January 16, 2010

England in South Africa 2009-10

Collingwood's case shows why South Africa are better

Jamie Alter
Paul Collingwood top-scored with an aggressive 47 on the first day of the fourth Test, South Africa v England, 4th Test, Johannesburg, South Africa, January 14, 2010
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In the Independent, Angus Fraser says that Paul Collingwood being England's player of the series highlights how events in South Africa have unfolded and where the team needs to improve if they wish to reach the top of the world Test rankings.

Collingwood has many admirable qualities, several of which are too often taken for granted or forgotten, but when his Test career comes to an end he will not be remembered as a match-winner. Collingwood's predicament is no fault of his own; often it is just the way the game works. There are other players who are hugely unreliable and put in the occasional performance but it results in a win. Great teams possess both types of player.

After a forgettable second day's play in Johannesburg for England, the Times' Mike Atherton says the tourists' attack looked haggled. England, increasingly, feel aggrieved that the review system, far from being a neutral, automated process, has taken on a South African bias in this match.

Given England’s selection, there was much focus on Sidebottom, who, although accurate enough, failed to suggest that the selectors were right to prefer him to Graham Onions after a month on the sidelines. Red-faced and pouting, he gave the permanent impression of a kettle simmering, forever about to reach boiling point.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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