason England won the Ashes in 2005 was that Flintoff kept getting him out.”

Adam Gilchrist averaged 47.60 in Test matches
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Cricket World Cup 2019: Joe Root stars as England secure easy victory over West Indies but Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy pick up injuries

14 Jun

Joe Root hit his second century of the 2019 Cricket World Cup as England secured a commanding eight-wicket win over the West Indies.

However, it wasn’t all smiles for the England camp as their victory was punctured by injury scares for captain Eoin Morgan and opener Jason Roy.

Morgan had a back spasm and it will be a nervous wait for England to see how bad his injury is
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Roy hurt his left hamstring sprinting at cover and Morgan headed straight for the pavilion after a back spasm, with neither man taking their usual places in the batting order.

England will be desperate for positive news from the treatment room but the pair were not missed on the day, a modest chase of 213 proving a walk in the park for Root, who opened for the first time in his international one-day career and made 100 not out in 94 deliveries.

Root had already played an unlikely role with the ball, taking two wickets with his occasional off-spin, and the role reversals continued with a Chris Woakes cameo at number three.

Having never batted higher than seven in his previous 91 appearances, the all-rounder was handed an emergency elevation and chipped in with an assured 40.

It was a very good day for Joe Root
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The game was brilliantly set up by the bowlers, Barbados-born seamer Jofra Archer and Mark Wood delivering with pace and purpose as they shared combined figures of six for 48.

Archer’s first appearance against the team he had represented at Under-19 level had been much debated, but he took the moment in his stride as the Windies slid from 144 for three to 212 all out.

All eyes were on the 24-year-old after England opted to bowl first but first blood went to Woakes, scattering Evin Lewis’ stumps with a toe-crushing yorker in the third over.

Woakes thought he had a second – the prize scalp of Chris Gayle – but was left aghast as a tough chance popped out of Wood’s hands at third man.

Giving Gayle a second chance can be among the costliest mistakes in one-day cricket, and a smooth six down the ground suggested the price tag might be a hefty one. Yet the burly Jamaican never quite made England pay, making 36 before pulling Liam Plunkett to deep midwicket.

Wood made his own amends, ending a tortured knock by Shai Hope, before Nicholas Pooran (63) and Shimron Hetmyer (39) showed some backbone. Their 89-run stand frustrated England rather than hurt them but it was as good as got as the innings fell off a cliff inside 15 overs.

In the absence of Moeen Ali, overlooked for the second game in a row, it was Root’s seldom-seen off-breaks which kick-started a collapse of seven wickets for 68. Having last taken an ODI wicket 18 months ago he took a pair of gentle caught-and-bowled chances, Hetmyer and Jason Holder succumbing.

The door was open and Buttler, deputising for the absent Morgan, called on Archer and Wood to kick it down.

An edge from Pooran and a plumb lbw put on Archer on a hat-trick but he had to wait before making Carlos Brathwaite his third victim of the day. Wood, who passed a morning fitness test on his left ankle, was equally impressive, hustling Andre Russell with a short ball and cleaning up Shannon Gabriel.

Root replaced Roy at the head of the innings and joined fellow Yorkshireman Bairstow in ramming home the advantage.

They took 62 off the first 10 overs, Bairstow taking care of business and usual and Root piercing the infield with a selection of sweetly hit drives. The West Indies attack was dangerous on paper but a crushing disappointment in the middle, lacking the intensity of their English counterparts and throwing in regular boundary balls.

Even their minor triumphs came at a price, Russell thudding Bairstow in the helmet but buckling his own knee in the process. The first breakthrough came with 95 on the board, Bairstow uppercutting Gabriel to third man, leading to the surprise emergence of Woakes at number three.

Any doubts about the wisdom of the promotion were swiftly dispelled, getting off the mark with a punch for four then pulling Gabriel to the ropes. A 104-run stand made the result safe, Woakes falling just before the line but Root safely reaching his 16th one-day ton and third on the World Cup stage.

With three wins from four outings, England nudged up to second in the table ahead of inviting games against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

England’s World Cup campaign is gathering momentum
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West Indies vs England third T20 free stream and live scorecard: Exclusive talkSPORT 2 commentary

10 Mar

England will be looking to end their 2019 tour of the Caribbean on a high with a third T20 victory in the final game.

Eoin Morgan’s side have dominated the Windies in the T20 series and won by a mammoth 137 runs in Friday’s match having bowled their opponents out for just 45.

