Strauss dismisses Colly wobbles
Returning skipper Andrew Strauss is confident Paul Collingwood can put his barren run of form in Australia behind him during the Commonwealth Bank Series.
Collingwood has been the notable exception on a tour when England's batsmen have otherwise made hay Down Under.
Despite that, Strauss expects Collingwood’s form will improve over the course of a seven-match series, which starts in Melbourne tomorrow.
“He’s been a bit out of touch in the Test matches, but it’s a very different form of the game," said Strauss, who will lead England after sitting out the T20s - an international format he does not play in.
"His record in one-day cricket over the last year has been very good. He brings a lot to the side apart from his batting - but his batting is crucial to us.
“We’re expecting him to come back strong. He’s a strong character and resilient bloke. There have been plenty of incidences in the past where he has come back with a bang."
With England set to announce their World Cup squad on Wednesday, it would be a major surprise if Collingwood's name was not among the list of 15 names.
But, should he continue to struggle with the bat, the veteran of 189 one-day internationals could find it difficult to keep his place in the side for the World Cup.
Competition for places in England's batting line-up is fierce, with Kevin Pietersen looking to get back into the team after being dropped for the NatWest Series against Pakistan in September.
Ian Bell has strengthened his claims for a regular place following his rich tour, while Jonathan Trott also impressed in the Ashes.
"There’s a lot of competition for places," Strauss added. "Kevin Pietersen’s back in the squad and we all know what he can bring to the one-day team.
"Someone’s got to miss out, out of the batsmen. It will be a tough call but I think that’s a good position to be in.
"They all bring different attributes to their game - you have to include Paul Collingwood in the mix as well - and we have to decide what’s the best use of those attributes in Australia and at the World Cup as well."
Despite the pressure on him, Collingwood vowed to turn his fortunes around to ensure his place in England's first World Cup game against the Netherlands on February 22.
"I'm obviously disappointed with my form," he said. "I can't get away from the fact that I haven't scored many runs in Australia so far.
"But things go around in cycles in terms of form whether it be on a personal note or a team note.
"I know I'll come good again. It just takes that one score to come around and hopefully go back up on that cycle."