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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Collingwood still has key role to play

England's success down under has been widely regarded as a superb team effort with every player contributing to one of the greatest moments for any English cricket enthusiast.

However, there has always been many questions doubting the credentials of Paul Collingwood and that has been emphasised by his poor series thus far.

But, in my opinion, he more than merits his place in this very exciting England team.

Having scored 70 runs at an average of only 14, Collingwood is coming under increasing pressure to get some runs or otherwise he could suffer the consequences and lose his place in the side.

Collingwood has been badly out of form in this years Ashes.

In my view, though, even when the Durham all-rounder isn't scoring runs, he brings an awful lot to the team. Fielding is such a huge part of modern cricket, after all it is a third of the game and as the famous phrase goes: 'catches win matches.' 

There can be no doubt that Collingwood is England's best fielder and thought of by some as the best in the world. His deadly quick reactions have caught many a player out in the past, such as the stunning catch of Ponting at Perth, and his raiser-sharp handling has brought about several run-outs during his career.

Not only that but he is more than a useful bowler. He allows the seamers to take a break during the hot conditions in Australia with his gentle off-cutters while also being able fill in if there happens to be an injury to one of the front-line bowlers.

He also plays a big role in the dressing room. He's a wise head and brings a lot of experience and knowledge to the younger players.

And when he does score runs, he brings an extra dimension to England's batting. He is one of the few players in world cricket who can just bat and bat for hours upon hours. His innings in Cardiff in 2009 to save England almost on his own was an incredible effort. If he hadn't of batted for over six hours on the final day of the first Ashes test, then England wouldn't have won the Ashes.

Again in South Africa Collingwood showed what a massive asset he can be. Twice he saved England from defeat as well as scoring a crucial 91 in the second test.  

I don't think he'll be dropped for Sydney plainly down to his value to the team even when he doesn't get runs. Also Eoin Morgan is not a test match player yet. He really struggled in the summer against Pakistan (although he did score a century) and he looked out of form in the Tour game in Melbourne.  

I would be surprised if England made any changes because consistency to selection has always been key to the selectors, especially when they've just thrashed Australia.

Highly valued by captain Strauss and coach Andy Flower, Collingwood offers a huge amount to England and is an extremely passionate player.

If you look back, he has had a very successful career with an impressive list of achievements including: Three times Ashes winner, leading England to their first ever ICC world cup and the highest run scorer and most capped ODI player in English history.

He may even retire after the series and concentrate on one-day games but I can't see that happening because he has a built-in desire to succeed and play cricket whenever possible.

1 comment:

  1. A very interesting view and I completely see where you are coming from.

    You are beginning to sway me slightly but I would still pick Morgan. He offers more with the bat.

    However, I would understand if England were to keep Collingwood for the final game as they like consistency. Then Morgan can come in for the following series.

    We need to at least draw this game and Collingwood could save us if we were in trouble. He can bat for hours on end and draw us the match like he did in Cardiff and then in South Africa shortly after.

    I'm more on the fence now, but I would still sway towards Morgan.