Collingwood demands intensity as England’s focus turns to World Cup

Monday, January 10, 2011

ADELAIDE - Having secured the Ashes series Down Under by three games to one, England are now hoping to nail the Australians in both the Twenty20s and the one-day series, and set themselves up as World Cup favourites.

Twenty20 skipper Paul Collingwood has called on his fellow players to put the celebrations on the backburner, and focus once again on the task ahead.

The short form part of the winter proper begins in Adelaide on Wednesday with the first of two Twenty20 matches, which will be followed by seven one-day internationals of 50 overs, beginning in Melbourne on Sunday.

The Twenty20 games will attract huge crowds and their place in the popular culture is presumably proven by the fact that the matches are being sponsored by one of the most recognizable food chains on the planet: KFC.

England will be shooting for their eighth straight victory in Adelaide, according to The Independent.

It is a sequence never before achieved in the annals of the game.

Additionally, the fact that England are world champions and on the evidence of last spring easily the best side in the world, means that everybody wants to beat them.

In the case of Australia that desire, especially given what has happened here in the past two months, can be multiplied tenfold.

Collingwood, who is staying on as England’s T20 captain and as a player in the ODI side despite his retirement from Test cricket, seems convinced that the World Cup will keep the side going, simply because they have never won it.

He said: “We’ve got some new players in to give that extra bit of enthusiasm and spark that you need but it’s up to every single player to get our feet back on the ground and keep up the intensity we’ve shown in practice and preparation and hope to translate that into performances on the pitch.”

He added: “We’ve got a very focused group of lads, we are very happy with what we’ve achieved so far on the trip but there’s still a lot of things to do before the World Cup. We knew it was going to be a huge six months for us coming over here then India and we are not finished yet.” (ANI)

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