There is 8/1 available on Paul Collingwood to be top England batsman at Melbourne. Any takers? Collingwood has previous when it comes to saving his skin when he is drinking in last chance saloon – or will he save it for Sydney, should he play.
I do believe that there is a slight chance that this could be Colly’s last test outing, depending on circumstances. If England lose this test they will probably throw caution to the wind and play 5 bowlers at Sydney, meaning no place for Collingwood.
If the selectors then decide to look forward and invest in youth, that would surely have to rule out a return for Colly, who is nearly 35. Harsh, but that is test cricket.
If there is any takers, Skybet, Totesport, Victor Chandler and William Hill all have him as 8/1, 6th favourite to top score at the MCG. Chandlers also have Eoin Morgan at 8/1, as do Bet365.
It’s hard to make a case for Colly on present form. He is averaging 15.50 runs so far in this series and he only managed 28 and 16 in Melbourne four years ago. There is also a chance that he could be demoted down to No.6 in the batting order, although the word in the press is that he will remain at 5.
As we have seen with him before though, he is a street fighter and he seems to produce the goods when his future is in doubt, and I’d say that it has to be in doubt at the moment.
In 2009 he struggled against Australia, he had a decent series away to South Africa, but again had a bad run against Pakistan last summer. If things don’t pick up for him over these next two tests, it’s hard to make a case for his inclusion in next summers test matches.