Australia A v England XI, Hobart, 4th day November 20, 2010

'We have the belief' - Collingwood

26

It's well documented that England lost all five Tests last time they visited Australia, but Paul Collingwood knows only too well that they also failed to win a tour game. This time they've started with a win against Western Australia, a draw against South Australia where several men found form, and a comprehensive ten-wicket victory over Australia A. Their trip could hardly have had a better start.

At 34, Collingwood is the oldest man in the England squad, and he's desperate to add an away Ashes triumph to the two home series wins in which he has played a part. He's also in promising touch personally, having compiled a solid 89 at Bellerive Oval this week to follow the 94 he posted at Adelaide Oval, and he is confident England can carry their form in to next week's Gabba Test.

"We've got ourselves in the best possible position and prepared in the best possible way," Collingwood said. "Winning two games gives us confidence and belief but there have been some huge individual performances as well. The guys are very confident going into Thursday, that's when the real stuff begins. They are excited. It was an exceptional performance in this match especially.

"I've spent a few tours out here starting in 2002-03 and I know how difficult it is to beat the opposition, even in these [warm-up] games. We've had our mini-challenge and come through that with flying colours. That's not an easy thing to do."

Adding to the challenge in Brisbane, England must rewrite history by becoming the first team to beat Australia in a Gabba Test since the all-conquering West Indies in 1988. But they need to break an even older record to leave the country happy - England haven't won the Ashes away since 1986-87 - and after breaking a 75-year Ashes drought at Lord's a year ago, they know anything is possible.

"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," Collingwood said. "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.

"We've got a good mix of guys who have experienced Ashes in the past and there aren't mental scars, there is motivation to do well this time round. We've got guys coming in nice and fresh and who are excited about this kind of tour and what is ahead of them."

Australia also have at least one man coming in nice and fresh - the spinner Xavier Doherty, who is almost certain to make his Test debut at the Gabba. Doherty will be especially keen to challenge Kevin Pietersen, who has been out 17 times to left-arm orthodox bowlers since the start of 2008, compared to four times against right-arm spinners, but Collingwood is confident it won't be an issue.

"I don't think he'll be overly worried about facing left-arm spinners," he said. "We'll have a look at footage from the one-day games where [Doherty] bowled against Sri Lanka. Kevin has done it time and again and he can play left-arm spin very well on his day. It is not a problem for us. "

The form of Pietersen, who has made only one half-century on the trip, is one of the few minor concerns for an otherwise buoyant England. They know this is their best chance in 24 years to claim the Ashes in Australia, which last occurred when Collingwood was a 10-year-old Durham boy who had little interest in the fate of the England cricket team.

"We've been waiting a long time," he said. "To get the opportunity as a player is a great feeling. We have the belief and we are playing some very good cricket. There's genuine belief in the side that we can do it."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hammond on November 22, 2010, 10:52 GMT

    @Bigbanger666- can only see England choking on all the champagne once they trounce this bog-average Aussie side with a muppet for a captain.

  • Bigbanger666 on November 22, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    @Hammond and co. One word which sums up England playing in Aus no matter how your team was travelling : Chokers

  • Hammond on November 22, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    Warnerbasher a total of 21 test cricketers for Australia were foreign born. When you add the countless football, rugby, boxing, and Olympics Australian representatives that were/are born outside Australia then you just appear like another mindless Aussie hypocrite. Mind you I applaud the fact that you are rehearsing your excuses because boy are you going to need every one when England casually reclaims the urn.

  • Marcio on November 21, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    England have had an almost perfect start, while Australia have had the most perfectly pathetic start imaginable (I believe CA and the selectors should be fired - the mismanagement of the team in the last 2 years - losing 4 series that should have been won or drawn easily - and just insane scheduling of games). Still, poor form and poor luck don't last forever. England have not been placed under any pressure so far. In this Aust A game they had the fortune to bowl first on a very green 'English' wicket, then the pitch dried out to become a good batting surface. I wonder if the position had been reversed how well Eng. would have responded? England have played well on tour, but they are just warm up games. Some of the English press have become delusional. I have read articles by Duncan Fletcher and Ian Botham which are Fantasyland stuff. Eng. can't lose? LOL! Nuts! At least Aust have made a step in the right direction by beginning to get tough on players who are not performing.

  • davidmoz on November 21, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    Aussies going on about non-English born players playing for England is a bit much. As had been said, your Australia A player Usman Khawaja was born in Pakistan, Kepler Wessels was a Saffie and I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned Andrew Symonds yet- born in ENGLAND! Even Clarrie Grimmett was a Kiwi...

  • warnerbasher on November 21, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    I can see both teams proudly lining up for the anthems just before play on Thursday with the opposing captains standling proudly with hands to their hearts with firstly Punter leading his team with a rousing rendition of Advance Australia Fair then the other captain leading his team with a stirring rendition of Nkosi sikelel' iAfrica.

