Meanwhile, Collingwood himself has been interviewed on CricInfo. Apparently unable to keep his mind from straying to his socks he said. '......we're better now. We're more consistent and we're closer knit...... ' As the interview hints, loose weave in his socks in his early international appearances caused him lots of problems.
But everything's looking good so far with the squad and they're off to Tasmania for the final warm up against Australia A or, as they're now known locally, Australia........eh? The talk is that some of England's first line bowlers may get a rest so they can keep their socks clean for the big one in Brisbane.
Elsewhere, Australian pacemen keen to bowl themselves into form are returning to club cricket this weekend. Mitchell Johnson will turn out for the splendidly named Wanneroo in Perth and Doug Bollinger, recovering from a stomach injury, will also play in Sydney. Presumably they think the batting will be a standard above the Poms. In a surprise show of his softer side, Johnson says he wants to make Strauss 'his bunny.' How sweet, isn't comforting to know that such a tough guy still requires cuddly toys to help him get to sleep at night. Johnson has also criticised the England team for 'throwing around cocky comments'. Presumably he thinks this is the exclusive preserve of the Australians.
Australia coach Tim Nielsen has been critical of what he calls "all sorts of talk about disharmony and infighting within the team." He said, "This team is tough enough not to allow uneducated opinion to upset it." But what about educated opinion? Rumours remain of dressing room disagreements over the Times Literary Supplement's treatment of a recently discovered poem by former poet laureateTed Hughes.
Ahead of what is expected to be a razzamatazz showbiz style announcement tomorrow of the Australian squad for the first Ashes match, newly appointed Australian selector Greg Chappell has told Mike Hussey to take more risks. Hussey has been seen dodging the traffic as he crosses the road against the red man.
Ponting did turn out for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield match this week, but was dismissed for single figures in the second innings as his side went down to Queensland. He said he was 'scratchy'. Maybe some moisturiser for that dry skin would help.