England take on the West Indies in the third and final T20 today

After a difficult Test series and mixed results in the one-dayers, England will want to claim another T20 win in the last game of their trip to the tropics.

talkSPORT 2 will have full and exclusive coverage of every ball and here’s how you can tune in.

West Indies vs England third T20: When is it and where

The third T20 international of the series will take place on Sunday, March 10 and is being held at Warner Park in Saint Kitts.

West Indies vs England third T20: What is the UK start time

The first ball of the third and final T20 is set to be bowled at 20:00 GMT. The time difference in the West Indies is four hours behind the UK.

England take on the West Indies in the third and final T20 today

West Indies vs England third T20: How to listen

The final game of England’s tour of the Caribbean will be live on talkSPORT 2.

You can catch the action by clicking here for the live commentary stream or the radio player below.

You can also listen through the talkSPORT App, on DAB Digital Radio or on MW 1053 or 1089.

For more information about how to listen LIVE on talkSPORT click here.

England take on the West Indies in the third and final T20 today

West Indies vs England third T20 teams

England: Hales, Bairstow, Root, Morgan, Denly, Billings, Willey, T Curran, Plunkett, Jordan, Rashid.

West Indies: Gayle, Pooran, Hope, Darren Bravo, Hetmyer, Holder, C Brathwaite, Nurse, Allen, Cottrell, Thomas.

West Indies vs England third T20: Live scorecard

England claim T20 series win after embarrassing West Indies with a 137-run thrashing in St Kitts

9 Mar

England skittled the West Indies for just 45 to claim their heaviest Twenty20 victory in a contest settled by a devastating four-wicket blast by Chris Jordan.

Having posted 182 for six, with Sam Billings doing the heavy lifting with a career-best 87 from 47 balls, the tourists wiped their opponents out in less than 12 overs to seal a 137-run win and take the three-match series 2-0.

Chris Jordan was exceptional for England against the West Indies

The Windies total was the lowest ever made by a full member nation and just six more than the record low set by Holland in 2014. It was also England’s biggest winning margin, comfortably clearing their 116-run rout of Afghanistan.

Jordan was the headline act, taking four for six in two masterful overs of white-ball bowling that are sure to reignite his case for a World Cup berth this summer, with David Willey, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett chiming in with two apiece.

England captain Morgan was delighted with the way his side recovered from their awful start and how they adapted to the conditions.

He said: “We didn’t get off to a great start, conditions were completely different here again to what we experienced in St Lucia, but one huge positive today is we’ve adapted to conditions extremely well.

Morgan and Curran collided in the field

“With our backs against the wall at 20 for four, the partnership between Joe Root and Sam Billings was absolutely outstanding, and Sam managed to kick on and get us an above-par score.

“And from there we really did grab hold of momentum and our bowlers and fielding was outstanding.”

Morgan, who admitted he and Curran were “lucky to come out unscathed” after the two collided in the field, concedes there is still work to be done for his side despite the win.

He added: “I still think we’ve got to keep learning. The first four guys to get out didn’t do a great job. We’ve got improvements to make for the game in two days’ time and hopefully we can do that.”

West Indies vs England: Tourists seal T20 victory with four wickets and an over to spare

6 Mar

Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid were the stars as England sealed victory over the West Indies, taking the first Twenty20 by four wickets in St Lucia.

England rested four of their first-choice side after the drawn ODI series – Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali all watching from home – but Bairstow plugged a big gap in the batting line-up with a career-best 68 from 40 balls.

Opening for the first time in 28 matches he broke the back of a 161-run target, which owed much to Rashid’s miserly return of one for 15. Tom Curran walked away with four wickets as the Windies posted 160 for eight but it was Rashid’s precise stint which did most to stall the home side.

Bairstow starred for the tourists

Joe Denly and Sam Billings both fell with the end line in sight but Curran reappeared to hit the winning boundary with seven balls remaining.

Curran made short work of Shai Hope with the new ball but the real priority was seeing off Chris Gayle. Man-of-the-series in the ODIs, clubbing 39 sixes along the way, he soaked up five dot balls off David Willey before clearing the ropes at third man and wide long-on. That was the height of his success this time, though.

Chris Jordan was his downfall, summoning a wide yorker which Gayle could only squeeze to short third man. Shimron Hetmyer also failed to leave his mark on proceedings, chipping in with 14 before pumping a Curran full toss straight to mid-on.

