England news January 6, 2011

Five of the best from Collingwood

24

As Paul Collingwood announces his retirement from Test cricket, ESPNcricinfo picks out five of his best Test innings as he continually proved the doubters wrong

134 not out v India, Nagpur, 2005-06

This was Collingwood's first Test century and the innings that proved he'd be able to hack it at the top level. Earlier that winter he'd made 96 and 80 against Pakistan, in Lahore, but this century marshalled England to a strong total and from there they bossed the Test match. Collingwood's bottom-handed technique was suited to the subcontinent where he wasn't troubled by extra bounce and he combated India's twice spin threat of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh with aplomb. The innings also showed another of Collingwood's skills, the ability to bat with the tail. When Matthew Hoggard fell England were 267 for 8, but with Steve Harmison (39) and Monty Panesar (9) for company the final two wickets added 127 runs. Collingwood also struck four sixes, showing the swift footwork against spinners that would serve him well throughout his career.

206 v Australia, Adelaide, 2006-07

Rarely has an Ashes double century come with so many mixed emotions. As history records, England managed to lose an unloseable Test as they succumbed to Shane Warne on the final day, but early in the match it was all about a record-breaking stand between Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen. The Australians respected what Pietersen could achieve, but had been less admiring of Collingwood yet he put their bowling attack to the sword with a 392-ball innings. Again, like in India, a slow pitch suited his game and he reached his double in emphatic style when he came down the pitch to loft Michael Clarke back over his head. This would remain Collingwood's highest Test score but it proved hard for him to savour it too much after the final outcome.

135 v South Africa, Edgbaston, 2008

Even during the 2010-11 Ashes slump that brought the end of his career it wouldn't have been a surprise if Collingwood had pulled out a hundred, because he'd already played the ultimate career-saving innings. He had been dropped for the previous Test against South Africa at Headingley, but following a heavy defeat was recalled. A failure in the first innings left the likelihood of one knock to save his place and he responded with a spine-tingling 135 as he threw caution to wind. The early stage of the innings was horribly scratchy as he, literally, lived on the edge but slowly the form began to return with his trademark leg-side nudges and powerful cuts. He reached three figures in grand style as he launched Paul Harris for six and Collingwood's future was secure.

74 v Australia, Cardiff, 2009

Collingwood at his resolute best. England were gone in this match, five down and still a long way behind at lunch on the final day leaving Australia set to take a 1-0 Ashes lead. Collingwood, though, was having none of it as he resisted for nearly six hours with bloody-minded defiance. As the match went deep into the final session Collingwood withstood everything the Australians threw at him. It wasn't the great attack of the 2006-07 vintage, but Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus had been a handful while Nathan Hauritz out-bowled Graeme Swann. However, there was a final twist when Collingwood fended to gully with England still behind by six and he could barely watch as England's last pair, James Anderson and Monty Panesar, were left with 11 overs to survive. Would it be another Adelaide for Collingwood? Not this time, as the tailenders pulled off a great escape and it would prove that Collingwood had laid the base for a series victory.

40 v South Africa, Cape Town, 2009-10

After Cardiff there was Cape Town. And this was an even better rearguard because of the quality in the South Africa attack. England were 153 for 4 when Collingwood entered on the final day, not a chance of chasing down 466, and soon lost their fifth wicket as the hosts scented a kill. Then followed a 57-over stand between Collingwood and Ian Bell which gave England the chance of survival. Collingwood had to survive one of the finest spells of pace bowling in recent times from Dale Steyn, as regular 90mph leg cutters jagged past the outside edge, but each time Collingwood just refocused and faced the next ball. Ultimately, Bell - and Graham Onions, the final-over hero - took the major plaudits for the rescue act but without Collingwood it wouldn't have been possible.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kempson94 on January 9, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    I presume all those who have made derogatory comments. have never considered the consequences of an Ashes defeat and a loss in SA, probable 3-1, that would've occured without Collingwood. His 74 was the most selfless, grittiest and greatest innings I have seen in modern times, having seen most. The ability to fight for your team and country without thought for personal gain, as the way he batted made a hundred impossible, is unmatched in the current era. Most batsmen would've looked for quick runs and to enjoy themselves in a losing cause, luckily for England Collingwood is neither like most players, nor like most people. His innings against SA showed a desire to play for England that I have not seen matched. Every success England have in the future can be linked back to Collingwood and the example he has set through his professionalism and hard work. In a team of underachievers, like Bell and Pietersen, Collingwood is both an overachiever and catalyst for future England success.

