Colly wobbles at thought of Windies
Paul Collingwood’s one blemish as captain in England’s triumphant 2010 World Twenty20 campaign was an opening loss to hosts West Indies.
It was Collingwood’s second World T20 defeat to them as skipper in a year, having been knocked out of their own tournament by the Windies.
Both losses were hard on England, who posted strong totals only for rain to leave their opponents chasing Duckworth/Lewis adjusted targets. In 2009 at the Oval what would have been 162 was 80 in nine overs and the next year at Guyana 192 became 60 in six overs.
West Indies are again England’s World T20 opponents today, at the start of the Super Eight stage, boasting similar big-hitting potential and the additional spin threat of Sunil Narine. Collingwood believes the other bowers can be targeted, but England should be wary of batsmen like Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard.
“I think they are a really difficult team to beat,” he told ecb.co.uk. “They’re a team that you’re very worried about because of the firepower that they’ve got.
“Their bowling, bar Narine, isn’t an attack where you’re too scared. But with the batting line-up, it’s a game that the bowlers will go into quite nervous because they know what they can do in terms of the power and impact that they can have on the game.
“You know you've got to get the likes of Chris Gayle out early and Pollard too because they can take the game away from you.”
In 2009 Collingwood’s side responded to defeats by the Netherlands and South Africa by immediately beating Pakistan and India respectively in a topsy-turvy tournament for the hosts.
A year later, having lost to the Windies and endured a no-result versus Ireland, they began the Super Eights with a victory over Pakistan - the first of five straight wins.
In light of England’s 90-run setback to India at Colombo’s Premadasa Stadium on Sunday, Collingwood knows how Stuart Broad’s team must approach matters at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
“They’ve got a good record and in the last seven or eight games have played some fantastic cricket,” he said.
“I don’t think that one defeat will get them panicking or changing their approach or tactics or anything like that. Hopefully it hasn’t dented their confidence. It shouldn’t do really.
“The India game was a tough total to chase down and in this form of the game you’ve got to make sure the confidence levels are as high as possible. I’m sure they’ve been doing everything possible that mentally they’re very confident going into it.”
India posted 170 for four versus England, who in their previous match amassed 196 for five against Afghanistan on the back of Luke Wright’s unbeaten 99.
The latter display, which earned a 116-run victory, demonstrated similar intent to Collingwood’s winners in 2010.
“They’ve just got to play good cricket again, play confident cricket again,” he continued. “We’ve never won anything in the past by playing conservative cricket. The one time we said ‘look, let’s err on the side of aggression’, we actually won something.
“People might get disappointed that we lost against India the way we did, but you’re going to have results like that because you want the players to go out there with aggression and put bowlers under a lot of pressure.
“Now and then you’re going to get a performance like that but you’ve just got to make sure, when you’re in world cups, that you err on the side of aggression.
“We’ve got to make sure that we have the right attitude and doing the right things. I think we’ve got the skills in the side to be able to beat any team in the tournament, but now’s the time to stand up and be counted.”