Loss is a past affair, says Collingwood

Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Blaming injuries for their one-day slump, England batsman Paul Collingwood says he has put the disappointment of losing the seven-match ODI series against India behind him and has set his eyes on the Ashes and the ICC Champions Trophy to be held later this year.

''It would be easy to get caught up with the defeats to India in the one-day series, but when you look back on the tour as a whole it is far from being all doom and gloom,'' Collingwood wrote in his column for BBC sport.

Recalling the two-month long tour, Collingwood said his maiden Test hundred in Nagpur was the highlight of his trip to the sub-continent.

''A maiden Test century in Nagpur was a personal highlight and the tour couldn't have gone any better,'' he said.

Collingwood said despite being beaten 5-1 in the ODI series, England had the 1-1 Test result to show that they were not that far from Rahul Dravid's men.

''People will laugh because we were beaten 5-1 but I still do not think we are that far away from challenging for a major one-day trophy. We were all very proud to be part of a 1-1 draw in the Test series and to win our first Test match in India for 21 years,'' he continued.

But he admitted it would have felt nice to be on the winning side in ODIs.

''It was just a shame that we didn't do as well in the one-dayers as we would have liked. Test cricket is the ultimate but the one-day game can provide situations with a lot more pressure for inexperienced players,'' Collingwood said, referring to the inexperienced side, which played in India in the absence of both their regular captain and vice-captain.

Collingwood rejected suggestions that England were not taking one-dayers seriously and said his team was as good a one-day squad as Test.

''When it comes to a World Cup or the ICC Champions Trophy, we will be going with the sole purpose of playing one-day cricket. And when injuries do not get in our way, the one-day side is not massively different from the Test team,'' he pointed out.

Blaming injuries for their one-day slump, Collingwood said they have been a major factor in preventing the team from spending enough time together.

''Injuries mean we don't get the continuity of selection, planning, and knowledge of each other that is a massive part of the Test side. We have the talent and the players when everybody is fit,'' he said.

Joining the debate on player burn-out, Collingwood said there is hardly anything one could do to change the situation as the ICC schedules have to be followed and it was upto the players to prepare themselves for the grind.

''Ideally, we would like a few more weeks off before the first Test of the summer, but with the international schedule the way it is that cannot be done. You just need to try to get the balance right between preparing and playing before the Test matches,'' he said.

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