India v England, 1st Test, Nagpur, 2nd day March 2, 2006

Collingwood the saviour

After the first day, England would have settled for a first-innings total in the vicinity of 300. If they managed to get nearly 100 more than that, it was largely due to the effort of Paul Collingwood

After the first day, England would have settled for a first-innings total in the vicinity of 300. If they managed to get nearly 100 more than that, it was largely due to the effort of Paul Collingwood, and some excellent lower-order resistance. Collingwood's wagon-wheel shows his penchant for leg-side play - more than 70% of his runs came in that region. In fact, leg-side scoring has been a feature of this match: 50 of Wasim Jaffer's 73 runs, and 29 of Rahul Dravid's 40 came in that region as well.

The most impressive aspect of Collingwood's innings was the manner in which he took charge when he was left with the tail. As the table below indicates, Collingwood was extremely circumspect on the first day, scoring at less than three per over against all the bowlers. On the second day, he upped his scoring rate dramatically, scoring at nearly or more than a run a ball against Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh.

Collingwood v the Indian bowlers
Bowler 1st day - runs Balls 2nd day - runs Balls
Pathan 12 29 29 23
Sreesanth 5 17 15 26
Kumble 18 45 12 29
Harbhajan 16 50 25 29

Collingwood did the bulk of the scoring, but Steve Harmison and Monty Panesar offered him excellent support. It wasn't as if Collingwood farmed the strike when he was batting with them - Harmison faced 42 deliveries, Panesar played 43, while for Collingwood the corresponding figure was 83 - that's marginally less than 50% of the total balls. And though Panesar scored only 9, he helped Collingwood add 55 during that period, lifting England to a score that they would consider is par for the course on a pitch increasingly assisting spin.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo