Cricket: COLLY GIVES AUSSIES THE WOBBLES; ..but Hero Paul Still Won't Make Ashes
Byline: Mike WALTERS Cricket Correspondent
FLYING picket Paul Collingwood will have to take a back seat in the Ashes - despite being England's best one-day player this summer.
While Kevin Pietersen's impact has been limited to one awesome innings, and Freddie Flintoff has looked undercooked with the bat, Collingwood has outshone them both in the past month.
Nicknamed 'Wobbles' by some of his county team-mates (as in Collywobbles), the Durham all-rounder has floated between No.4 and No.7 in the middle order to accommodate England's big-hitters.
But Collingwood has become a valuable loose cannon, scoring 187 runs at 62.33 and taking 11 wickets at 16 apiece in the one-day skirmishes against Australia and Bangladesh.
His perverse reward for being England's star turn will be a return to the county treadmill, even though he has scored more runs than Pietersen (139 at 46.33) and Flintoff, who has cheerfully been calling himself "yesterday's news".
But Michael Vaughan's ginger ninja has at least played a major part in dismantling Australia's aura of invincibility, and as he looked forward to an encore at Lord's in the NatWest Challenge tomorrow, Collingwood admitted: "The Aussies aren't as intimidating as they used to be."
Although he produced the greatest all-round performance in one-day international history against Bangladesh last month - 112 not out and 6-31 - Colly has reserved most of his greatest hits for the Aussies this summer.
His gravity-defying leap to dismiss Matthew Hayden at Bristol is still baffling scientists.
His century partnership with Geraint Jones at Lord's last weekend salvaged a thrilling tie, from the ruins of 33-5, in the NatWest Series final.
And when England's front-line bowlers banged it in too short at Headingley on Thursday, it was Colly's 4-34 with his 75mph wobblers which put them on the road to a record nine-wicket drubbing of the Aussies. …