  • Ed_W on January 7, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    It says it all about Collingwood that none of his 5 best moments were actually test victories, one of them was one of England's worst Test Defeats (if not THE worst one in living memory) at Adeleide, and one was a demoralising disaster at Edgbaston that led to Vaughan resigning.....

    A gritting, hard working player who was an amazing fielder will be his legacy....

  • on January 7, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Paul Collingwood was Muttiah Muralitharan's 709th victim. His name is written in golden letters in the record books.

  • on January 6, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    The England team management put a lot of pressure on him by taking him continue to the best eleven when he is out of form. It could have been better if he got a rest between the third and final tests,even changing his batting order might effective, he was in a position that either perform or leave the job. It is not an ideal situation for a talented player like Collingwood.

  • shabash_tapash on January 6, 2011, 20:06 GMT

    Collingwood was a decent player and fair play for celebrating his career but he isnt gonna be remembered as a great player.

    And those saying he is the best fielder now/ever, he isnt. He is a very good fielder and has taken some great catches but has also dropped a fair amount of medium difficulty catches. And he doesnt have a great arm. - AB is easily the best fielder now (probably ever)

  • on January 6, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    In 67 tests he managed 4200 runs at an average of 40. The way some people are posting would suggest he had an average of 20. His bowling was occasionally useful and his fielding was amongst the very best. So to suggest that somehow he was in team because he was a nice bloke who tried hard is total rubbish. He made the most of the talent he had and plenty of teams would die for a player of Collingwood's ability, the current Aussie side included.

  • Podarite on January 6, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Colly was a True Fighter....His Career-Saving 135 v/s RSA @ Edbagston is an perfect inspiration to rise from Adversity!

  • DaveS99 on January 6, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    I remember the way he got to that hundred at Edgbaston in 2008. KP was on 94 when he tried to bring up his 100 with a glory shot over the top from Paul Harris and was caught. Then Colly showed him how to do it properly when he reached 94! Very much a case of the shot for the occasion, which he generally didn't do. And from a man who is not rated as classy.

  • DIL_PAKISTAN on January 6, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    A cricketer that will never be forgotten, (Oh my bad, I thought he is retiring from International Cricket)

  • jimcoats on January 6, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    Average player, workmanlike at best, his best facet was his fielding. Peripheral players excluded from selection would have probably performed better in his position had they been given the chance. Don't understand this glorification at all, 5 best knocks indeed - what next, Kevin Peitersen's 5 best bowling performances?

  • kempson94 on January 9, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    I presume all those who have made derogatory comments. have never considered the consequences of an Ashes defeat and a loss in SA, probable 3-1, that would've occured without Collingwood. His 74 was the most selfless, grittiest and greatest innings I have seen in modern times, having seen most. The ability to fight for your team and country without thought for personal gain, as the way he batted made a hundred impossible, is unmatched in the current era. Most batsmen would've looked for quick runs and to enjoy themselves in a losing cause, luckily for England Collingwood is neither like most players, nor like most people. His innings against SA showed a desire to play for England that I have not seen matched. Every success England have in the future can be linked back to Collingwood and the example he has set through his professionalism and hard work. In a team of underachievers, like Bell and Pietersen, Collingwood is both an overachiever and catalyst for future England success.

  • Ed_W on January 7, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    It says it all about Collingwood that none of his 5 best moments were actually test victories, one of them was one of England's worst Test Defeats (if not THE worst one in living memory) at Adeleide, and one was a demoralising disaster at Edgbaston that led to Vaughan resigning.....

    A gritting, hard working player who was an amazing fielder will be his legacy....

  • on January 7, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Paul Collingwood was Muttiah Muralitharan's 709th victim. His name is written in golden letters in the record books.

