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Innings formula

Books | By William Joll


On Form By Mike Brearley

At the outset, let me explain: I am a tremendous fan of Mike Brearley, and here’s why. I lost touch with Test cricket in the late 1970s when based abroad (it had fallen out of fashion in the Bois de Boulogne), but returned to find Botham at full throttle. So they made him English captain, at which he was no good – and he lost form. After the Lord’s Test in the 1981 Ashes series, in which Botham failed to score twice, he was replaced by Brearley and – hallelujah – by a narrow margin and against all the odds, England beat Australia at Headingley in spectacular fashion. Thanks to the exceptional efforts of the two English fastmen (Graham Dilley with the bat and Bob Willis, who took eight wickets in an innings), Botham back on Herculean form, and Brearley as deus ex machina, it was game on. On Form, which...


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