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Collingwood chastises batsmen

NatWest Series

Owais Shah & Tim Paine

Owais Shah departs run out for 12 at Lord's after a mix-up with Paul Collingwood, who admits the pair need better communication

Paul Collingwood believes England should be 2-0 up rather than trailing by two in the NatWest Series against Australia.

Twice England’s bowlers have restricted the tourists to reasonable scores and twice the batsmen have lost their way in pursuit.

Andrew Strauss’ team appeared to be cruising at 74 without loss, having been set 250 on Sunday, only to lose by 39 runs.

Collingwood, who hit 56 to signal something of a return to form, admitted the problems at the Brit Oval and most latterly Lord’s, were glaringly obvious.

“We definitely should have won both games,” he said. “We can’t beat about the bush.

“We didn’t take advantage of the position we were in. In both games, we have bowled pretty well but we must be honest with ourselves. We’re getting ourselves into winning positions and not taking them.

“That’s up to the top six batters to put in the performances and at the moment we’re not.

“If you could put your finger on why, we’d have done a lot better.

“I wouldn’t say all the batters are out of form or anything like that – we’re just making mistakes at crucial times out in the middle.”

Some shoddy shot selection altered the momentum of the second match and England’s poor position was then compounded by a calamitous run-out between Collingwood and Owais Shah.

Tony Hill, Paul Collingwood & Brett Lee

When Collingwood's brave innings of 56 was ended by Brett Lee, England's defeat in the second one-day international was set in stone at Lord's

“That’s an area that myself and Owais must sort out together – the calling between the wickets,” Collingwood said.

“It’s an important area of the game, sneaking singles, pushing for twos and things like that.

“It’s something you can’t really practise, you must gain an understanding. Whoever you are batting with, you gauge singles on how quick both of you are.

“It’s not a case of I’m quicker than him and that’s the reason we’re getting run out. It’s about communication more than anything.”

England’s other problem during their batting has been when to take their powerplay.

Such was the regular loss of wickets at the weekend, in fact, that last man James Anderson was already at the crease when it was enacted.

Meanwhile, Durham paceman Graham Onions bolsters the bowling options within the squad from today onwards and has also replaced injured all-rounder Andrew Flintoff for the ICC Champions Trophy.

Onions, 27 tomorrow, joins up with the one-day party in Southampton this morning ahead of the third match of seven at the Rose Bowl.

He has yet to play a one-day international but has taken 20 wickets in five npower Tests for England this summer.

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