Collingwood is mentally ready
Paul Collingwood hopes England’s momentum will not be disrupted if he is called upon to deputise for Simon Jones at The Oval in the final Test of the summer against Australia.
Collingwood, 29, was called-up into a 13-man squad for the match which could see England win the Ashes for the first time in nearly 20 years.
The Durham all-rounder is a regular in England’s one-day team, taking a breathtaking catch earlier in the summer, which he believes will help the team if he is in the final XI.
“Hopefully I’ll slot in without too many team-mates realising, that obviously helps playing so much one-day cricket - it helps the whole process,” he said.
“The outside things don’t affect you so much so you can just concentrate on cricket.
“Hopefully, if the chance comes along I’ll slide in and do what I do best - score runs and take one-handed catches.”
With so much resting on getting a win or a draw in the fifth Test, Collingwood admitted to mixed emotions after receiving the call-up.
“I’ve got a few nerves at the minute, you do get a little bit nervous and think what could and couldn’t happen,” he added.
“But once you get down there, settle down and get in the full swing of things you enjoy the occasion, that’s what we’ve done in the last few years so I’ll continue in that vain.”
However, Collingwood believes James Anderson may have a better chance of selection if Jones does not recover from his injury.
“I think they will go in with the same policy as they have done for the past few years, I’m not the person to decide whether that’s with me in the side or not,” Collingwood added.
“Duncan Fletcher and Michael Vaughan will know their side if Simon Jones is not fit, and I’m just going to have to wait and see.
“They’ve done well in the last couple of years with five bowlers, that obviously goes against my selection but we’ll have to wait and see.
“I’m in good nick, I’m confident at the minute with the runs under my belt, and if called upon I’m ready for it.”
Collingwood today (Sunday) skippered his side to a totesport League victory against Kent, getting news of his call-up before leading his team out to field.
After hitting the winning runs in an eight-wicket victory, he will now start mentally preparing for The Oval.
“You don’t want anyone to get injured, it would be great if the team stayed the same all the way through the Ashes series,” he added.
“It’s quite frustrating waiting around to see if someone is fit or not, but you have to prepare yourself as if you’re going to play.
“I knew before the game and started to mentally prepare myself already for Thursday. It’s great to be involved and to be in and among a squad of 13.
“I’ve always believed I can do a good job at Test match level. I’ve been in the squad, I’ve not played the amount of games I wanted to.
“There’s no bigger game than the one on Thursday to be involved in, so obviously I would look forward to playing in it.”