No substitute for Colly's hard graft
Paul Collingwood believes he is living proof that batting relies on substance over style after cracking a 10th Test century to ram home England’s advantage over Bangladesh in the first Test.
The 33-year-old followed in captain Alastair Cook's footsteps, scoring a fluent 145 to become England's second centurion of a match they now dominate in Chittagong.
At stumps the tourists had Bangladesh reeling on 154 for five having declared on 599 for six.
Despite the lopsided nature of the contest, Collingwood will look back on the day as one of his most memorable, having waited just over a year to move from nine to 10 Test tons.
"This is a special century for me," he said. "To get 10 Test centuries...to be honest, I never thought I would achieve something like that when I started in the game.
"I've played some decent innings along the way but I haven't scored a hundred for some time, so it's a special one.
"I'm not going to get into grading whether it was my best or worst century or my easiest. I think that would be a little unfair because a Test century is a Test century."
Despite the long wait since his 161 against West Indies in Port of Spain last March, Collingwood has played some crucial knocks for his country in the intervening period.
His 245-ball 74 in the first Ashes Test in Cardiff last summer was unquestionably a match-saving effort and he fell for 91 in Durban on Boxing Day.
The batsman dedicated his recent successes to his unfussy approach to batting.
"I'm 33 years old but I think I'm developing as a player all the time and getting more confident. I've had a good 12 months, a bit of a purple patch," he said.
"There have been innings along the way that, in my own mind, have been centuries in the last year but statistically they haven't been, so today it was important to get over the line.
"The fact that I'm not the best looking batsman out in the middle has probably gone against me but in the end your job is as a run-getter, not a batsman.
"Some people forget it's getting runs that is the important thing, not how you get them.
"I'm not putting myself down as a great or anything like that but to get 10 Test centuries is an achievement.
"It's a proud moment and hopefully there are more to come."
Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah, who took the prize scalp of Cook in the morning session and then made 51 in his first attempt as a number five, refused to throw in the towel despite the precarious position the hosts are in.
"I am hopeful because the pitch is still good," he said. "I would say that we made some poor shot selections today.
"But Tamim Iqbal (81 not out) is still at the crease and we still have Mushfiqur Rahim and Naeem Islam to bat.
"We have a good depth in our batting so I am hopeful we can avoid the follow-on and get a good score.
"In New Zealand a couple of weeks ago there was a situation like this and we made a very good recovery. We can make one in this Test as well."
The new Brit Insurance 2010-11 official England Cricket Team kit will be available to pre order from April 1 via ecb.co.uk, and in store from April 29