Strauss pays tribute to hero Colly's rescue job

ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss heaped praise on Paul Collingwood after the all-rounder&rsquo;s marathon stint at the crease helped earn a draw in the opening Ashes Test.<br /><br />Collingwood faced down 245 deliveries in 343 minutes to stabilise the home side&rsquo;s second innings following the loss of three key wickets before lunch. <br /><br />And his knock proved the platform to avert a crushing innings defeat that would have signalled the worst possible start to England&rsquo;s bid to reclaim the urn.<br /><br />&ldquo;All day we were not quite in the contest. We lost wickets early on but all credit must go to Paul Collingwood &ndash; he was outstanding,&rdquo; said Strauss. &ldquo;He does it time and time again for us in pressure situations. I can&rsquo;t say enough good things about him.&rdquo;<br /><br />Strauss also hailed James Anderson and Monty Panesar, who guided England to safety with a defiant last-wicket stand. <br /><br />&ldquo;The batsmen shouldn&rsquo;t have let them get in that position, but they showed a lot of character,&rdquo; he added.&nbsp; <br /><br />&ldquo;Thankfully we got away with it and hopefully we can come out and do better at Lord&rsquo;s. We&rsquo;ve not given away too much momentum. We are just very, very thankful to get a draw and we can take pride in the fight we showed.&rdquo;<br /><br />Hero Collingwood said the draw would prove a huge psychological boost ahead of the second Test, which starts at Lord&rsquo;s on Thursday.<br /><br />&ldquo;We can take a lot of confidence out of this game,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We showed great character and heart. It was closer than we would have hoped for and at one point we looked dead, but the boys at the end did well.&rdquo;