Colly Wobbler?

Paul CollingwoodI will level with you straight away – I have never been a huge fan of Paul Collingwood. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I have never taken to him as an England player as much as some of the others. Whether it is his obvious arrogance, his ginger hair or his boring interviews – I’m not sure.

To be honest though, the main issue is that I don’t rate him very highly as a batsman. Don’t get me wrong, his record is respectable and he has stood up for England on the odd occasion. Look at his performance in Cardiff to save England the test match for example.

This was his only significant knock of the Ashes series though and I can’t help thinking that he might be coming towards the end of his spell in the England test team. As a batsman, I don’t quite know what role he is supposed to play.

He looks to be positive, but his footwork has been nonexistent of late and you can tell that his confidence is suffering. Then, if he attempts to go into his shell, he hasn’t got the defensive game to play a more matured innings. The knock in Cardiff aside, of course.

With Kevin Pietersen hopefully returning this winter and with Jonathan Trott performing so well on debut, you have to start wondering whether
Collingwood’s days are numbered. Other than Ashes victory talk, this has been one of the main points of discussion for the cricket pundits in the last few days.

Nasser Hussain described Collingwood as ‘one of the good guys’ of this England team, who it would be easy to stick with this winter. He is an
excellent fielder after all, a model professional and someone who can chip in with the odd wicket or two. Has he got what it takes to improve as a batsman though?

I can’t help thinking that Collingwood isn’t going to get any better than he is or has been in the past. Can he step his game up an extra level as England look to step up theirs? I don’t think so. Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Joe Denly and even the out-of-form Ravi Bopara will see their best days ahead of them. Collingwood, I’m not so sure.

It’s for this reason that I would question how long he can remain in the side for. He could very easily prove me wrong and score a shedfull this winter – he often performs at his best when his backs against the wall – but I just can’t see it.

Alistair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Matt Prior might be the way to go for England’s batting line-up with Bopara and Denly waiting in the wings.

It’s certainly an interesting situation for the England selectors to be in and it will be interesting to see which way they play it.

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