Paul Collingwood hangs up the whites

Paul Collingwood will retire from Tests at the completion of this match. Photo: Steven Hight - AURA Images

One of my very favourite England players has announced that he’ll retire from Test cricket at the conclusion of this final Ashes Test.

Collingwood will finish on 67 Tests, made 4246 runs at 40.82, with that majestic 206 in Adelaide in 2006/07 his highest score. 

He’s taken 16 very handy wickets, which he may add to yet.  Of his 94 catches, so far, many included a good deal of air time.

As I told the BBC’s Tom Fordyce this morning, the best tribute I can pay Collingwood is that if forced to pick an England shirt to wear, I’d pick the one with Collingwood’s No.5.

Vice-captain Cook bats himself into history

Cook's century celebration: no-one knows - and he won't say - what it means..

Day 3 in Sydney was the day Alastair Cook, with the support of Ian Bell, batted England to the security of an Ashes series win.

Cook’s 189, his third century of the summer, took him beyond 750 runs  for the series, well north of 2000 minutes at the crease, and put him right up there in a myriad of other obscure stats and records.

Many of those stats and record are mentioned in my Cook tribute over at The Roar: http://www.theroar.com.au/2011/01/06/alistair-cook-bats-into-history/

Why I love this game…

Not quite the classic technique, but still effective

Check this little guy out, having a ball during lunch on Day 2 as part of the Milo In2Cricket matches that descend en mass into the playing arena every day.

This young fella isn’t quite blessed with a classic technique, and was prone to playing across the line just a tad, but the fact that he was even out there is just amazing. Continue reading

Has there been a more impressive Test Debut?

Sure, some blokes have gone on and got hundreds and all that, but I don’t think I’ve seen a debutant make a more composed, a more quite-obviously-a-Test-class-batsman 37 than Usman Khawaja made on Day 1.  Wow, what an intro to Test cricket…

This cracking pull shot was off just his second ball in Test cricket, and had the SCG in raptures. He is absolutely made for this level...