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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 November 2005, 12:45 GMT
Collingwood responds to criticism
Paul Collingwood celebrates his maiden Test 50
Paul Collingwood was happy to hit back at his critics with an unbeaten 71 - his best Test score - on day one of the third Test against Pakistan in Lahore.

Former England batsman Geoff Boycott is among those who have questioned his ability to play at the highest level.

"People are going to have a bit of a dig - I've played five Tests and not made a hundred or anything. I can understand there's a few critics.

"But it's up to me to prove a few people wrong," the all-rounder said.

"You try not to get too far ahead of yourself. I've been doing that in Tests and getting too excited.

"Today I felt confident before I went out, I had a few points to prove and I'm very pleased with the way I'm laying the ball up now - I felt in good nick."

Collingwood came to the crease after England squandered the good start given to them by Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick.

From 101-0, the tourists struggled to 248-6 with the openers and Ian Bell all perishing trying to sweep off-spinner Shoaib Malik.

We've played spin very well over the last few years and I'm sure we'll continue to do that
Paul Collingwood

But the all-rounder insists England will keep playing the shot regularly despite the dangers it creates.

"We've been very successful with it in the last few years and it's an important shot for anybody in these conditions," he explained.

"OK we lost a few wickets but generally we've played spin very well over the last few years and I'm sure we'll continue to do that.

"It gets discussed in the nets and it's like a good cover drive - sometimes you get caught in the slips - and we've scored a lot of runs with it as a team."

It was a notable day for Durham with 20-year-old paceman Liam Plunkett making his debut and joining Collingwood and Steve Harmison in the England line-up.

"We were talking about it this morning, saying we're the new Surrey!" Collingwood quipped.

"Liam's earned it, he's very special and has got a lot of potential.

"He's a good bowler, he can bat a bit, is a good athlete and is good in the field - he's a perfect cricketer really.

"He's very young and has a lot to learn but he has a great opportunity to show everybody what he can do."


WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: England all-rounder Paul Collingwood



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