  • phoenixsteve on November 20, 2010, 21:30 GMT

    Conrgatulations to the England players and supporters after this comprehensive 'thrashing' of Austrlia A. It's not the main event yet and we shouldn't get carried away - BUT clearly many Aussie supporters are worried! It's a shame that the sae old excuses keep coming from the Antipedes and frankly I'm gettiing tired of Aussie sour grapes! OK ... WA, SA and the A team were rubbish... but all any side can do is beat the oppostion they're confronted by? Ok- we have a few South Africans - but have you Aussies ever wondered WHY these guys want to come play for England? So PLEASE stop this Aussie whinging and give credit where it's due? Cricket is just a sport and sportsmanship is about accepting defeat with grace and dignity. If everybody performs in the England team it should be a resounding Ashes win for England.... but if not we might lose! I think the guys will show how poor this current Aussie side is, but win or lose Andrew Strauss can be relied on to show class! COME ON ENGLAND!

  • on November 20, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    This whole SA 'B' team thing makes me laugh. England is, and has been for a considerable amount of time, a multi-national country. We don't go around the world looking to poach players; they come here because they want to lead a better life. Is this our fault, I think not?

    The prejudices shown by certain people are solely a sign of jealousy; they come here, not there. If we want to look at truly 'authentic' sides, then the 'Aussies' haven't fielded one since… 1868 when the only true Australian side toured. Don't see many of them in the side now-a-days though…

    Warnerbasher, the only influx of passports you need worry about is the European ones which make up the history of your team. But then, Aussies do have a short memory…

  • on November 20, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    This whole SA 'B' team thing makes me laugh. England is, and has been for a considerable amount of time, a multi-national country. We don't go around the world looking to poach players; they come here because they want to lead a better life. Is this our fault, I think not?

    The prejudices shown by certain people are solely a sign of jealousy; they come here, not there. If we want to look at truly 'authentic' sides, then the 'Aussies' haven't fielded one since… 1868 when the only true Australian side toured. Don't see many of them in the side now-a-days though…

    Warnerbasher, the only influx of passports you need worry about is the European ones which make up the history of your team. But then, Aussies do have a short memory…

  • warnerbasher on November 20, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    I hear customs in Brisbane are expecting an influx of 1000 South African passports otherwise known as the Barmy Army

  • Hammond on November 22, 2010, 10:52 GMT

    @Bigbanger666- can only see England choking on all the champagne once they trounce this bog-average Aussie side with a muppet for a captain.

  • Bigbanger666 on November 22, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    @Hammond and co. One word which sums up England playing in Aus no matter how your team was travelling : Chokers

  • Hammond on November 22, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    Warnerbasher a total of 21 test cricketers for Australia were foreign born. When you add the countless football, rugby, boxing, and Olympics Australian representatives that were/are born outside Australia then you just appear like another mindless Aussie hypocrite. Mind you I applaud the fact that you are rehearsing your excuses because boy are you going to need every one when England casually reclaims the urn.

  • Marcio on November 21, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    England have had an almost perfect start, while Australia have had the most perfectly pathetic start imaginable (I believe CA and the selectors should be fired - the mismanagement of the team in the last 2 years - losing 4 series that should have been won or drawn easily - and just insane scheduling of games). Still, poor form and poor luck don't last forever. England have not been placed under any pressure so far. In this Aust A game they had the fortune to bowl first on a very green 'English' wicket, then the pitch dried out to become a good batting surface. I wonder if the position had been reversed how well Eng. would have responded? England have played well on tour, but they are just warm up games. Some of the English press have become delusional. I have read articles by Duncan Fletcher and Ian Botham which are Fantasyland stuff. Eng. can't lose? LOL! Nuts! At least Aust have made a step in the right direction by beginning to get tough on players who are not performing.

  • davidmoz on November 21, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    Aussies going on about non-English born players playing for England is a bit much. As had been said, your Australia A player Usman Khawaja was born in Pakistan, Kepler Wessels was a Saffie and I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned Andrew Symonds yet- born in ENGLAND! Even Clarrie Grimmett was a Kiwi...

  • warnerbasher on November 21, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    I can see both teams proudly lining up for the anthems just before play on Thursday with the opposing captains standling proudly with hands to their hearts with firstly Punter leading his team with a rousing rendition of Advance Australia Fair then the other captain leading his team with a stirring rendition of Nkosi sikelel' iAfrica.

