Collingwood hails Twenty20 milestone
England’s record unbeaten Twenty20 run will be hard to beat, according to captain Paul Collingwood.
Collingwood’s side won their eighth consecutive T20 international today, albeit by one wicket in a thrilling contest against Australia at the Adelaide Oval.
Eoin Morgan’s fluent 43 put the tourists on course to chase 158 but four late wickets for Shane Watson left their last pair needing four from five deliveries.
Last man Ajmal Shahzad took three balls to scramble a single but, with the game seemingly slipping away, debutant Chris Woakes levelled the scores with a square drive for two before hitting the final ball over midwicket to seal victory.
Collingwood believes England's winning sequence, which began during their triumphant World Twenty20 campaign in May last year, could go unbroken for some while.
“It means a lot. It’s a world record,” he said. “We always say we want to create history.
"It’s a new form of the game but, let me tell you, eight wins in this form of the game is something very special.
“It only takes one performance to take it away from you, like Shane Watson nearly did tonight. I can’t see many teams getting close to that in the future.”
England had let a strong position slip as they slipped from 130 for five to 154 for nine, and Collingwood admitted his team were lucky to escape.
“It was a great game. I thought it had everything,” he added. “There was some proper, serious batting throughout the game and at the end we should have seen it through a little easier, but Twenty20 cricket can get a little bit like that at the end.
“I’m delighted with the record as well. It’s a huge achievement for the team.”
Collingwood admitted he knew little about Woakes’ batting ability before the 21-year-old turned match-winner on his senior international bow with 19 not out.
“It was a fantastic performance by him. To be honest I hadn’t seen much of his batting; (team director) Andy Flower said he was a serious batter,” Collingwood added.
“You never know what you are getting with new players but I thought he responded really well on debut and put in a great performance.
“He looks a serious batter. You can say he’s a true all-rounder. He thinks about the game as well and that’s crucial.”
Perhaps the most memorable stroke of Woakes’ 15-ball innings was a pulled six off Shaun Tait, which, Collingwood revealed, earned him instant respect from his team-mates.
“It was incredible,” he added. “Tait had given him some lip the ball before and he’s just said he was expecting it to be a bit short and he got it out the middle.
“Graeme Swann was a bit disappointed (Woakes) was ahead of him (in the batting order) but as soon as he hit that six off Tait, Swanny just doffed his cap at Andy and understood why he was behind him.
“To have a youngster come in and lead us home like that was great, (but) I don’t think we should be leaving it up to him.”
Collingwood was keen to praise Morgan, whose typically resourcesful innings spanned just 33 balls and also contained a huge pulled six, off Brett Lee, in addition to five fours.
"Morgs has been superb in Twenty20 and one-day cricket," Collingwood said.
"We probably keep leaving it up to him a bit too much if we are honest, but he showed his class again.
"He’s been waiting in the wings and is very patient but when it comes to this form of the game he’s a special talent."