Collingwood bats for coach Fletcher

Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England's Paul Collingwood has defended coach Duncan Fletcher after the side's poor recent one-day form.

Collingwood said he was "surprised and baffled" by a call from Test legend Geoffrey Boycott for the coach to stand down with the Ashes just weeks away.

"I do not think you should blame the coach for our results," he said after the Champions Trophy loss to Australia. "The coach can give you as much advice as possible but it is the players who go out and make the decisions."

In his BBC Sport column, Collingwood disagreed with Boycott's suggestion there was a danger of 'stagnation' by sticking with one coach for too long.

"The game progresses every single year, as do theories and coaching techniques. Everything is getting faster," he said. "Duncan advances like the game does. Certainly his theories do."

Boycott picked out Collingwood, the most experienced player in England's current side with 102 one-day caps, as being too low in the batting line-up.

"He's never played so well, or been so confident. And where is he batting? Number six," Boycott wrote in the Daily Telegraph. "By the time Collingwood came in on Saturday the game was over, and there was nothing he could do but hang around with the tail-enders."

Collingwood responded: "It is only because I was stranded down the order in this one game that people think I'm wasted there. "You cannot set the batting order expecting to be five down after 10 overs."


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