England coach Peter Moores is ready to fight for Paul Collingwood's place in his side ahead of the final Test against New Zealand.
Moores will report to this week’s selectors’ meeting boosted by the six-wicket victory at Old Trafford which gave England a 1-0 lead in the three Test series.
But the victory won’t obscure worries over the disappointing form of several of England’s batsmen, including Collingwood, which gifted New Zealand a first innings lead.
England have gone 11 Tests without a first innings total in excess of 400 and Collingwood — nominally in the side as an allrounder — has come under the most pressure after 22 innings without a Test century.
But coach Peter Moores will sit down with National selector Geoff Miller and fellow selector Ashley Giles this week resisting any calls for change when they announce the Test squad on Sunday.
“There’s always discussion [about changes] because I’m one of four selectors,” Moores said. “We sit down and talk about the team for the next Test match and we talk about the future every time.”
“But we’ve also got to get a balance with loyalty as well and I do think in Paul you’ve got a very good cricketer,” he said. “Because of the nature of the way he plays there are always people asking whether he’s good enough but he does average 40, he’s got a double hundred in Australia, he’s a good player in both forms of the game and he contributes in lots of ways for England.”
“Paul’s had a tough couple of Test matches but that happens. It’s only two weeks ago Michael Vaughan was being talked about and since then he’s got a very good hundred so things move really quickly in sport,” the England coach said.
“Paul wants to score runs and we’ve got this nice little period now where he can get himself ready to go at Trent Bridge,” he said.
“He’s a touch player and he knows he’s struggling to find it at the moment and unfortunately in the build-up to the Test series he didn’t get any runs in the couple of games he played, but I know he’s a good player and he’s shown he’s a good player,” Moores said.
“Before Napier he was our form batter going into that Test. Form does come and go and he’s shown he’s a scrapper and a fighter and he took us home at Old Trafford, which was classic Collingwood,” he said.