At the halfway mark England had restricted their hosts to a gentle 67 for three, with the Windies unable to score off 29 of the 60 legal deliveries.

Darren Bravo and Nicholas Pooran helped claw back some of the lost ground, Liam Plunkett suffering worst as he sent down four wicketless overs for 44. The fourth-wicket pair added 64 in 51 balls but were parted in style by the returning Chris Jordan.

He confounded Bravo with a disguised slower ball and leapt into action when the ball popped back towards him, throwing himself one-handed in front of the non-striker.

Curran was nevertheless favoured for the death overs and claimed two more victims, cleaning up Pooran for 58 and Jason Holder with another full toss.

The reply began in a flurry of activity as Sheldon Cottrell’s opening over contained 17 runs, a dropped catch and finally the wicket of Alex Hales, heaving hard and losing his stumps.

Joe Root’s hopes of sharpening his T20 skills lasted exactly two balls, lbw to Cottrell attempting to open up the leg-side, but Bairstow was unaffected.

He launched himself into a 13-ball sequence containing five boundaries and one six, driving England to 62 for two in the powerplay, well ahead of the Windies benchmark.

England got rid of danger man Chris Gayle early on

Bairstow nicked Carlos Brathwaite on 34 but a fingertip catch skimmed off Hope’s gloves and brought him four more. Brathwaite did manage to see off skipper Eoin Morgan but Bairstow was dropped again by Cottrell shortly after reaching a 27-ball 50 with his second six.

By the time he was held at wide long-on, Brathwaite the catcher off Ashley Nurse’s off-spin, he had left a target of 58 in 50 balls.

Billings and Denly, both of whom are still seeking to find their place in the England set-up, chalked off all but eight of the required runs in calm fashion before nerves struck.

Holder persuaded Denly to hole out with 14 balls remaining then Billings had an almighty let-off next ball, Oshane Thomas just failing to hang to a mis-cued pull at fine leg.

Reprieved, Billings then swiped at a Cottrell cutter that knocked back his stumps. Four byes over Hope’s head eased the growing tension allowing Curran to slog the winning runs.

West Indies vs England: Chris Gayle disappointed he did not score double hundred in Grenada defeat

28 Feb

Chris Gayle felt like he should have gone on to score a double century in the West Indies’ defeat to England on Tuesday.

The hosts lost by 29 runs in Grenada after attempting to chase down a mammoth 419 target set by the visitors.

Chris Gayle scored his second century of the series

Gayle continued his destructive form in the series and hit 162 from 97 balls but it was not enough to prevent defeat and see his side go 2-1 down.

“It’s par to be honest and I should have got 250 but it was a great game of cricket,” Gayle told talkSPORT.

“Congratulations to England. They played some superb cricket and batted well.

“Buttler, the captain, and Alex Hales took the game away from us but I thought we put up some sort of resistance to get close to 400.

“Anything could have happened if I had batted for a bit longer.

“I’ve been in a bit of form getting a hundred in the first game and half century in the second so that gave me a bit of confidence as well.

“Grenada is a nice place to bat and it pretty flat. I thought the England bowlers bowled well up front and when we had a partnership Wood came back to break it.

“It unsettled us there in the middle and we had to dig deep again to come back in the game.”

Chris Gayle scored 162 in the defeat

The century was his second of the series and has 347 runs at an average of 115.7.

The first hundred was a more measured Chris Gayle innings where he took his time to get settled before accelerating his scoring rate.

He said: “I remember those days of going from ball one. You have seen a different side of Chris Gayle in the last two games.

“You can’t take away the fact that early the wicket is a bit tacky and with the guys taking the pace off the ball it’s a bit difficult to size them up early.

“You have to give yourself a chance and once you get past that period then it becomes a bit easier to bat out there.

“It’s one of those things. Batting second the ball usually comes onto the bat a bit more and you can play through the line a bit more.”

Gayle, though, believes the West Indies are showing some good signs ahead of World Cup later this year.

The 39-year-old will retire from one-day international cricket after the tournament.

“The key is to try and get the form up for the World Cup,” he added. “You need the best squad to take to the World Cup and everyone should be ready.

“This is going to be my last World Cup so everybody should play for me and try and lift the trophy so they can send me off on a nice high.

