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Che faces the axe as stats reveal India would do better with Jake Ball at No 3

Che goodbye: Pujara was struggling to cement his place in the side. After a summer in which cricket has taken a back-seat role to the World Cup, it returns to centre stage in August with one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes in years: five Tests between England and India in a series that rests on a knife-edge. India are the best Test side in the world at the moment according to the ICC rankings: in the last three years, their record is an impressive P34 W23 D7 L4, with batsmen averaging 39 in that time. In contrast, England have lost more than they've won (P41 W15 D6 L10) in that time, with their batsmen averaging just 32.

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The Guerillas

Innie, outtie, innie, greentop: England's shrinks go to work on Kohli despite heatwave

Finally, a series that knows how to build dramatic tension. T20s then ODIs then Tests is the way it should be – we've had the Kuldeep narrative, the birth of a potential rivalry between Joe Root and Hardik Pandya (if Pandya was deliberately bowling wides to deny Root a hundred at Headingley, that's pretty classless). And now a five-Test series. Here, in the first of two articles, the Guerilla experts give you the lowdown on how it will go.

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Nakul Pande

Searching for a hero: Is Hardik Pandya the real new Kapil Dev?

The 80s-nostalgia-soaked search for the next great seaming all-rounder is not uniquely an English one. While many "new Bothams" have come and gone, with only Andrew Flintoff and latterly Ben Stokes making a serious impression, India have been searching for the next Kapil Dev since before Kapil Dev retired, with even less success.

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Hendo

The Adil conundrum: never in the field of cricket conflict has one ball meant so much to so many

The condemnation of England's recalled leg spinner has the whiff of hypocrisy, argues Nigel Henderson. His darkest hour: I want two spinners – and make one of them Rashid. The weeks between a one-day series and a Test series are a long time in cricket, it would appear. No sooner had the original narrative – the one simmering since 2014 about whether Virat Kohli could find a way to get runs in England's green and pleasant land and prove once and for all that he is a class act in all conditions – been overtaken by one in which an almost unprecedented hot and dry spell would magically turn all England pitches into a spinner's paradise, than Ed Smith provided us with yet another one.

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Paul Howarth

O’Grubby’s Guide To Filthy Lucre

Begorrah, be-Jaysus, top o' the mornin' to ya. Well Jeeesus, Mary and Joseph, who woulda thought dis day would ever come? Da first ever Test match played by Oirland. [Enough of the casual stereotypes, ya little bollix – ed. And Ed, who as you can tell by his strident English tones, is half-Irish.]. Just as historic is the news that Guerilla Cricket is the official radio broadcaster for the game against Pakistan, sticking it to the mainstream media in the grand manner. We're as pleased as Punch. If only we were as good-looking.

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Tony Bishop

I never thought this would happen says Test debutant Murtagh, 36

Tim Murtagh tells Guerilla Cricket's Tony Bishop why Ireland's first ever Test match is the pinnacle of a long career. The Sussex Cricketer pub is a perfect place to reflect on a glorious sun-bathed day of well-supported county cricket. The game itself between Sussex and Middlesex is perfectly poised with both sides feeling they can win after fortunes have seesawed across three days. We are not short of bowling inspiration: Jason Gillespie sits at the next table and the elegant, tanned white-haired gent at the bar is none other than England fast bowling legend John Snow, now well into his seventies, but looking fit and lean.

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Hendo

Depression and anxiety 'being seen in cricketers as young as ten'

Nigel Henderson talks to a coach whose interest in mental health issues has uncovered a worrying trend. Depression and anxiety are manifesting among cricketers as young as ten, according to a leading coach and advocate for good mental health. Lindsay Moody, who worked with England captain Joe Root at the age of 12 and had a short career in Sussex's 2nd XI, worries that parental expectation is making the problem far worse than in previous generations, with players under almost unbearable pressure to perform.

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Hendo

Getting it Wrong: opprobrium aimed at ball-tamperers has a darker side

In the light of mental health difficulties experienced by some cricketers, Nigel Henderson wonders if those caught up in the events at Newlands need a little understanding and what might happen to them if they don't get it. It may seem odd amid the fallout over the ball-tampering affair that Steve Waugh should be the one to counsel us against losing sight of "the social impact and mental health of all players" subject to widespread condemnation in the incident.

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'A stupendous act of bastardry': why Aussies feel betrayed by Stickygate

While England fans have been content to laugh and enjoy their discomfort, Perth native Jeremy Henderson explains why he and his countrymen have reacted so strongly to the ball-tampering affair. There are not many issues which actually unite Australians. For many decades politicians and the media have done everything to promote division, sometimes hatred, over so many things: rich vs poor, left vs right, workers vs bosses, and so on. There are so many fruitful areas for the self-interested to exploit, from immigration, taxation, and race, to welfare recipients, climate change and indigenous affairs that we all become embroiled in the fight at some stage.

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Paul Howarth

Kohli The Lonely

The cricketers-in-song-titles game that'll take over your life. Everyone needs a mate like Big Tone. A die-hard Newcastle United fan (well, no-one's perfect), a man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of pop music and – crucially for this tale – someone who delights in childish games.

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