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Archive for August 2011

England tops Test rankings

England beat India in the third Test at Edgbaston and in doing so became the number one cricket Test team.

Its been a journey for England and I remember how they came to Australia in the summer and successfully defended the Ashes and they were clearly the superior team.

I thought India were going to give England a tough time but England were too good for them.

In the third Test, for example, England scored 710 for seven wickets with Alastair Cook scoring a marvellous 294.

Now I would like to see how long England will reign.

The fourth Test will start on August 18 at The Oval.

2011/12 English Premiership Preview

2011/12 English Premiership review The English Premier League kicks off over the weekend with defending champions Manchester United going for their 20th title.

I think this season is going to be much tougher especially with the emergence of Manchester City as real title challengers and with Liverpool regrouping after two "bad" seasons where the team has finished outside the top four positions.

I think the days of the top four are gone now and what we have now is a top three and then a top six.

I think in the top three there are the two Manchester teams United and City and then Chelsea.

Manchester United has brought in Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David de Gea and the team will not sit back but will try and to successfully defend its title.

I can see the strongest challengers being Man City and Chelsea.

Chelsea's purchases so far has been young promising players and I think the new manager wants to have a mixture of youth and experience. Players like Ramires will be in their second season and so the team should not have the dip in form like last season that caused them to drop down to fifth at one stage.

Man City have brought in Sergio Aguero, Gael Clichy, Stefan Savic and Costel Pantilimon so far but it is Aguero who I think will make the difference for them.

I think they need to play like champions but not as defensive as they were last season only to react when they are down.

I think Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham will complete the top six and fight for fourth place.

I think there will be a big improvement in a Liverpool team that finished sixth and is out of Europe for the first time in many years. I think not being in European competitions will help Kenny Dalglish's side concentrate on the league.

Arsenal tend to start the season very well but towards the end they falter. This has happened in the last two seasons and it could happen once again. If it happens this season then they could finish fifth or sixth.

I think one of the strongest teams outside the top six is Everton despite no activity on the transfer market so far.

I think its fair to say that the rest of the teams are just trying to stay in the division.

There has been a lot of movement at Sunderland after a slide in the second half of last season and on paper Steve Bruce has a team to finish in top half of the table.

The other two teams I tip to be in the top half are Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers.

Leading the bottom half will be the likes of Newcastle, Fulham and Stoke City.

As for relegation, I have seen anything from three new teams QPR, Swansea and Norwich City to suggest they have much stronger teams than last year's teams.

The same can also be said of Wigan Athletic, Blackburn and Wolverhampton Wanderers who just managed to survive relegation and I think those six teams will be candidates for relegation.

Once again this season I will be putting my predictions on TipsChallenge and hoping to finish in the top half.

Zimbabwe wins on Test return

The Zimbabwe cricket team won its first Test on return to the Test arena after beating Bangladesh at the Harare Sports Club.

Zimbabwe won the Test by 130 runs to make a successful return to the Test fold.

I wonder whether the result shows how good Zimbabwe are or how bad Bangladesh are.

If Zimbabwe are that good then the break was the while but I think we will see when Zimbabwe hosts Pakistan next month.

I think Pakistan will offer a sterner test and that match will be able gauge Zimbabwe's improvement.