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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2008, 07:34 GMT
England batsmen ready to deliver
Paul Collingwood
Collingwood has struggled to get past 60 in New Zealand
New Zealand v England
Third Test

Date: Fri, 21 March 2130 GMT
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Coverage: Radio Four Longwave, 5 Live Sports Extra, BBCi and the BBC Sport website

Paul Collingwood believes England's top six could soon "open the floodgates", despite struggling to hit big individual scores in recent Tests.

The Test series decider against New Zealand starts on Friday evening UK time and Collingwood says one big score will help all of England's batsmen.

He said: "I can't get past 60 at the moment, which is a bit frustrating.

"But we've proved we can play in all conditions and it's up to one of us to go out there and get a big score."

In England's five winter Tests to date - three in Sri Lanka and two in New Zealand - only once (Alastair Cook in Galle) has a top-six player hit a century.

The misfiring specialist batsmen had to rely on number seven Tim Ambrose, in his second appearance for England, to produce the match-winning score in Wellington that levelled the series at 1-1 after the defeat in Hamilton.

Collingwood added: "I think we're one big ton away from hopefully opening the floodgates. I would obviously like to go on and get that big score and I feel it's just around the corner."


Every member of England's top six began the series with a Test average over 40 - often the mark of a good Test player - but have scored only six half-centuries between them in the four innings so far.

Owais Shah is desperate to come into the side and make his third Test appearance but the selectors are likely to go with the established top six for the Napier Test, despite having taken the bold decision to drop bowlers Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison for Wellington.

Collingwood confirmed: "Nobody's position is safe in the side but it's always been the same and there are always going to be players waiting in the wings. That's obviously healthy for the England cricket team.

"But as long as we win Test matches, and that's what we did last time, hopefully we'll stick together as a batting unit and keep developing."

England in New Zealand 2008
03 Jul 07 |  Cricket


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