Collingwood enjoying 'superiority' over Aussies

Record-breaker Paul Collingwood is relishing England's current "superiority" over Australia but insists he is taking nothing for granted ahead of this year's Ashes series 'Down Under'.
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Updated on Jun 26, 2010 05:16 PM IST
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AFP | By, Cardiff

Record-breaker Paul Collingwood is relishing England's current "superiority" over Australia but insists he is taking nothing for granted ahead of this year's Ashes series 'Down Under'.

Ashes-holders England are currently 2-0 up in a five-match home one-day series against Australia - and just a month ago, a team captained by Collingwood defeated their oldest cricket rivals in the World Twenty20 final in Barbados.

For the current one-day series, though, Australia are without several injured first-choice quicks, as well as wicketkeeper/batsman Brad Haddin.

And while England may hold the Ashes, they haven't won a Test series in Australia since 1986.

Collingwood made 48 in Thursday's four-wicket win in the second match in Cardiff to surpass Alec Stewart as England's leading one-day international run scorer with 4,693 from 179 matches.

And having been on the receiving end of several drubbings at the hands of the Aussies, he is savouring being on top for a change.

"We're confident every time we go out and play them and that's very important," he told reporters here on Friday.
"It's not arrogance. We are now confident that we can beat anyone in one-day cricket on any given day, not just

"After they hammered us 6-1 (in a one-day series in England) last year we all thought we had to do something about it."

"If you look at Australia's record over the last year or so they still have that air of invincibility, because they haven't lost many games. But we are the better side at the moment."

Collingwood said he was taken aback by the public address announcement he'd broken Stewart's record, although that was nothing compared to the reaction of his opponents.

"It was a huge surprise to me when they announced it on the tannoy - and I think there were quite a few Australians out there who were even more surprised than me," said Collingwood.

Australia great Shane Warne derided Collingwood's award of an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for the 34-year-old Durham all-rounder's bit-part role in England's 2005 Ashes success.

However, Collingwood - back in action after missing the recent Test series win over Bangladesh with a shoulder injury - is now a key member of the side in all three international formats.

As such he is too experienced to get carried away by England's form but says winning the current series could only boost team morale ahead of the Ashes, which start in November.

"It's never easy to beat Australia and the more times you do it in any format the more you feel as though you can do it again.

"It would be a major boost to our Ashes hopes to win this series but we know we will have to be at our very best to win down there this winter."

England will take an unbeatable 3-0 lead against Australia if they win at Old Trafford on Sunday - the same day the national football side face arch-rivals Germany in the last 16 of the World Cup in South Africa.

Asked about the prospect of both teams celebrating victory Collingwood, a fan of Premier League football club Sunderland, said: "Wouldn't that be fantastic. I think we would have a very happy country on Sunday night if that happened. Let's hope for a win double."

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