Collingwood ready to shuffle his pack
England’s fluid ICC World Twenty20 plans mean they can deploy any of their bowlers at any time - including the spin of Graeme Swann with the new ball, if captain Paul Collingwood so wishes.
Collingwood is full of confidence he has all the weapons he needs as a captain ready to think on his feet.
There was no direct suggestion yesterday that off-spinner Swann, or slow left-armer Michael Yardy, is likely to open up against West Indies in England’s first Group D match at the Providence Stadium in Guyana today.
But they clearly believe that in those two spinners, four frontline seamers and a batting order boasting power hitting and precision placement, they have a team for all occasions.
“Depending on who you’re playing against, you’ve maybe got to be versatile enough to start off with Swanny,” said Collingwood.
“It’s definitely something we’ve spoken about, and the guys have been practising with the new ball.
“A lot of teams will be using the spinners inside that first six overs - which sounds mad, with only two (fielders) outside the circle, but it’s a good opportunity to take wickets.”
Swann or Yardy with the new ball is more of a contingency than Plan A.
“That middle period [often of spin] is obviously a key factor too, and one of our strengths is our three-pronged seam attack,” added Collingwood.
“That warm-up game against South Africa (in Barbados last week) was pretty much 100% in terms of the plans we came up with and executed.”
Of England’s seamers - James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Ryan Sidebottom shared most of the warm-up workload - it seems the last-named has impressed most of late.
“‘Sidey’ has done exceptionally well,” said the captain. “Having a left-armer and a different angle is another crucial thing. It’s hard for the right-handed batsmen to get away at the death.
“‘Sidey’ has been brilliant with his yorkers, and the other day he was exceptional at the front against Graeme Smith. He has a really good chance of playing.”