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Collingwood: I enjoy boring people
Paul Collingwood will be changing his dogged Test match style for no-one after one of the most rewarding innings of his career.
England hold a 1-0 lead and will be out to complete a series victory when the final Test gets under way against South Africa at The Wanderers on Thursday.
Collingwood is one of the men they have principally to thank for that favourable position, after his painstaking 40 in the second innings of the third Test at Cape Town helped Ian Bell and others salvage a draw.
For a batsman increasingly capable of dashing limited-overs innings, last week's display was still more notable. It was not, however, out of character - Collingwood was merely repeating what he has done before in strikingly similar circumstances at Cardiff and Centurion last year.
"Those are the situations I do really, really enjoy," he said.
"I like - not upsetting the opposition - but just going out there and doing things that are not easy to do. I know I must bore people at times. But it's a job I enjoy doing, and I hope there are more of those kind of innings in the future.
"I am a fighter - always have been, since growing up with my brother, from my early teens. I'm sure I'll keep that kind of fighting spirit all the way through my career."
Whether he does so in Bangladesh later this winter remains a moot point, dependent on Collingwood's presence on a tour he concedes some senior players may miss.
He admits he probably would agree to stay at home if offered the choice, but nonetheless believes it would be unwise to allow a mass withdrawal.
"We're going to just have to get over the fact that we've got a lot of cricket to play," he said.
"The schedules are the way they are and as players we get on with it and do the best we can.
"If the management want to make other decisions it's up to them. But from a players' point of view, we've had a great eight months and we want to continue.
"You need a lot of the core players going to Bangladesh, because it's important to keep that team morale and to keep winning. But I'm sure a few will be rested."
Collingwood almost missed the Newlands Test after dislocating a finger. Despite that and other niggles, he is fit to play this week, and is continuing to raise eyebrows in the nets by practising with a bat which is three times as thick as many, and weighs twice as much as most.
"It's something the Durham second-team coach Jon Lewis came up with about six months ago," he said.
"He asked the manufacturer to make him the biggest bat possible, just to see if someone could use it in Twenty20.
"I tried it in the nets as a bit of a laugh. The weight of it is about four and a half to five pounds, and that makes you bring the bat down very straight and play the ball very late."
It is an experiment which has suited Collingwood.
"When you go back to your normal bat, your bat speed is exceptional, because you can't even feel a cricket bat in your hand," he said.
"I've found it of benefit to me. It might not work for everybody - and Phil Neale, our manager, isn't very happy with the excess baggage."

Paul Collingwood will be changing his dogged Test match style for no-one after one of the most rewarding innings of his career.
England hold a 1-0 lead and will be out to complete a series victory when the final Test gets under way against South Africa at The Wanderers on Thursday.
Collingwood is one of the men they have principally to thank for that favourable position, after his painstaking 40 in the second innings of the third Test at Cape Town helped Ian Bell and others salvage a draw.
For a batsman increasingly capable of dashing limited-overs innings, last week's display was still more notable. It was not, however, out of character - Collingwood was merely repeating what he has done before in strikingly similar circumstances at Cardiff and Centurion last year.
"Those are the situations I do really, really enjoy," he said.
"I like - not upsetting the opposition - but just going out there and doing things that are not easy to do. I know I must bore people at times. But it's a job I enjoy doing, and I hope there are more of those kind of innings in the future.
"I am a fighter - always have been, since growing up with my brother, from my early teens. I'm sure I'll keep that kind of fighting spirit all the way through my career."
Whether he does so in Bangladesh later this winter remains a moot point, dependent on Collingwood's presence on a tour he concedes some senior players may miss.
He admits he probably would agree to stay at home if offered the choice, but nonetheless believes it would be unwise to allow a mass withdrawal.
"We're going to just have to get over the fact that we've got a lot of cricket to play," he said.
"The schedules are the way they are and as players we get on with it and do the best we can.
"If the management want to make other decisions it's up to them. But from a players' point of view, we've had a great eight months and we want to continue.
"You need a lot of the core players going to Bangladesh, because it's important to keep that team morale and to keep winning. But I'm sure a few will be rested."
Collingwood almost missed the Newlands Test after dislocating a finger. Despite that and other niggles, he is fit to play this week, and is continuing to raise eyebrows in the nets by practising with a bat which is three times as thick as many, and weighs twice as much as most.
"It's something the Durham second-team coach Jon Lewis came up with about six months ago," he said.
"He asked the manufacturer to make him the biggest bat possible, just to see if someone could use it in Twenty20.
"I tried it in the nets as a bit of a laugh. The weight of it is about four and a half to five pounds, and that makes you bring the bat down very straight and play the ball very late."
It is an experiment which has suited Collingwood.
"When you go back to your normal bat, your bat speed is exceptional, because you can't even feel a cricket bat in your hand," he said.
"I've found it of benefit to me. It might not work for everybody - and Phil Neale, our manager, isn't very happy with the excess baggage."
 
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