RIP Craigos. A true CW legend. You will be missed.
He certainly should be at number six, I think the possibility of him batting with the tail may see him produce more positive innings, in his one-day style, nurdle the ball around, run hard, and take the odd calculated chance. He could possess the ideal style for the number six, imo.
Maybe sentiment would play a part for me should we win this game, allow him to remain in the XI for Sydney and give him a chance to resurrect his career because should he get dropped it's unlikely he will be recalled at his age. Maybe a Hussey style recovery.
His fielding is exceptional, we all know that, but that alone is not going to keep his place in the side, he needs a performance no question.
As for replacements, I like Eoin Morgan, I like his attitude, how he scores his runs, and again would not be fazed by batting with the tail with his innovative style. There are obviously question marks over his Test playing capabilities, but I believe he has the game to overcome those doubts in time and given the chance, but I hope Colly gets given a good enough opportunity to prove his worth, some may say he has already had that, I hope he gets the Sydney Test at least, and then assess where he's at.
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Thought Trott was outstanding today, looked a real class act at number three. Right from the start of his innings his timing and intent looked spot on. The way he works the ball to the legside gives the opposition some real problems if they are slightly off line or length. If it's back of a length he showed today, even if the line is slightly outside off he can still work it through his favourite area.
Have always got the feeling that many people would have looked to leave Trott out a few Tests ago, that he really wasn't cementing his place in the side, but he has gone some way to quietening those critics. I've not always been his biggest fan either, but his innings today was composed and solid. One particular short-arm pull he played was phenomonal.
Prior's game looked in much better order towards the end of the day also. He had to scrap today, he rode his luck, struggled with his timing and strokeplay through his favourite offside, but is sitting overnight 75 not out and will feel so much better for that.
Australia didn't bowl as badly today. Siddle was a constant threat, but Johnson was all over the place at times, typically. His two wickets was down to poor execution from Bell and Colly, and England will look to get after him again tomorrow.
I would like to see James Taylor blooded in the Sri Lanka series, provided he starts the season for Leicestershire in form.
Collingwood's been a good servant to England, but he's not in the same boat as Ponting, Hussey or Clarke when it comes to being patient during a poor run of form. Ponting is an ATG who's possibly in terminal decline, and Hussey and Clarke have both had sustained periods of excellence before dropping off in form. Collingwood has never been anything more than a steady performer who's barely averaged above 40 for the majority of his Test career, and IMO doesn't deserve to retain his place for the home summer based on his last 18 months as a Test batsman.
No sentimentality for me, if Collingwood doesn't make a 50 in the second innings (unlikely considering he may not even get the opportunity to bat) then he should make way for Morgan. I don't care whether we are 4-0 up or 4-0 down, you should always pick the best team for a test match.
Colly has been a good servant for England, a decent test batsman and an excellent one day player. But if you are no longer one of the best XI in the country you have no special privileged right to play.
Colly's form in 2009 was very good, averaging just under 50, despite playing testing opposition such as Australia at home and SA away. WI away not so testing, and he did excel on those docile pitches.
Taylor looks a very good prospect, but personally I'd be in favour of Morgan or if you're looking at impressive domestic form, then James Hildreth is in great form, has matured as a batsman and is at a good age to be in line for selection, imo.
As for Collingwood replacements I'd have Morgan and Hildreth ahead of Taylor at the moment, and possibly Carberry too. Taylor is obviously very talented and a nailed on test player barring any mishaps, but he's still only 20 and whilst he's had two very good seasons a) others have been performing better (namely Hildreth and Carberry) and b) they've both been in Division 2. I think Morgan should have the first shot and then Hildreth the second.
Collingwood has never been that good. He's always been a steady eddie, low-mid 40s average sort of bloke. He hasn't had a peak which if he was to re-hit (like Hussey in this series) would make him indispensable.
Look, I'm a Collingwood fan and what he brings to the England side you cannot always appreciate based on his statistics, so I am probably going to be a little biased. If they don't consider him to be good enough to be in the Test XI anymore, then they'll have to look elsewhere. I think Colly has more in him at the level yet. They have to be sure that when they drop him, he is no longer good enough at this level, because in effect it will be the end of his Test career.
I agree Hussey is a top player, but his form has been much worse than Colly's in 2008 and 2009.
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