Collingwood sees win over Australia as key

If the Pakistan drugs scandal was hardly heaven-sent for England, considering the repercussions for the game, it was definitely convenient. Instead of England having to explain, excuse and exhume in microscopic detail another lamentable one-day performance, matters relating to performance-enhancing anabolic steroids took precedence.

By the time the inquest on the defeat by India resumed yesterday, the passing of 24 hours had lent a different perspective. The performance had not improved - no chance of that because 125 all out is woeful on any pitch - but they had dusted themselves down and could think of starting all over again. What happened against India was in the past, what might happen against Australia was the future.

"I think it's ideal to have the kind of gap we've got between games," said Paul Collingwood, almost alone in acquitting himself adequately in England's opening match of the Champions Trophy. "You can recover and regroup and, certainly when you've lost, it's better to have a bit of time to talk, learn lessons, see where you can improve."

There seems to have been a collective decision in the squad to talk up the game against Australia, a must- win affair for progress in this competition, while talking down its relevance to the Ashes. Collingwood did not quite toe the party line. "Australia have some points to prove and they have the opportunity on Saturday to do that," he said. "It's always exciting when you play against Australia because they're the best side in the world, more so because the Ashes are coming up."

There is then a twin incentive: beat Australia and the chance of making the semi-final of the Champions Trophy increases, as well as laying down an early Ashes marker. England cannot, in truth, have it all ways. In 2005, they made much of the effect of one-day victories in the 2004 Champions Trophy in England and an overwhelming Twenty20 victory at the start of the Ashes summer.

The nature of the pitches on which the matches are being played, in both Jaipur and Mumbai, has rightly occasioned some harsh criticism. Neither has been conducive to run-scoring and if the tracks at Ahmedabad and Mohali, where the next phase will be played, follow suit, the entertainment factor will slide further. "Crowds and people watching television want to see runs scored, but these low-scoring, tight games can be interesting," Collingwood said. "Batsmen have to be determined, graft it out." Maybe, but it was not why one-day cricket was invented.

As an ambassador for UK Sport, along with the likes of Paula Radcliffe and Jonny Wilkinson, Collingwood keeps abreast of the rules governing drugs. He understood the problems confronting the Pakistan bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, who have been sent home from India after testing positive, but hardly sympathised. "It can be frightening sometimes," he said. "[But] every team has doctors, and so on, and in the end it's up to the player to check these things."

* England's chairman of selectors, David Graveney, said yesterday that he was "very confident" that the opener Marcus Trescothick would play a full part during the Ashes series.

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower