Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Collingwood Stands Firm as England Lose Way

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Collingwood Stands Firm as England Lose Way

Article excerpt

Durham's Paul Collingwood displayed a patience too many of his England team-mates lacked as the tourists struggled on the opening day of the First Test yesterday.

Collingwood scored his third half-century in his last three Test innings ( and took three-and-a-half hours to do so.

He ended the day on 53 not out as England compiled a distinctly below-par 246 for seven at Nagpur.

Opener Alastair Cook was among few others to emerge with credit, shrugging off jet-lag to hit a debut half-century.

But some lethargic shots from his colleagues left England strggling after new captain Andrew Flintoff had won the toss.

Cook struck a cultured 60, only hours after arriving on the sub-continent.

The 21-year-old spent two days travelling, having been summoned from England A commitments in the Caribbean, and has had to come to terms with a huge shift in time zones.

He displayed the virtue of patience on a slow surface as rashness from others cost dear.

"I am still waking up for a couple of hours in the night but once out there the adrenaline got going and you are playing for England so you can't be tired," Cook ( making his Test bow along with spinners Ian Blackwell and Monty Panesar ( reflected.

"If you had said a week ago this would happen I would have probably laughed. But sometimes opportunities come up and you have to take them. It has been a bit weird but not being able to think for long about it is almost the best way."

Neither Cook nor Collingwood would have played here but for the calamitous chain of events prior to this match, which culminated in captain Michael Vaughan and his deputy Marcus Trescothick returning home.

Both batsmen took a long look at spinners Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble before offering any attacking intentions, a policy Cook set upon having never faced the former before.

Cook, who struck seven crisp boundaries in all and clipped anything off the pads in emphatic manner, eventually succumbed in the fourth hour of play when left-armer Irfan Pathan arced a delivery from outside off-stump through the gate via an inside edge. …

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