During the launch of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s book, Anil Kumble discussed how he “hit refresh” during his career and how the ‘headmaster’ tag is nothing new.

Elsewhere on Wednesday (November 8), Australia were haunted by the spectre of batting potential, England’s best hope might be the experience of James Anderson, and why the finality of retirement is final.

When Anil Kumble hit the refresh button in the Adelaide Test (The Indian Express)
The word headmaster veered into the topic quite incidentally. Former India coach Anil Kumble was narrating to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during the launch of the latter’s book Hit Refresh, how his grandfather, who was a headmaster, helped him inculcate the virtues of discipline and hard work at a young age. But he abruptly slipped in the one, and the only, inference to his coaching days with the national team. “That ‘headmaster’ tag has stayed with me, and it kept coming back,” he said, with so plain a face that the connection didn’t hit most. As an afterthought, he added: “Some of them here will understand (what I am talking).”

Dhoni will work it out – but what about the rest? (The Hindu)
There is an organised system which prepares a gifted youngster to play for India. He is given technical, temperamental, tactical, strategic guidance as he graduates through the age-group tournaments. And then, in the early or mid-twenties, he plays for the country. It is the start of a wonderful ride. If he is good enough, he plays on for a decade and a half, or more. But there is no similar organised system at the other end of his career. Unlike a couple of generations ago, today money is no longer a problem. But relevance is, self-esteem is, acceptance is. It is difficult to walk into a room and realise that you no longer turn heads. You might still sign autographs, but then might have to answer a young fan’s devastating question: “What’s your name?”

Fox Sports journalist Christy Doran describes the day he faced up to Test superstar Pat Cummins (Fox Sports)
Cricketers are a rare breed who, for the most part, are a scarred bunch tormented by horror dismissals, dropped catches and countless hours spent clapping their teammates as they sit boundary side slowly chewing away their finger nails and soaking up the beaming sun from all corners of Sydney. Hence, I’ve since turned to golf. But when an opportunity presented itself to face Cummins again, I jumped at the chance. With very little thought of self-preservation — OK, yes, I was forced to sign a waiver declaring if I was to die or be injured Cricket Australia and new sponsors Gillette couldn’t be held responsible — I dusted off my kit.

Spectre of batting potential haunts Australia before Ashes selection is finalised (The Guardian)
No cricket team is ever truly stable. As Ferris Bueller noted, life moves pretty fast. Compared to recent years, though, Australia’s Test line-up looks steady ahead of the Ashes. The top five is set – with one caveat, to be discussed – while the first-choice bowling attack is not just known, but getting into rhythm together for New South Wales. The narrow gap between these sturdy ends has become the plughole where uncertainty swirls and gurgles. Right now, there are literally a dozen candidates who could round out the top six at the Gabba. Four wicketkeepers could take the spot below. It is the mark of a domestic system where batsmen no longer dominate, where irresistible cases are no longer made.

Stuart Broad aiming to bowl like Glenn McGrath in first Ashes Test at Brisbane (The Guardian)
This is Broad’s third tour of Australia. The first ended with injury in Adelaide, with his replacements excelling as England went on to win. In the second England were thrashed but Broad bowled well in the face of a mauling from the public. He has bowled a match-winning spell in each of his three Ashes series at home (all of which England won), but arrives feeling he has plenty to prove. “I feel like I’m ready for one of those spells again,” he says, and he is thinking hard about how he will make it happen. Broad still expects to take plenty of abuse at the Gabba – he cheerfully notes that he even got it when playing for Hobart in last year’s Big Bash – and would even be a touch disappointed if he does not. He believes England’s whole squad “have to prepare themselves for a bit”.

T10 cricket is here​ (Economic Times)
​​You probably know that the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. You might have heard of the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping destination, Princess Tower, tallest residential building, JW Marriott Marquis, tallest hotel and you will not be surprised that Dubai’s fascination with setting records does not end here. Now, Dubai can legitimately lay claim to having the first international tournament in the shortest version of cricket, with the launch of the T10 Cricket League.

England are off the Ashes pace and need Jimmy Anderson’s guile more than ever (The Guardian)
Three weeks out from the start of this series, it’s a good time to be sharing old Ashes stories. The moral of this particular one is that if an English captain doesn’t necessarily need a fast bowler to win in Australia, he will sure sleep a little easier if he has one around. Douglas Jardine had Harold Larwood, Ray Illingworth had John Snow, and Mike Brearley had Bob Willis. Joe Root, however, is travelling without one. The quickest England have, Mark Wood, will be in Australia with the England Lions, though, suffering with a bruised heel, he was well off the pace in his last Test back in July. Meanwhile, since Steven Finn has been sent home, Root has his pick of five. James Anderson and Stuart Broad, of course, then Chris Woakes, Jake Ball, and Craig Overton.

Australia’s current fast-bowling crop better than 2013-14 Ashes whitewash attack, claims Ryan Harris (The Telegraph, UK)
England should prepare to face an Australia attack even better than the one which dispatched them 5-0 on their last Ashes trip, according to Ryan Harris. Mitchell Johnson, unstoppable with 37 wickets at 13.97 each four years ago, has since retired from international cricket and is therefore not back this time. But his 2013/14 pace partner Harris, also retired but who will coach a Cricket Australia XI against England in Adelaide over the next four days, expects this winter’s challenge to be at least as taxing for the tourists.

The Grade Cricketer: The Number 6 Position — A Search for Identity (Fox Sports)
He is the understudy. When everyone else fails, he must graft; when the top order fires, he must stand ready to come in and pummel runs at will against tired attacks at a strike rate of one hundred. Ideally, the latter situation plays out, and once you have amassed 7-582 (dec), you send the other team in and get them 2-6 at close of play in order to complete their wholesale emasculation. And that’s been the ideal blueprint for Australian cricket ever since Charles Bannerman belted 156* in the first ever Test match in 1877 against some posh limp-wristed English blokes bowling off six steps in white business shirts.

Anya Shrubsole and Tammy Beaumont on the month that changed women’s cricket forever (The Telegraph, UK)
When Anya Shrubsole explains how she won England the Women’s World Cup in July, and turned herself into an overnight national hero in the process, it all sounds rather straightforward. It came down to two balls. Neither claimed wickets – they would come later. Instead, they were delivered after Shrubsole had been clattered for consecutive boundaries when returning to the attack for the 43rd over. Suddenly, India needed 39 from 46 balls. With seven wickets in hand and two set players at the crease, they were cruising. But armed with the knowledge gleaned from her thesis in professional anxiety, Shrubsole knew what to do next. She had to stay calm.