Collingwood backs England to overhaul ‘Gabba curse’ during Ashes opener

Sunday, November 21, 2010

SYDNEY - England middle-order batsman Paul Collingwood is confident that his team can overhaul ‘the Gabba curse’ when they play the Ashes opener against England from November 25.

The Gabba in Brisbane is being viewed as the most dreaded venue for the visiting England team, as Australia has not lost a Test in this ground stadium since 1988-89.

“I think the team see Brisbane as a really big challenge and whenever we’ve come across these challenges like not having won an Ashes match at Lord’s for 70-odd years, the guys really like facing things like that,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Collingwood, as saying.

“Brisbane is one of them. It is difficult for teams to win there, Australia have been incredibly strong there, but that just makes it more exciting for us and we’d love to make history,” he added.

Australia had lost the 1989 Brisbane Test against West Indies, when a team led by Viv Richards had thrashed the home team by nine-wickets.

However, since then it has been Australia all the way with 16 wins and five draws from 21 matches.

Australia’s winning margins have also been extraordinary, as they have registered six wins by an innings and three by 10 wickets, while the closest margin was by 123 runs.

The last time both the teams played in Brisbane was in November 2006, in which Australia swept to a landslide 277 run win.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting and opening batsman Justin Langer had scored centuries, and were supported by a six-wicket haul by fast bowler Glenn McGrath.

Batting wise, Australians have in total have scored 16 centuries to three by their rivals over the past decade.

The only visiting fast bowlers to take five wickets in an innings here over the past decade are India’s Zaheer Khan (5-95 in 2003-04) and New Zealand’s Chris Martin (5-152 in 2004-05) and Chris Cairns (5-146 in 2001-02). (ANI)

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