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Collingwood Revels In Feelgood Factor

By on June 5, 2009

icc world twenty20 Paul Collingwood

Captain Paul Collingwood says England will enter the ICC World Twenty20 with quiet confidence they can triumph on home soil and end their wait to win a major international trophy.

Wednesday’s outstanding nine-wicket warm-up hammering of West Indies at Lord’s, when Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright shared a 119-run opening stand off only 75 balls, has strengthened England’s understated belief they could upset the odds and win the tournament on home soil.

India, South Africa and Australia have been installed as favourites for the 17-day tournament, which finishes at Lord’s on June 21, but England believe they have the necessary firepower to trouble even the best teams.

“(Beating West Indies) gave everybody a realisation that we can do pretty well,” enthused Collingwood. “Having a performance like that does bring a lot of confidence.

“But we’re not going to get carried away by everything and we know we’re going to have to play to our absolute potential to get to those semi-finals, but there’s a lot of confidence around at the moment and it’s all good – there’s a real feelgood factor in the team.”

As hosts, England will open the tournament against the Netherlands at Lord’s tomorrow followed by a meeting with Pakistan at The Oval on Sunday.

Assuming they are one of two teams to qualify for the next stage, their reward is possibly the toughest route to the semi-finals with matches against South Africa, Australia and holders India predicted in the next stage.

But regardless of the scale of the challenge ahead of them, England’s preparation has gone well and skills and tactics picked up from the Indian Premier League – in particular going around the wicket to a right-handed batsman towards the end of the innings to limit his scoring options – have been incorporated.

“We believe we can win it,” said Collingwood. “I’m not saying we will win it because I don’t want to put pressure on the boys by saying we’ll win it.

“We believe we can and I’m quite happy with the boys keeping their feet on the ground and we’re going to have to play to our absolute best if we’re going to win it so at the moment I’m quite happy with the position we’re in.

“I’m not going to come out with any big statements, but we believe as a team that it’s a great opportunity for us. Twenty20 cricket brings teams closer together and anything can happen on the day – if you produce performances like Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright did then you’re going to win games.”

During their two warm-up matches England have also revealed other tactics, including giving medium-pacer Dimitri Mascarenhas the new ball against Scotland and Stuart Broad attempting to distract the batsman by running in on a mazy line.

But the ploy which has been most successful has been the idea to go around the wicket and slant the ball across right-handed batsmen at the end of the innings, which both West Indies and Scotland struggled to combat in the warm-up games.

Collingwood developed the idea following a chat with one of the Delhi Daredevils analysts during his stint with them in the IPL and texted both Broad and James Anderson on his return asking them to practise in anticipation of this tournament.

“I mentioned it to them about five weeks ago asking them to practise it,” revealed Collingwood. “It’s just another plan we’ve got in our locker, really, as the situations come along and we might use it, we might not.

“It’s a death option, it’s trying to make the batsman hit where your fielders are. It pretty much takes 90 degrees of the ground out because normally yorkers over the wicket can go in this format of the game.

“People are sweeping and reverse sweeping much better now so it’s hard for a captain to stop the flow of runs. We’ve done a little bit of it in practice, but I think we were a bit surprised about it the other night and we did start to think that it could work.”

Source: ECB

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