England in Australia 2010-11 January 27, 2011

Form 'just around the corner' - Collingwood


It was only a run-a-ball 27, but for Paul Collingwood it felt like riches and he hopes the innings at Adelaide will kick-start his search for career-saving form. He has had an awful tour of Australia with the bat, making 83 runs in the Ashes before retiring from Test cricket, and lost his one-day place at the beginning of this series until Kevin Pietersen's groin strain gave him an early return.

When he came back into the line-up at Sydney he was bowled second ball by Xavier Doherty from a delivery that hardly spun, which confirmed the seriousness of his problems. It was his bowling that kept him in the team for the next match and he batted at No.7, but he at least managed to feel the ball on the bat during a vital 56-run stand with Michael Yardy.

The fact England took the batting Powerplay also meant Collingwood had no choice but to try and free himself up rather than dwell on his troubles. "It was a nice situation for me to come in, I had to be positive," he said. "It was just good to get past 20. I hadn't done it for a while. It was a good feeling and obviously contributing with the ball later on. I was happy with my game.

"I'm the first to admit that I haven't been in great form and that's my role in the side," he added. "I'm trying everything possible to get back into good nick. I know from past experience that getting back into a good run of form can be pretty immediate. Maybe after an innings like yesterday when I hit a couple out of the middle of the bat it might just click. I'm really confident it is just around the corner."

There was one moment that reminded people of what Collingwood is capable of when he swung Brett Lee over midwicket for six. The strong bottom hand came in, as it has so often during his career, and Collingwood believes even just one shot can make a huge difference.

"Things like that can click you back into form," he said. "The mental side of the game is huge. David Boon, when he was at Durham back in 1998, he came out with a quote that international cricket is 90% mental and 10% technique and at the time I didn't understand what he meant by it.

"But the more I've played international cricket the more I understand that statement. Confidence is a huge factor, all the things that you take into your batting is very mental. Hopefully there will be less tension going out into the middle next time around and more confidence and that can do me the world of good."

Collingwood's bowling, the main reason he was picked at Adelaide, was also vital to England's 21-run victory as he bowled seven overs for 22 and claimed the wicket of Michael Clarke, who is struggling almost as badly as Collingwood. However, he doesn't want his mixture of medium-pace and cutters to define the closing stages of his international career and is desperate to move himself back up the order to where he has scored most of his 5006 runs.

"Hopefully I can get back into better form and gradually get back up the order. That would be the ideal team," he said. "But whatever way you can contribute to England winning you go out there and do it. I guess I was just happy to be in the side, the way that the form has been going with that bat. I feel as though I can do a fifth bowler role, I have done in the past. I'm just happy to be in the side and contributing well."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • joel on January 28, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    @ Something-witty , david hussey can take 10 wickets as long as England win ! .

  • Richard on January 28, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Whatever happens to him the MCC should bottle a little of his spirit. Though I'm an Aussie he's maybe the England player I most admire. I can't help but like the guy, and I think he'd make a fantastic coach if he's the sort who can also deal with the MCC politics. That's not meant as a slur on the MCC, more as a observation that no nonsense guys like Colly often find dealing with management BS a little trying. Glad that we're finally putting up a bit of a contest now though. I had hoped the Ashes would be more of a struggle but we just got steamrolled. C'est la vie. The World Cup could be the most open since I watched the first one in '75, with the home advantage perhaps giving the Indians the edge if they can put their best bowling attack on the field and have them perform, but I wouldn't be betting the house on it.

  • Anver on January 28, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    Hope we can see an in form Collingwood in WC !!!!!!!! a good opportunity to get the lost form back during this series..... Best of Luck !!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    The sweetest sound in the ears of a batsman out of form is the sound of the ball hitting the middle of his willow. When you go down to an event like world cup...it may not be interesting when top players are not in form and Colly is exactly one in that list

  • Lofted on January 28, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Colly is very much required in Eng team. Superb fielder, gutsy batsman and useful bowler. Any time he can turn it around and has much better credentials than clowns like Fluke Wright. In WC he will be a star performer for England!

  • John on January 28, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    @voma, really? I'm glad you find it hilarious. Is David Hussey taking 4 for also hilarious? ;)

  • Martin on January 27, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    @Something_Witty; pass the salt please....

  • joel on January 27, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    As an England supporter , i think he has been a very good player in all 3 forms of the game . Its been hard to watch seeing him struggle with the bat in this fantastic Ashes winning series . Although his fielding and his occasional bowling have been excellent . In the 1 day game , hes an England legend surely . Oh and something-witty watching colly take Australian wickets is hilarious .

  • John on January 27, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    I like Colly at #7 and being used as a bowler in the subcontinent. He's accurate, does a bit with the ball and makes the batsmen take risks. On faster, bouncier pitches he's not a good option, but as the Adelaide game showed, when it's not coming on to the bat he's hard to score off. Even when he's batting well I don't think he's as good a bat as any of the top 6, so #7 is just fine. He started off as a closer in one-day games and it would be nice to see him finish like that- with the winning hit in the World cup, perhaps?

  • Karthik on January 27, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    All Colly needs is a few games with India and there you go, he will be back in great form! the Indian bowling attack continues to be the favorite hunt for batsmen sorely out of form.

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