London, Oct 10 (UNI) All-rounder Paul Collingwood today laughed off Australian spin legend Shane Warne's prediction of another Ashes whitewash when the old rivals lock horns again in 2009.
Collingwood helped England win back the Ashes in 2005 before being part of the team who slumped to an embarrassing 5-0 defeat Down Under in the 2006-07 series.
Now Warne insists Ricky Ponting's side will cruise to a similar mauling next summer- a belief that Collingwood does not share.
''It's the normal 'verbals' that seem to go on nowadays,'' he said. ''We know where we need to be as a team. We believe we're certainly pulling in the right direction.
''If we can get everybody fit and raring to go and playing well, when the Ashes come around we're going to be a very, very hard team to beat.'' With Kevin Pietersen now captaining the side, after Michael Vaughan stood down from the job, England are in the early stages of a new era.
If Pietersen can maintain his magnificent batting form, and the rest of the team respond to their new leader, England could have a prosperous winter.
With tours of India and West Indies ahead, Collingwood believes England can go into both series with plenty of optimism - particularly after they beat South Africa in the final Test of the summer and then crushed the Proteas in the one-day series.
''When we're on song we can beat anybody,'' he said. ''It's just getting that consistency. It was a great end to the season; it gave everybody a buzz.
''It was a big lift there and if you've got the likes of Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff fit and the way they are, we're going to be a very hard team to beat,'' he added.
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