|Event:||England in Australia 2006/07|
DateLine: 4th December 2006
Paul Collingwood admits he is far from the finished article after only becoming a team regular this year, but he still created cricket history for England in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide. The 30-year-old Durham right-hander became the first Englishman to score a Test double-century in Australia in 70 years in his team's huge first innings total of 551 for six declared on Saturday. Collingwood's 206 crafted over 516 minutes was the first by an England batsman in Australia since Wally Hammond's 231 in Sydney in 1936 and the third overall with Reg Foster scoring 287 in Sydney in 1903. It was only Collingwood's third Test century, his first against Australia, and followed the heartbreak of being dismissed for 96 in the second innings of the first Brisbane Test. He also scored 134 not out against India in the first Test at Nagpur last March and 186 against Pakistan at Lord's in July. Collingwood shared in a record 310-run partnership with Kevin Pietersen (158) bettering the 288 by Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe at Edgbaston in 1997 as the highest England fourth-wicket partnership in Ashes cricket. Remarkably, Collingwood wasn't sure of his place in the England team for this series until Marcus Trescothick returned home with depression and No.3 Alastair Cook was elevated to open the innings with Andrew Strauss. Australian coach John Buchanan said Collingwood was a much-improved player in the England line-up. "He's hard to dislodge at the best of times and I think he's one player who really has improved his game and he's an important person in their make-up," Buchanan said. "Collingwood values his wicket very highly, he's improved his shot-making ability and certainly has improved his footwork against spin, so we're seeing some early results of that." Collingwood, who sacrificed a century in last week's first Gabba Test when he jumped down the wicket looking to hoist Shane Warne for four and was stumped for 96, played with great application and determination to restore England's innings from 45 for two to 468 for four upon his dismissal. "I've only played 12 months of Test cricket. It gives you confidence and I can only improve here as a player," Collingwood said. "I'm getting there, slowly but surely, I'm certainly not the finished article. I go out and play according to the situation. That wicket was difficult to score on. I knew I was going to have to wait until the ball was in my area to be able to score and that's pretty much the way I viewed it." So far in three innings in this series Collingwood has scored 307 runs at 102.33.