'Powerful' England chase history

ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010

Craig Kieswetter

The power provided by the likes of Craig Kieswetter has left England in good shape - and good heart - ahead of the semi-final

England hope the successful combination of brain and brawn can sustain them through two more victories, to claim their first world title.

England's barren spell in International Cricket Council tournaments stretches back to the inaugural World Cup 35 years ago.

But today in the ICC World Twenty20, they have another shot at booking their place in a final for the first time since the Champions Trophy at the Brit Oval in 2004.

The confidence which has come from a perfect Super Eight campaign will only be bolstered by the return of Kevin Pietersen, who arrived in St Lucia yesterday following his return home for the birth of his first child.

He rejoins a team in whom captain Paul Collingwood has immense faith.

Collingwood trusts not only their big-hitting, canny bowling and athletic fielding but their ability to produce all those talents at the right time.

"This is certainly the most powerful England side I've played in," said the veteran of 176 one-day internationals, but just 29 Twenty20s.

"When you look at all the guys going down to probably number 10, everyone can hit sixes.

"A lot of credit has to go to the boys for what they are doing with the ball as well, because they are thinking for themselves.

"Whereas maybe in the past they were always kind of guided by the captains, they really are going out there and thinking what the opposition's strengths and weaknesses are and adjusting the fields accordingly. That's been one of the crucial things in our development."

The results have merely been confirmation for Collingwood of the potential he saw - despite a close shave against Ireland during an awkward group phase in rainy Guyana.

"We've got to take all that talent we've got on the team sheet out into the middle,” he added.

Trent Johnston, Niall O'Brien & Craig Kieswetter

Paul Collingwood claims England's scare against Ireland in their second match helped kick-start their World Twenty20 campaign

"Thankfully, we've done that. There were times against Ireland where we were close to going out of the tournament.

"You were thinking, ‘All this potential we've got, and we were nearly going out’.

"We had that little bit of an early scare, which wasn't probably a bad thing because it kick-started us into something special."

England have overpowered most of their opponents, but Collingwood is well aware the bowlers have yet to be put under maximum pressure.

"I guess if someone gets a hold of us, that's probably an area we've got to make sure we really nail down.

"It's not a worry of mine because I think we've got the skills in the bank to be able to do that.

"But nobody has grabbed us - like a Razzaq (for Pakistan) in Abu Dhabi, for example - as yet. If that situation comes around I'm sure one of the bowlers will stick their hands up."

The variety in the Sri Lanka attack is another factor England are wary of.

"Quite a lot of the guys haven't played against the angle of (Lasith) Malinga, his skiddiness, his 'change-ups' - and not many of us have played much against (Ajantha) Mendis.

"When guys are bowling 24 balls at you, you can't give yourself six or seven to get yourself in against them.

"That's one of the things we need to make sure we overcome; we need to watch as much footage as possible and talk about it between ourselves."

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