Thursday, 5 February 2009

What we have lost

Ah, Sabina Park. Patrick Patterson pushing off the sightscreen at one end, Michael Holding whispering in from somewhere around the dressing rooms at the other, a pitch you can see your face in, chin music for as long as you can take it...

Oh sorry, that Sabina Park. Big Sulieman Benn in off three paces at one end, Chris Gayle off two at the other, a pitch the colour of Murali's dreams, spin from both ends before lunch on day one. And Ian Bell back in the hutch of course. After a nice twenty, naturally. He's hitting it beautifully in the nets as well.

Bell's stranglehold on the selectors' dreams has come about because his batting promises so much. Paul Collingwood's no longer seems to. He's been out of form so long, it's plain that he's not actually out of form any more. This is his form. Even when he makes runs, and he has two hundreds in his last seven innings, he's like a man holding off death. His guns have been spiked; he's lost the firepower to drive the opposition back. 

Colly is the batting equivalent of Matthew Hoggard, a stout yeoman, reliable and keen as a labrador. Hoggy was cruelly dumped, but fairly, too. For the very top of the game, something imperceptible had gone. Something imperceptible seems to have gone from Collingwood's batting too. His reservoir of talent isn't as deep as Bell's, just as Hoggard's wasn't as deep as Harmison's. What's lost may never come back to him. 

1 comment:

12th Man said...

I was watching the 2006-07 CB series finals in which Colly batted brilliantly in both the finals. Also, he got to an excellent test century at Adelaide alongside KP. He did well in the ODI series against India in 2007. But then, that's all i can remember of Colly in the last three years.