“We will drink a nice bottle of champagne and have a nice time.”

Every match of the tour of the West Indies will be LIVE on talkSPORT 2 and you can catch the action by clicking here for the live commentary stream. You can also listen through the talkSPORT App, on DAB Digital Radio or on MW 1053 or 1089.

West Indies vs England fourth ODI: Confirmed teams for Grenada match as Ben Stokes returns to side after ankle injury

27 Feb

Ben Stokes has passed a fitness test and will play in England‘s fourth one-day international with the West Indies.

Stokes had been ruled out of the third match, which was abandoned without a ball being bowled, after “rolling his ankle”.

Ben Stokes had been suffering with an ankle problem

He has now been deemed fit enough to return to the side for the penultimate match of the series.

The series is currently tied 1-1 after Monday’s game in Grenada was abandoned.

The fourth match will be at the same stadium but the forecast is much better for the match on Wednesday.

The match at the Grenada National Stadium starts at 1.30pm and you can listen to all the action live on talkSPORT 2.

England made one change from the side selected for the third match with Stokes coming in for Jason Roy, who misses with a hamstring problem.

Alex Hales will open the batting alongside Jonny Bairstow because of the injury to the opener.

The West Indies were unchanged and they won the toss and chose to field first.

West Indies: Gayle, Campbell, Hope, Hetmyer, Bravo, Brathwaite, Holder, Bishoo, Cottrell, Nurse, Thomas.

England: Hales, Bairstow, Root, Morgan, Stokes, Buttler, Ali, Woakes, Plunkett, Rashid, Wood.

Every match of the tour of the West Indies will be LIVE on talkSPORT 2 and you can catch the action by clicking here for the live commentary stream. You can also listen through the talkSPORT App, on DAB Digital Radio or on MW 1053 or 1089.

West Indies vs England free live stream and scorecard for fourth ODI: Listen to exclusive talkSPORT 2 commentary as England claim incredible win

27 Feb

England face the West Indies in Grenada today in the fourth ODI of their 2019 tour of the Caribbean.

The one-day series is currently tied at 1-1 after the third match, also at the National Cricket Stadium, was rained off without a ball being bowled on Monday.

England face the West Indies in Grenada in the fourth ODI

The fifth and final ODI will take place in St Lucia on Saturday but who will head their with the advantage?

talkSPORT will have full and exclusive coverage of every ball from the ODI series.

West Indies vs England fourth ODI: When is it and where

The one-dayer will take place on Wednesday, February 27 and is being held at the National Cricket Stadium, Grenada.

West Indies vs England fourth ODI: What is the UK start time

The first ball of the fourth ODI is set to be bowled at 13:30 GMT. The time difference in the West Indies is four hours behind the UK.

The ODI Series between England and the West Indies is level at 1-1

West Indies vs England fourth ODI: How to listen

The fourth ODI and then every match of the tour will be live on talkSPORT 2 and you can catch the action by clicking below or here for the live commentary stream.

You can also listen through the talkSPORT App, on DAB Digital Radio or on MW 1053 or 1089.

For more information about how to listen LIVE on talkSPORT click here.

Can England beat the West Indies in Grenada?

West Indies vs England fourth ODI teams

West Indies: Chris Gayle, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Oshane Thomas.

England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.

West Indies vs England: Live scorecard

West Indies vs England: Third ODI abandoned due to rain without a ball being bowled

25 Feb

England’s third ODI against the West Indies has been called off without a ball being bowled after a consistent day of rain in Grenada.

Water conservation measures are currently being applied to the island as it is experiencing an unusually early dry season – however rain arrived to wipe out the nation’s first international fixture since 2015.

Crowd members were desperate for the game to go forth but were ultimately left disappointed

Although it never reached downpour levels, the persistence of the rain left no window for the game to get under way ensuring the sides remain tied at 1-1 with two to play.

The Grenadian fans will be crossing their fingers for clearer skies when the teams return to St George’s on Wednesday.

The only action that took place in the middle was a delayed coin toss, with Eoin Morgan winning and opting to chase.

Ben Stokes was absent from the England XI, sitting out as a precaution after rolling his ankle during fielding practice on the eve of the match.

Rain has fallen in Grenada throughout the day

That meant Alex Hales, Stokes’ replacement at number five, was the day’s biggest loser – missing a major chance to push his own case after slipping to first reserve status among the batsmen.