Shamik Das

Friday, December 01, 2006

How do you solve a problem like Marcus?

Straussy  Vaughnie & Tres  Cookie

Adelaide, Second Test, First Day: England 266/3 (Collingwood 98*, Pietersen 60*, Bell 60)

Despite winning the toss and having first use of a perfect track in perfect batting conditions England again got off to a terrible start.

Following partnerships of 28 and 29 in the First Test, the opening pair of Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook could only manage 32 on the first morning at the Adelaide Oval.

Additionally, the first two wickets in the first innings of the Second Test yielded only 45 runs - a slight improvement on the scores of 28 & 36 when England's second wickets fell at the Gabba.

It's all a far cry from the last Ashes tour, when openers Michael Vaunghan (presently unfit) and Marcus Trescothick (currently unwell) amassed 892 runs between them, albeit in a losing cause.

Paul Collingwood cuts on his way to 98 not out

The only good news to come from Trescothick's illness is the emergence of Paul Collingwood as a genuine Test batsman. Though not the most talented of individuals, Collingwood's grit and determination saw him to 98 not out - his second big score in a row, following the 96 he struck at Brisbane.

Also in the runs were Ian Bell - who made 60 before skying a caught & bowled chance to Brett Lee - and Kevin Pietersen, unbeaten on 60.

The biggest surprise of day one was the form of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, who sent down a combined total of 45 overs without reward, going for 136 runs in the process.

Catch the first day's highlights tonight on BBC Two at 11:05pm, and listen to live coverage of day two on Radio 4 198LW and the
BBC Sport website from 12:30am.


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