  • phoenixsteve on November 20, 2010, 21:30 GMT

    Conrgatulations to the England players and supporters after this comprehensive 'thrashing' of Austrlia A. It's not the main event yet and we shouldn't get carried away - BUT clearly many Aussie supporters are worried! It's a shame that the sae old excuses keep coming from the Antipedes and frankly I'm gettiing tired of Aussie sour grapes! OK ... WA, SA and the A team were rubbish... but all any side can do is beat the oppostion they're confronted by? Ok- we have a few South Africans - but have you Aussies ever wondered WHY these guys want to come play for England? So PLEASE stop this Aussie whinging and give credit where it's due? Cricket is just a sport and sportsmanship is about accepting defeat with grace and dignity. If everybody performs in the England team it should be a resounding Ashes win for England.... but if not we might lose! I think the guys will show how poor this current Aussie side is, but win or lose Andrew Strauss can be relied on to show class! COME ON ENGLAND!

  • on November 20, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    This whole SA 'B' team thing makes me laugh. England is, and has been for a considerable amount of time, a multi-national country. We don't go around the world looking to poach players; they come here because they want to lead a better life. Is this our fault, I think not?

    The prejudices shown by certain people are solely a sign of jealousy; they come here, not there. If we want to look at truly 'authentic' sides, then the 'Aussies' haven't fielded one since… 1868 when the only true Australian side toured. Don't see many of them in the side now-a-days though…

    Warnerbasher, the only influx of passports you need worry about is the European ones which make up the history of your team. But then, Aussies do have a short memory…

  • on November 20, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    This whole SA 'B' team thing makes me laugh. England is, and has been for a considerable amount of time, a multi-national country. We don't go around the world looking to poach players; they come here because they want to lead a better life. Is this our fault, I think not?

    The prejudices shown by certain people are solely a sign of jealousy; they come here, not there. If we want to look at truly 'authentic' sides, then the 'Aussies' haven't fielded one since… 1868 when the only true Australian side toured. Don't see many of them in the side now-a-days though…

    Warnerbasher, the only influx of passports you need worry about is the European ones which make up the history of your team. But then, Aussies do have a short memory…

  • warnerbasher on November 20, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    I hear customs in Brisbane are expecting an influx of 1000 South African passports otherwise known as the Barmy Army

  • on November 20, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    Haha the Australians are being so petty and bitter, and the first test hasn't even started yet!

  • vichan on November 20, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    Bigbanger, which "internationals" are you referring to? Usman Khawaja? Oh, wait...

  • SettingSun on November 20, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    @Vishnu27 - so, winning a World Cup in a format does NOT make you the best team in that format? Then what does? Sounding rather bitter already there, but just think how much worse you will feel when these 'pasty Englishmen' have finished Australia off.

  • popcorn on November 20, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    The English world is about to come crashing down - the huge expectations - the bubble will burst - and the misery will follow. Try again in 2015, mate.

  • FearAndLoathing on November 20, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    warnerbasher - Kepler Wessels??

  • landl47 on November 20, 2010, 13:47 GMT

    So England have got the first part of the tour right; they played the warm-up games to win and, in winning, they not only got in form but also increased their confidence, vital in a test series. This win was significant in two ways: First, it showed that England's reserve strength in bowling is considerably better than Australia's expectations- a crushing victory with none of the first team bowlers playing shows how deep England is this time around. Second, and maybe more important, we kept hearing from Aussie 'experts' and fans that only Strauss and KP would be a threat to get runs. In this game neither of them got runs and England got 523, against what was a decent Aussie attack. England can win without any particular individual doing well (KP didn't play when England won the Ashes at the Oval last year, remember). I'm making no wild claims, I'll just say that after the last test I'll be happy to see England 1 up, and I expect to do so.

  • on November 20, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    A comprehensive win, and that means England go into the first Test without a loss. Given the rain hadn't interrupted play in Adelaide, I'd have fancied a 3-0 win to England before the start of the series.

    Anyway, the talking is over. Come November 25th it'll all begin. Can't wait!

  • Bigbanger666 on November 20, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    @warnerbashet, Nice one. Bit sad the old poms can't scrape together a team of thier own. I guess they can blaim the internationals when they do their usual Aus tour choke.Ahhhhhhhhh.

  • Something_Witty on November 20, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Predictions of 5-0 to EITHER side are far fetched and ridiculous. Neither side has the bowling attack to take 20 wickets on that road that passes for a pitch in Adelaide. (I'm from South Aus). Colly, you can have all the belief you want, but if your bowlers don't take wickets and your batsmen can't score consistently it's going to be hard for you to win the series. Sorry, belief in itself is not enough. England do look a good unit (much better than any to tour here in recent memory) and it should be a good series. Still predicting 2-1 or 3-0 to Aus. Draws in Adelaide and Perth, possible English victory in Sydney.

