Paul Collingwood will make his comeback for England claiming he has no regrets about giving up the captaincy he believes was threatening his Test place.
The Durham all-rounder returns to action in Tuesday’s second match of the NatWest Series at Trent Bridge for his first match since relinquishing the captaincy of the one-day side after just over a year in charge.
During his time as captain, Collingwood’s form at Test level suffered dramatically and he went 25 innings between centuries – a run which was only ended during the third Test at Edgbaston after he had privately resolved to inform England he was ready to step down.
His decision was overshadowed by the sudden announcement of Michael Vaughan to also step down as Test captain, but Collingwood admits the pressures were beginning to tell on him – and threaten the Test place he craves so much.
“I thought it was too much of a coincidence that I scored a hundred against West Indies just before I got the captaincy last year and I scored another hundred the day after I gave it up,” he said.
“It’s always been the thing I’ve wanted most in cricket, to cement my Test spot, and I didn’t want to give that away easily.”
During his time as captain Collingwood also suffered the indignity of facing widespread criticism after running out Grant Elliott during a one-day match against New Zealand at The Oval after he had collided with Ryan Sidebottom.
He was then given a four-match ban for failing to maintain a proper over rate, which he has now completed to prompt his return at Trent Bridge.