In Case You Missed It: Cricket aplenty but the shadow of Covid looms large

South Africa's Covid scare has put a question mark on the safety and efficacy of biosecure bubbles Getty Images

There's more cricket happening now than there has been at any point this year, but a rising number of Covid cases are throwing a long shadow on the sport. The first South Africa-England ODI was the latest to be hit, with play called off less than an hour before the toss when one player returned a positive test result. Pakistan continue to remain in quarantine with no hope of training yet in New Zealand as the eighth positive case popped up this week. And that's not counting the many positive results that have shown among players in domestic tournaments across the world. What does this spell for the future of "biosecure" cricket? There's plenty more to ponder about in our weekly catch-up.

Marvellous Dawid Malan 99* steers England to record chase and 3-0 sweep
England claimed a 3-0 series in T20Is win thanks to an unbeaten 167-run stand between Malan and Jos Buttler. The team came under a bit of scrutiny for using coded signals while playing, flashed by team analyst Nathan Leamon to players on the field, which they were quick to defend as being "in the spirit of the game". South Africa, meanwhile, have plainly struggled, but none more perhaps than captain Quinton de Kock, who is showing wear from the magnitude and multitudes of roles he's being asked to fill, observes Firdose Moonda.

Hardik, Jadeja, Bumrah end India's ODI rut, avert series sweep against Australia
After floundering in the first two ODIs in Sydney, the middle order came through to seal a 13-run win, ending a five-match losing streak for India. Though the bowlers redeemed themselves somewhat, Sidharth Monga says India still have too many holes in the bowling unit that's been powerless in the powerplay. Aakash Chopra, likewise, says the bowlers have been struggling to find the balance on Australian pitches and adapt to the challenges they offer. Daniel Brettig, on the other hand, says Australia have promising batting depth, but they are a way away from having the kind of bench strength they did 20 years ago when they dominated the cricket world.

New Zealand take series 2-0 after Bay Oval washout
After Glen Phillips galloped to the fastest century by a New Zealander in the second T20I and took his team to a series win, the scoreline stayed 2-0 when rain claimed the last T20I and only 2.2 overs of play was possible.

Shabnim Ismail, Sammy-Jo Johnson hand Rachel Haynes-led Sydney Thunder second WBBL title
The pace-bowling pair's opening spells restricted tournament pace setters Melbourne Stars to 86, before Haynes and Knight took Thunder home.

One further Covid-19 positive in Pakistan touring squad
Pakistan's Covid woes continue in New Zealand where they remain under quarantine after yet another positive test was returned. There have now been eight positive cases in the touring party with two deemed "historic". How and why have so many Pakistan players tested Covid-positive? Umar Farooq says it's throwing up questions about the stringency of PCB's procedures before the side departed for New Zealand.

Steven Finn: 'I wasn't willing to be honest about my mental state and that cost me'
From the high of a debut Ashes win to being deemed "not selectable", through multiple injuries and comebacks, the England fast bowler has lived many lifetimes in cricket. Alan Gardner follows his roller-coaster career.

The hottest contest right now is Shahid Afridi vs the universe
Sure there's plenty of cricket going on but are you even watching Shahid Afridi pit himself against the elements, pandemics, quarantines, and what-have-you? Alan Gardner is, for the Light Roller.

Ramachandra Guha: 'Cleaning up Indian cricket is a lost cause'
The Indian historian and former board administrator spoke to Nagraj Gollapudi about the conflicts of interest and cronyism infecting the game in the India today.

Who makes up the bowling attack with Murali and Shakib in Dav Whatmore's best Test XI?
And which Pakistan batsman opens with Sanath Jayasuriya? Mohammad Isam finds out.