BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese

BBC Sport
 You are in: Cricket: England: England in India  
Sport Front Page
The Ashes
World Cup
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Other Sports
Special Events
Sports Talk
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
Around The UK: 
N Ireland

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather

  Saturday, 2 February, 2002, 15:55 GMT
Collingwood's rapid rise
Paul Collingwood and Duncan Fletcher
Collingwood put a bad debut behind him to make his mark
Paul Collingwood says that he would have fainted had he been told 12 months ago what his career would have involved in the near future.

A year ago the Durham all-rounder was spending his winter playing cricket in Melbourne, not at the world famous MCG but for grade side Richmond next door.

The atmosphere was a world away from the atmosphere at Cuttack, when he hit an unbeaten 71 to lead England to a 16-run victory in the second one-day international.

And Collingwood has also had to get used to the pressure off the field, where England's tourists are the star attractions.

"The last couple of weeks have been a new experience," he told Radio Five Live.

"Twenty-four hours a day there are well-wishers asking for photographs and autographs.

"It's hard to come to terms with. You don't get much of that in Durham on a Monday morning.

"But I'm sure the boys will pull be back to earth when I get home."

Even after Collingwood had made his debut in the England side, he had few expectations of making the touring squad after failing to reach double figures in four matches of the summer's NatWest Series.

"I had a bad start against Australia and Pakistan but I wouldn't change it at all; it was valuable experience," he said.

"I didn't do too well and I realised my standards would have to be higher.

"It was such a let-down it took until the end of the season to get my confidence back to 100%."

Collingwood gained extra confidence during England's development trip to Zimbabwe, scoring two half-centuries against his demoralised hosts and getting used to bowling his medium pacers in the international game.

But that could hardly have prepared him for the atmosphere in the opening match of this series in India, in front of a packed Eden Gardens stadium in Calcutta.

"The noise when Sachin Tendulkar came out to bat was unbelievable," he said. "It took me five overs to get over my nerves.

"A lot of people say you don't hear the crowd. If there are 100,000 fans you are going to hear it but you're so focussed on the cricket it doesn't bother you."

Collingwood was also amazed on seeing Tendulkar - arguably the finest batsman in world cricket - up close for the first time.

"I was standing at point and Jeremy Snape was just behind me. When Tendulkar started to play his shots we just looked at each other and laughed.

"He has such balance at the crease and his timing of the ball is unbelieveable."

That performance in Cuttack, which gained him the man-of-the-match award, was the first occasion on which he put his name forward as a candidate for future honours.

But Collingwood has been less happy with the performances that have followed, dismissed cheaply twice and then being surplus to requirements with the bat in Thursday's win in Delhi.

"I've been disappointed with the last few innings," he said. "I haven't scored a big one in last few and that shows where my standards are now."

England all-rounder Paul Collingwood
"The last few days have been relentless"
News and features on England's tour to India

One-day series


Test Series




Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England in India stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England in India stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales