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Paul Collingwood expects team dilemma

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Paul Collingwood admits the England selectors face some tough decisions when they pick their team for Friday’s second Test against the West Indies.

The possible return from injury of Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff means two players from the drawn first Test at Lord’s look set to miss out. But Collingwood told BBC Sport: “It’s not as if everybody’s out of nick and we’re desperate for a change. All the batsmen are in good nick, so the selectors’ decision won’t be easy.”

Five batsmen — Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Collingwood, Ian Bell and Matt Prior — scored hundreds as England totalled 837 runs over two innings at Lord’s.

Owais Shah will be replaced by skipper Vaughan after he managed scores of just six and four, but who makes way for Flintoff is less simple.

Should the Lancashire all-rounder be passed fully fit to bowl as well as bat, the selectors may choose to bring him in for the injured Matthew Hoggard, meaning England will once again only have four front-line bowlers.

If Flintoff is only passed fit to play as a batsman, the selectors would have to leave out one of the Lord’s century makers to accommodate him.

Selection issues aside, Collingwood admits the return of the duo would be a big boost for the England side. “It would be fantastic to go into the next Test with Michael and Andrew in contention,” he said. “Both are experienced, class players and to have two players like that back in the squad is obviously a lift,” he added.

And he insists the fear of being dropped on their return is not something that has entered his mind as he prepares for the Test.

“That’s not something you can think about as a player,” said the Durham man, who is now rated the 13th best batsman in the world according to the latest rankings.

“You don’t go out to bat looking over your shoulder, you go out there to perform and do your best. There is no more you can do,” he added.
Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket.

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