  • Vishnu27 on November 20, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    S_F_F: what a totally laughable & ridiculous suggestion. England are far from the best team in world in any format, regardless the best team overall. One paltry T20 WC doesn't make you the best. England has been minnow beating at home for a good length of time. Time for a healthy dose of 'Gabba comeuppance & a massive reality check for 11 pasty Englishmen & their tribe of warbling supporters.

  • warnerbasher on November 20, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    I've figured it out why South Africa is here again. Its South Africa B. If you can't win with your own stock why not grab someone else's.

  • SettingSun on November 20, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    @warnerbasher - that's right, get your excuses in now. You're going to have five test matches of pain to make up some more too.

  • 5wombats on November 20, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    Job done England! So much for struggling in the conditions. Admittedly - Tasmania has very English condtions - and this venue was clearly chosen because it is so different to Brisbane in the hopes that it would mess England up. The good thing about these tour games is that normally England get beat in them - and worse - get injured. This time it all feels very different. I have no concerns about our bowling - which is definitely stronger than Aus, especially with Swann. Aus left handers will be worrying about him. Aussies on this site have been going on about the ball not swinging in Aus conditions thus giving England no hope. They clearly haven't noticed that swing bowling in only a Plan C. Our tall pace bowlers' Plan A is bounce - if it swings then that's a bonus. Plan B is Swann. It will all be too much for the out of form Aus batters. Like every other England follower, my concern is the Polo mint batting, ie it has a hole in the middle. Nevertheless - I'm looking forward to this!

  • AJ_Tiger86 on November 20, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Ha ha, England are going to thrash Australia 5-0 in this winter's Ashes. England are currently the best team in the world in all three formats of the game. On the other hand Australia are the 7th best.

  • CricketingStargazer on November 20, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Warnerbasher, only one reason: to keep up that winning habit.

  • warnerbasher on November 20, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    Weren't South Africa here only 2 years ago? Why are they here again?

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  • warnerbasher on November 20, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    Weren't South Africa here only 2 years ago? Why are they here again?

  • CricketingStargazer on November 20, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Warnerbasher, only one reason: to keep up that winning habit.

  • AJ_Tiger86 on November 20, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Ha ha, England are going to thrash Australia 5-0 in this winter's Ashes. England are currently the best team in the world in all three formats of the game. On the other hand Australia are the 7th best.

  • 5wombats on November 20, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    Job done England! So much for struggling in the conditions. Admittedly - Tasmania has very English condtions - and this venue was clearly chosen because it is so different to Brisbane in the hopes that it would mess England up. The good thing about these tour games is that normally England get beat in them - and worse - get injured. This time it all feels very different. I have no concerns about our bowling - which is definitely stronger than Aus, especially with Swann. Aus left handers will be worrying about him. Aussies on this site have been going on about the ball not swinging in Aus conditions thus giving England no hope. They clearly haven't noticed that swing bowling in only a Plan C. Our tall pace bowlers' Plan A is bounce - if it swings then that's a bonus. Plan B is Swann. It will all be too much for the out of form Aus batters. Like every other England follower, my concern is the Polo mint batting, ie it has a hole in the middle. Nevertheless - I'm looking forward to this!

  • SettingSun on November 20, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    @warnerbasher - that's right, get your excuses in now. You're going to have five test matches of pain to make up some more too.

  • warnerbasher on November 20, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    I've figured it out why South Africa is here again. Its South Africa B. If you can't win with your own stock why not grab someone else's.

  • Vishnu27 on November 20, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    S_F_F: what a totally laughable & ridiculous suggestion. England are far from the best team in world in any format, regardless the best team overall. One paltry T20 WC doesn't make you the best. England has been minnow beating at home for a good length of time. Time for a healthy dose of 'Gabba comeuppance & a massive reality check for 11 pasty Englishmen & their tribe of warbling supporters.

  • Something_Witty on November 20, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Predictions of 5-0 to EITHER side are far fetched and ridiculous. Neither side has the bowling attack to take 20 wickets on that road that passes for a pitch in Adelaide. (I'm from South Aus). Colly, you can have all the belief you want, but if your bowlers don't take wickets and your batsmen can't score consistently it's going to be hard for you to win the series. Sorry, belief in itself is not enough. England do look a good unit (much better than any to tour here in recent memory) and it should be a good series. Still predicting 2-1 or 3-0 to Aus. Draws in Adelaide and Perth, possible English victory in Sydney.

  • Bigbanger666 on November 20, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    @warnerbashet, Nice one. Bit sad the old poms can't scrape together a team of thier own. I guess they can blaim the internationals when they do their usual Aus tour choke.Ahhhhhhhhh.

  • on November 20, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    A comprehensive win, and that means England go into the first Test without a loss. Given the rain hadn't interrupted play in Adelaide, I'd have fancied a 3-0 win to England before the start of the series.

    Anyway, the talking is over. Come November 25th it'll all begin. Can't wait!