Collingwood past his prime, says Flintoff
Former England captain Andrew Flintoff has said Paul Collingwood, his longstanding team-mate should be dropped from the Test side and replaced by Eoin Morgan.india Updated: Jan 03, 2011 00:16 IST
Former England captain Andrew Flintoff has said Paul Collingwood, his longstanding team-mate should be dropped from the Test side and replaced by Eoin Morgan.
Middle-order batsman Collingwood, 34, has struggled while England have retained the Ashes in Australia and heads into the series finale in Sydney with just 70 runs at an average of 14 from the four previous Tests.
The team's best fielder and captain of the side that gave England its first major tournament victory after they beat Australia in last year's World Twenty20 final in Barbados, Collingwood's Test career has been punctuated by several troughs although he still averages over 40.
"I know people bang on about not changing a winning side but if England want to become the best side in the world they have got to be ruthless," Flintoff, who retired from all forms of cricket last year because of injury, wrote in his column in the News of the World tabloid here on Sunday.
"Colly has been a brilliant servant for English cricket and is well liked by the team management," the former all-rounder added.
"This is England's chance to show there is no room for sentiment within their squad."
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has repeatedly said England have "wasted" the good form of batsman Ian Bell in this Ashes series by having Durham's Collingwood come in at No 5 to the Warwickshire right-hander's No 6.
Left-handed batsman Morgan, who has played six Test matches, hasn't featured in the Ashes and although his reputation has mainly been built on performances in limited overs cricket, Flintoff believes the 24-year-old former Ireland international has what it takes to succeed in the longer form of the game.
"Morgan is as mentally tough as anyone I've seen emerge recently."
"He's got the million dollar shots but they're so finely tuned he cuts out a lot of risk," Flintoff added. "There's a bit of the Kevin Pietersen in his ability to improvise and make risky shots look simple and he is as cool as they come under pressure."