  • on January 6, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    The England team management put a lot of pressure on him by taking him continue to the best eleven when he is out of form. It could have been better if he got a rest between the third and final tests,even changing his batting order might effective, he was in a position that either perform or leave the job. It is not an ideal situation for a talented player like Collingwood.

  • shabash_tapash on January 6, 2011, 20:06 GMT

    Collingwood was a decent player and fair play for celebrating his career but he isnt gonna be remembered as a great player.

    And those saying he is the best fielder now/ever, he isnt. He is a very good fielder and has taken some great catches but has also dropped a fair amount of medium difficulty catches. And he doesnt have a great arm. - AB is easily the best fielder now (probably ever)

  • on January 6, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    In 67 tests he managed 4200 runs at an average of 40. The way some people are posting would suggest he had an average of 20. His bowling was occasionally useful and his fielding was amongst the very best. So to suggest that somehow he was in team because he was a nice bloke who tried hard is total rubbish. He made the most of the talent he had and plenty of teams would die for a player of Collingwood's ability, the current Aussie side included.

  • Podarite on January 6, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Colly was a True Fighter....His Career-Saving 135 v/s RSA @ Edbagston is an perfect inspiration to rise from Adversity!

  • DaveS99 on January 6, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    I remember the way he got to that hundred at Edgbaston in 2008. KP was on 94 when he tried to bring up his 100 with a glory shot over the top from Paul Harris and was caught. Then Colly showed him how to do it properly when he reached 94! Very much a case of the shot for the occasion, which he generally didn't do. And from a man who is not rated as classy.

  • DIL_PAKISTAN on January 6, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    A cricketer that will never be forgotten, (Oh my bad, I thought he is retiring from International Cricket)

  • jimcoats on January 6, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    Average player, workmanlike at best, his best facet was his fielding. Peripheral players excluded from selection would have probably performed better in his position had they been given the chance. Don't understand this glorification at all, 5 best knocks indeed - what next, Kevin Peitersen's 5 best bowling performances?

  • The_Frame on January 6, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    he was a good test player, didnt often sparkle with the bat in his hand, but he is the best fielder of the modern era and arguebly the best ever, with competition of jonty rhodes. He never had the greatest technique and if he was out of form he always looked ugly, but if you needed a player in that england side to bat for your life he would be a good one to pick. Gritty determined and true hardworking team player. Sad to see you go colly, thanks for your services.

  • on January 6, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    one of the best fielders to have played the game world will always remember his one handed stunners

  • ats78 on January 6, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    This article states Five of his best innings, but all the above innings have either come in losses or drawn matches so why do you rate them as the best , cant understand the logic?

  • AussiePhoenix on January 6, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    I'm wearing black for at least a year to mourn the loss of Australian cricket prowess. I have to pay tribute to Colly though, he is a champ. Not a graceful batsman, but who cares. The guy will but his soul on the line for the team, who could ask for more? I'm kind of surprised the article only mentions his batting top 5. An excellent fielder, many a time I have cursed his leaping catches - he pulls off stunners at crucial match moments. In fact this series his wickets have been at very important times too. A batsman with grit that admire greatly. Anyone who can score 200 against a Warne and McGrath intent on revenge is a legend.

  • v_singh on January 6, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Collingwood's performance in current Ashes series has not been good ; but he should be remembered for his efforts in drawing (which was equiv. to winning under the circumstances) matches during Ashes in 2009 and on SA tour.. With English team doing so well, I think it was good time he made a move, as his chances of being replaced by Morgan were very high.. But,, all this should not take away his contribution to English cricket.. His batting, combined with his useful medium pace bowling and excellent fielding were an asset for the English team... Colly - good luck for your T20/ODI career and hope to see you in the IPL soon (Hopefully - without Modi, IPL would focus more on cricket this time round)...

  • on January 6, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Sad to bid Farewell to Collingwood from Test but glad we will continue to see him playing in shorter versions. To me he is not much of Test Player as he is of ODI but then his significance doesn't come down by my statement even in Test. He is one of the most underrated of his contemporary players in any form of the game. Besides batting he was more than a utility bowler and of course a brilliant, brilliant fielder. England certainly gonna miss his services and we, his presence in the field.

  • on January 6, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    One of the best allrounders for england...kudos to Colly....

