10 January 2010

England middle order - well played Ian Bell

Having predicted that it would be Anderson, Trott and Collingwood that would have to save the game, Ian Bell's innings was a revelation. Good on him - hopefully he can become England's version of Damien Martyn as I've Burbled before and come back all the better for a break (all be it a much shorter break). It was great to escape with a draw but as always there's room for improvement and Flower has already called for Bell to go on from here.

What I think England need to look at is how they lose wickets in clumps - with 7 batsmen and 2 all rounders they shouldn't be collapsing in the way that they did whatever the match situation, and it's certainly not the first time. It all seemed so easy until Collingwood's wicket, and what was interesting listening to TMS was the almost reverential praise from Duncan Fletcher to Collingwood. Praphrasing he said he's always positive, a great member of the dressing room, doggedly determined, very thoughtful and tactically aware, and would make a great coach. Michael Vaughan is a mate of his but made similar comments about how crucial he was to England's middle order, and Andy Flower has also praised him. In fact what Bell no doubt won't be happy about is the fact that all the TMS commentators thought it was vital Collingwood stayed with Bell to "talk him through" despite the fact Bell has played 50+ Tests.

Interesting. It's pretty clear that Collingwood has total respect in and around the England changing room and yet he's seen as an also-ran by most of the watching public. As a Collingwood fan, I'm very pleased that his place appears a lot more secure than I thought.

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