Cricket

No limits on England ODI team believes Paul Collingwood

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Paul Collingwood insists there is "no ceiling" on the collective ability of England's limited-overs team.

Collingwood, captain when England won a global tournament for the only time and a current coaching consultant for Eoin Morgan's tourists in the United Arab Emirates, is convinced of their world-class potential.

The 39-year-old, also a three-time Ashes-winner, sees no reason either why white-ball opener Alex Hales cannot transport his clean-striking methods successfully into Test cricket.

Hales ended a run of poor one-day international scores with a maiden century in Abu Dhabi on Friday as England made it 1-1 with two to play against Pakistan.

He is sure to be retained in England's Test squad next week, to travel to South Africa - and is expected to make his debut as Alastair Cook's new opening partner on Boxing Day.

Hales was England's driving force at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium and is just one member of a squad here in which Collingwood has great faith.

He said: "They're a young group who want to go out and give it their best, and it's fantastic there's no ceiling to them ... the way they can flourish, and the environment.

"It's really exciting for English cricket to have a young set of talented cricketers like this ... we're in a very good, strong place."

England's new management ethos, under England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss, is to ensure limited-overs cricket is no longer a "poor relation" to Tests.

A home World Cup in 2019 has already concentrated minds and Collingwood does not believe success then is a distant dream.

The 2010 ICC World Twenty20-winning captain said: "Ultimately, we have a long-term goal - to win the World Cup.

"We understand there's a lot of development to go on ... and a lot of learning to do.

"That comes from the players themselves.

"The one thing that is working for them is keeping that same aggressive nature from the last two series.

"That should work on most surfaces."

It did in the second ODI against Pakistan, Hales sharing century stands with Jason Roy and Joe Root as England piled up 283 for five in a 95-run victory.

It was a much-needed response to defeat by six wickets at the same venue two days earlier.

"We were disappointed with the way we batted in the first game, but the way we bounced back was superb," added Collingwood.

"It took a lot of guts from the two openers to go out there and take it to the opposition and put them under pressure.

"I thought we got well ahead of the game with that great partnership, and it really set the tone.

"To get to a total like that on that surface was fantastic."

England's top five here have all topped 50 in the series already.

Collingwood said: "Right the way through the batting line-up, it's full of talent.

"Halesy is a talent that can do things other people can't, and that's the kind of guy you want in your team."

Asked whether the 26-year-old can play the same role in Tests, he added: "Yes, quite possibly.

"You've got to find your way to score runs at that level.

"He's shown he's got the temperament, mentality to be really aggressive in one-day cricket - and the mental side of the game is pretty much 90 per cent of playing cricket.

"He's shown he had the guts in this innings to turn it around, and play so well - so Test cricket, why not?"

Collingwood warns nonetheless there will inevitably be setbacks as well as successes along the way.

Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler has learned that the hard way as his batting form has deserted him over the past six months.

Collingwood said: "You've got to get things in perspective.

"For example, Jos Butter - who has gone through a little bit of a lean patch.

"We've really got to keep backing him, because the talent these guys have got is incredible.

"When I was playing, we probably had three or four match-winners ... now we've got eight or nine.

"With someone like Jos Buttler, his future could be as good as AB de Villiers ... you've really got to give them the best chance possible to get there."

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