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Cook says he deserved the axe – before epic double ton

MELBOURNE: Alastair Cook said selectors would have been entitled to drop him over his poor form -- before his masterful double-century put England in a winning position in the fourth Ashes Test. The unflappable opening batsman crushed Australia's hopes of sweeping the five-Test series with an unbeaten 244 on Thursday to put the tourists 164 runs ahead of Australia with two days left. The Ashes are already gone after England lost the opening three Tests, with Cook contributing just 83 runs in six innings. But he made at…

Steve Smith reaches double century in third Ashes Test

PERTH: Australian captain Steve Smith's incredible year continued as he notched his second Test double century on the third day of the third Ashes Test against England at the WACA Ground on Saturday. Smith and Mitchell Marsh carried the home side past the English first innings total with a massive fifth-wicket partnership that appeared to shatter the tourists' resolve. Resuming on 92 at the start of play, Smith wasted little time raising his 22nd Test century, reaching the mark from 138 balls –- his fastest Test…

Kohli double century powers India to 500-5 in third Test

NEW DELHI: Skipper Virat Kohli cracked his second successive double century to compound Sri Lanka's misery as India took lunch on 500 for five on day two of the third Test on Sunday. Kohli, batting on 225, was not in his element after starting the day on 156, battling a back problem while getting regular help from the physio. But nevertheless Kohli combined with overnight partner Rohit Sharma, who scored 65, to put on 135 runs for the fifth wicket. Sri Lanka got some relief when Sharma was caught behind off left-arm…

Younus returns to top five of batsmen ranking

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Younus Khan has returned to the top five of the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen after belting his sixth career double-century which helped his side to record an impressive 10-wicket victory over England in the fourth and final Test of the series at The Oval.