Collingwood turns attention to Ashes

ICC World Twenty20 2009

Paul Collingwood & West Indies

Paul Collingwood is dejected while West Indies celebrate, but the England skipper is now focusing on the Ashes

Paul Collingwood is confident England can bounce back from their ICC World Twenty20 exit and focus their disappointment on reclaiming the Ashes in the coming weeks.

England slumped to a five-wicket defeat under the Duckworth/Lewis regulations against West Indies at The Oval last night to send them crashing out of the tournament and Chris Gayle's side into the semi-finals.

It was a crushing disappointment for an England side who have gradually improved since their shock opening defeat to Holland, but captain Collingwood believes the unity they have demonstrated through the tournament will serve them well when he hands the captaincy back to Andrew Strauss for the Ashes.

"I guess part of my job as captain is to keep the same kind of team ethos when Straussy hasn't been involved in the Twenty20," said Collingwood. "The important part of my job during this tournament was to keep the togetherness, working for each other and back each other up as players.

"I think we've continued to do that, I think we've got stronger during the tournament and thankfully when I give the reins back to Straussy I'm sure the boys will still be in good spirits and be determined to do well.

"Although we got beaten and knocked out of the tournament, I think the boys will be focused on what's coming up now.

"There's been a lot of talk about the Ashes and in the past few weeks the guys have been 100% concentrating on this but now it really is time to get their bodies, their minds and their skills right to beat the Aussies in the Ashes."

England's hopes of winning their first major one-day tournament faltered on rain interruptions, which left West Indies facing a target of 80 off nine overs which they secured with four balls to spare.

"I'm very proud of the guys, to be honest," said Collingwood. "The way they've fought all the way through the tournament has been a rollercoaster ride for us, but they showed fighting spirit all the way through.

"At one point in that game I thought we had a real chance of winning it and to get yourselves in that sort of position shows that we've got a lot of character in the side because it's not easy defending a total like that off nine overs.

"There were a lot of positives to come out of the whole tournament. Consistency wasn't there, but certainly from my point of view we're certainly improving in that form of the game and the guys can be very proud of themselves."

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