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18-May-2010 05:18:00 GMT
ICC Twenty20 World Cup, 2010

Former England Captains Praise Collingwood's Men

London: Former England captains lavished praise on Paul Collingwood's boys who won the country its first major world title with the ICC World Twenty20 triumph on Sunday.

England were in irrepressible form in the tournament and crushed old foes Australia by seven wickets in the final to win the championship.

Former captain Mike Gatting and Michael Atherton said the English team played positive and aggressive cricket throughout the tournament and that saw them emerge champions.

"Towards the end of the final there, they could have nudged their way through to win by one over," Gatting told BBC Radio Five Live Tuesday.

But no, they carried on playing in a positive manner and won with three overs to spare against a very, very strong Australia side.

Gatting said this England team has been consistent throughout the tournament something they must develop if they are to remain at the top of the world game, with the Ashes series in Australia beginning at the end of the year.

"That's something (consistency) we've been missing in all our cricket for the last 10 years I suppose," said Gatting.

We've managed to beat sides, the best sides at times, but we've never had that consistency that the West Indies had through the 80s and then the Australians through the 90s.

And it really is about the disciplines of doing your jobs, doing the homework and then actually carrying those disciplines out.

He said the victory will lift the confidence of the entire team.

They've done it magnificently well in this tournament. The guys have enjoyed what they've done, the hard work. When you do build that confidence, you get that arrogance you can do the job you need to do.

"If you can keep doing that on a regular basis then your confidence goes sky-high and you expect to do what you do, which is perform at the very highest level on a consistent basis," said Gatting.

Michael Atherton said England were the deserving winners as they were positive and played aggressive cricket.

No one could argue that England did not deserve their triumph yesterday in Bridgetown. They were outstanding, as they have been throughout.

He praised the England's bowling attack as they restricted Australia to 147.

England's attack has more variety and fewer weak links than other countries, Graeme Swann again confirming his excellence in all forms of the game. Once England negotiated Australia's new-ball attack, the result was a formality.

"England's batsmen coped with the bounce better than their counterparts and did not go into their shell as teams often do on the biggest occasions. They had played aggressively throughout," Atherton said.

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