  • lancaster_dave on January 6, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    Thanks Collingwood for your sheer determination, dignity and desire to play the best cricket you could,every match you played in. You were a credit to your country.

  • on January 6, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    Great team player, and one of the best catchers in the modern era

  • Vindaliew on January 6, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    I personally rated Collingwood's 22 not out greater than his 206 in that Adelaide match. He just refused to be shellshocked and relentlessly push one, with grim determination, to preserve his wicket and England's chances. If only one other English batsman could have shown that same grit they could have saved the test.

  • on January 6, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Colly will remain foreeverin our heart,,,, wd limited capabilities he has outshined many.... wht a charcter... steely mentality... keepe njoying d odr forms of cricket...

  • on January 6, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    Truely England will miss a experienced campainer in the sort of Colli, He was one of the main stay for England since he made his Debut right in 2003. Still he has lot of cricket left in him, he will prove his worth on any Day @ any form of cricket. Best of Luck Paul.

  • landl47 on January 6, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    The loss in Adelaide was almost literally over Colly's dead body- he was left not out in the second innings as all fell around him. Another 3 or 4 overs and England would have been safe, but no-one could stay with him. What's not mentioned here is that when quick runs were needed before a declaration, Colly would often come in and hit about him for the good of the side. He was a consummate team player in every way.

  • banter123 on January 6, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    collingwood certainly not the best player to watch in test cricket but was a great asset ti england team,his fielding skills and his committment was a quality to watch. In a way his retirement will improve his form in t20 and one day's which will be a fun to watch in this action packed year.

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  • banter123 on January 6, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    collingwood certainly not the best player to watch in test cricket but was a great asset ti england team,his fielding skills and his committment was a quality to watch. In a way his retirement will improve his form in t20 and one day's which will be a fun to watch in this action packed year.

  • landl47 on January 6, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    The loss in Adelaide was almost literally over Colly's dead body- he was left not out in the second innings as all fell around him. Another 3 or 4 overs and England would have been safe, but no-one could stay with him. What's not mentioned here is that when quick runs were needed before a declaration, Colly would often come in and hit about him for the good of the side. He was a consummate team player in every way.

  • on January 6, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    Truely England will miss a experienced campainer in the sort of Colli, He was one of the main stay for England since he made his Debut right in 2003. Still he has lot of cricket left in him, he will prove his worth on any Day @ any form of cricket. Best of Luck Paul.

  • on January 6, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Colly will remain foreeverin our heart,,,, wd limited capabilities he has outshined many.... wht a charcter... steely mentality... keepe njoying d odr forms of cricket...

  • Vindaliew on January 6, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    I personally rated Collingwood's 22 not out greater than his 206 in that Adelaide match. He just refused to be shellshocked and relentlessly push one, with grim determination, to preserve his wicket and England's chances. If only one other English batsman could have shown that same grit they could have saved the test.

  • on January 6, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    Great team player, and one of the best catchers in the modern era

  • lancaster_dave on January 6, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    Thanks Collingwood for your sheer determination, dignity and desire to play the best cricket you could,every match you played in. You were a credit to your country.

  • on January 6, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    One of the best allrounders for england...kudos to Colly....

  • on January 6, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Sad to bid Farewell to Collingwood from Test but glad we will continue to see him playing in shorter versions. To me he is not much of Test Player as he is of ODI but then his significance doesn't come down by my statement even in Test. He is one of the most underrated of his contemporary players in any form of the game. Besides batting he was more than a utility bowler and of course a brilliant, brilliant fielder. England certainly gonna miss his services and we, his presence in the field.

  • v_singh on January 6, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Collingwood's performance in current Ashes series has not been good ; but he should be remembered for his efforts in drawing (which was equiv. to winning under the circumstances) matches during Ashes in 2009 and on SA tour.. With English team doing so well, I think it was good time he made a move, as his chances of being replaced by Morgan were very high.. But,, all this should not take away his contribution to English cricket.. His batting, combined with his useful medium pace bowling and excellent fielding were an asset for the English team... Colly - good luck for your T20/ODI career and hope to see you in the IPL soon (Hopefully - without Modi, IPL would focus more on cricket this time round)...