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Paul Collingwood explains the thinking behind his Cardiff ‘horror shot’

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Paul Collingwood has opened up on the thinking behind the stroke that led to his dismissal on the final evening of the 2009 Ashes Test at Cardiff, which he termed a “horror shot”.

Collingwood played a key role in England’s rearguard, facing 245 balls for his 74 and taking his side into the final hour and within reach of the lead. However, having batted resolutely for nearly six hours, his dismissal was preventable, the No.5 playing an attacking stroke away from his body and edging to Michael Hussey at gully.

Speaking on a Sky Sports Watchalong of the dramatic finale, Collingwood explained what was going through his head at the time. “We’re just six runs behind the game, the runs start to come into the equation, and I thought ‘I need to start scoring’, which is why I eventually got out. I played a shot that I wouldn’t have played earlier on in the day. It was a horror shot really. But that’s the pressure, the consequences that were coming onto me. You look at how the emotions changed throughout the day, where the pressure is.”

Despite having given Monty Panesar, England’s No.11, some one-on-one batting tips in the lead-up to the match, Collingwood didn’t have any faith that the game could be saved after his dismissal.

“I thought the game had gone, 100 per cent,” he said. “As soon as I made that mistake, I thought, ‘You’ve done all that hard work, and the game is gone. You’ve just handed it back to Australia.’ You know fine well you’ve got Monty Panesar coming in now and it’s game over. You’re just devastated, you think the Test match is over.

“The funny thing is with Monty we had a period there where in practice we would buddy up and my buddy was Monty Panesar. So I’d spent the last two or three weeks giving Monty throwdowns and getting his high elbow in and trying to give him a purpose in practice. So he was my buddy. I remember walking past him saying ‘mate, you’ve got this, don’t worry, c’mon buddy.’ But I didn’t think he had a hope in hell’s chance to be honest with you.”

As it was, Panesar and James Anderson kept out the final 11.4 overs, taking England to safety and paving the way for England to win the series 2-1 and reclaim the Ashes.

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