Collingwood sets sights on Caribbean
Paul Collingwood’s official mandate as England’s Twenty20 captain may only last until tomorrow, but he is already planning on taking on the world in the West Indies next year.
Collingwood captained the side in this summer’s ICC World Twenty20 on home soil and was again handed the job for the two-game series against Australia, which started with yesterday’s washout at Old Trafford and continues tomorrow night at the same ground.
And Collingwood is keen to lead the side to the Caribbean for the next World Twenty20 in April.
“I’m pretty clear on my role,” said Collingwood. “I was captain for the World Twenty20 and I’ve been selected as captain for the two Twenty20s against Australia. So until I’m told otherwise, I want to lead England into the next Twenty20 World Cup.
“I’m happy with that arrangement - and unless someone tells me otherwise, I look forward to my job captaining the side.”
One effect of Collingwood’s continued captaincy of the team has been his decision to remove himself from his favoured backward-point position. The 33-year-old has long been considered one of the world’s best in that area.
Asked whether he would consider returning to his traditional position, Collingwood said: “No, I couldn’t do it. When I was captaining the one-dayers I found it hard to captain from backward-point. It was too difficult with the angles and communicating the bowlers.
“So it’s a position I’ve had to give away – someone younger can dive around in there now. Joe Denly has done wonderfully well there for Kent.”
Collingwood had more encouraging words for Denly, who hit 67 on his ODI debut against Ireland last week before adding a first-ball duck in Manchester.
Denly got out taking on a Brett Lee short ball, but Collingwood was happy with the intent - if not the execution.
“I’m glad he’s got the belief and confidence to go for a shot like that,” he said. “It didn’t come off, but that’s the kind of attitude and approach you want from a Twenty20 player who is going to be opening the batting.
“You’ve got to try and take on the bowlers, but it didn’t come off for him. You have to give people some time to find their feet. Obviously it was his first game - and when we came out of the World Twenty20, we looked at areas we wanted to improve.
“One of the areas we identified was the middle order, having some bigger hitters down there, so we dropped Luke Wright down to cover that.
“There was a space at the top - and looking at Joe Denly and Jonathan Trott’s records domestically, it doesn’t get any better than that. So we’re giving them the chance to do it internationally.”