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Page last updated at 19:27 GMT, Sunday, 30 August 2009 20:27 UK

Collingwood hails England spirit

Paul Collingwood
Collingwood was the pick of the England bowlers with 2-20

England captain Paul Collingwood says his side were in a good position before the Twenty20 match with Australia was abandoned because of rain.

"It's disappointing. We put in a good performance with the ball and were pretty good in the field," he said.

"We restricted them to a total we thought we could get, it was obviously disappointing to lose the two wickets, but it would have been still gettable.

"You don't want to give Aussies a sniff in any form of the game."

England restricted Australia to 145-4 but were reduced to 4-2 after 1.1 overs before the match was abandoned with no result.

A week ago, England regained the Ashes after a gruelling five-Test series, and on Thursday several of the players featured in a one-day international in Ireland but Collingwood praised his side's professionalism.

"It was a quick turnaround, going to Ireland a couple of days after was tough on the players involved in the Ashes but they responded really well, they are a group of lads who are very ambitious and very focused on the job in hand to play for England," Collingwood said.

"Ashes cricket is very mentally tiring, the way the schedules are ideally you would need a good break but you have to get on with it and the boys are very much up for the one-day matches and this is another big month of cricket ahead for us."

I've still got a lot of things I want to do in the game and I'm looking forward to this month ahead

Paul Collingwood

England face Australia in the second and final Twenty20 game at Old Trafford on Tuesday before the two sides compete in a seven-match one-day series.

The eight-team Champions Trophy then begins on 22 September.

Collingwood himself scored a crucial 64 and 74 that helped to save the opening Ashes Test at Cardiff, but struggled in the final three matches, scoring 42 runs in five innings.

With Jonathan Trott scoring a century on his debut and Kevin Pietersen expected to return from injury, the pressure is on Collingwood to retain his place in the middle order for the winter Test series in South Africa, beginning on 16 December.

"At the back end of the Ashes series I was disappointed I didn't contribute more, but I'm still very focused on what I have to do, I've got to score runs in the middle order and take a few wickets in this form of the game," he said.

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"I'm still enjoying captaincy, I've got a big smile on my face, very much enjoyed the Ashes series, it was a great series to play in, and it's a great feeling when you win one.

"I've still got a lot of things I want to do in the game and I'm looking forward to this month ahead. I'm very realistic, I know I've got to put good performances in."

At Old Trafford, England lost debutant Joe Denly for a first-ball duck and the out-of-form Ravi Bopara for only a single but Collingwood said: "When you have got three 90mph-plus bowlers, they are going to hit you pretty hard."

Denly succumbed to a vicious bouncer from fit-again Brett Lee that he could only spoon to square-leg.

Asked what he said to the Kent batsman Collingwood said: "Nothing.

"In many ways, it's good to see he has got the confidence to go out try something like that.

"It didn't come off here, but hopefully in the future it will."



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see also
England spared by Manchester rain
30 Aug 09 |  England
Hussey delight at maiden century
28 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Australia ease to win over Scots
28 Aug 09 |  Cricket
England edge to win over Ireland
27 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Victorious England regain Ashes
23 Aug 09 |  England
Ponting rested for Twenty20 games
11 Aug 09 |  Australia
Flintoff named in England squads
17 Aug 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England


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