England v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20, 1st Semi-Final, St Lucia May 12, 2010

Collingwood confident of resurgent England

48

There will be no rousing speech or chest-thumping patriotism from Paul Collingwood when England take the field for their semi-final against Sri Lanka because he doesn't think his team needs it. The prospect of securing a place in their first major final since 2004 is motivation enough.

"The guys are ready; they are excited," he said. "If there was a feeling around the camp that the guys are nervous or anything like that then maybe something would have to be said. But the guys are so focused in the jobs they've got to do, roles they've got to play. We'll have a team meeting tonight, but let me tell you I'm not going to come out with any rip-roaring speech."

England have been the surprise package at this tournament (Australia were always going to get the hang of Twenty20 eventually) and there has been a supreme confidence about their play since a nerve-wracking evening in Guyana when they feared a short run chase would give Ireland a chance of piping them. That would have been a cruel exit and since then they have shown how far they have developed as a Twenty20 unit.

From the power-packed top order led by the selfless styles of Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter to the in-form middle order of Kevin Pietersen (who is due back in the Carribbean on Wednesday afternoon after being at the birth of his first child) and Eoin Morgan right down to the allrounders in Luke Wright and Tim Bresnan who have contributed important innings England have their batting bases covered. With the ball the seamers have held their own while the spin duo of Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy have excelled. In the field they have been as sharp as anyone, barring perhaps the Australians.

They have also shown an adaptability and quickness-of-thinking that hasn't always been an attribute of England's one-day cricket. When the batting suffered mini wobbles against West Indies and New Zealand there was calm consolidation before the accelerator was pushed again - on both occasions by Morgan. With the ball there has been no one-dimensional game plan and the only aspect we have yet to see is how flexible the batting line-up can be and how the bowlers react of a sustained onslaught.

"This is certainly the most powerful England side that I've played in, definitely," Collingwood said. "When you look at all the guys going down to probably number ten, everyone can hit sixes, so also what the guys are doing with the ball, a lot of credit has to go to them as well because they are thinking for themselves a lot.

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

Collingwood has admitted he feared for England's future in the tournament as Duckworth-Lewis played a major part in Guyana and all he wanted was a chance for his team to show their full potential.

"It hasn't surprised me at all, but we've got to take all that talent we've got on the team sheet out into the middle," he said. "Thankfully, we've done that [so far]. 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 kickstarted us into something special."

This is England's second semi-final in a row after they reached the same stage at the Champions Trophy in September. On that occasion they were hammered by nine wickets against Australia, but there is now a far more confident air about the side.

"I think the belief is the key thing," Collingwood said. "We have done a few different things in training, there have been a couple of different selections that have proved crucial as well and overall that has given the side a lot of belief in areas that we were probably a little bit weaker. Once you see these guys on the team sheet its kind of, oh, we can take the opposition on now."

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 13, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    the better team is sir Lanka there will win

  • S.Rizwan on May 13, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Australia and England both have played well throughout the tournament and they deserve to be in the finals.i would love to see KP and Morgan bat well today. England should bat first and send Morgan up the order to score a quick fire 40-50.all d best England.

  • Vazzy_09 on May 13, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    I think England are the one team who'll return home with the cup this year. They have done badly in all the ICC events so far but things are looking different for them this time around. Go KP and co send another subcontinent team home.

  • on May 13, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    SL is in good form as showed against India, toss will be crucial. I think SL is favorite today...

  • layya on May 13, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    it's true England has been consistent all along the tournament unlike Sri Lanka and they deserve the cup.But Sri Lanka is the most unpredictable cricket playing nation.they can crash for the lowest total imaginable 2day and play a massive inning next day.SL have players like that.England's new found batting line up is way better but still lacks tons of experience against SL. Most of them haven't even played malinga and mendis.Jayasuriya has a long history against India and England coming into form after a run drought.If he gets going it'll b a disaster.not to mention Dilshan.If England's gonna win essentially they have to bat first.If SL bat first and put up a total more than 160 end is so predictable.hope the better performer wins and we'll see a great cricket match tonight.

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 13, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Sri Lanka have a better side and will beat England. England are over-rated here and Sri Lanka are under-rated. Sri Lanka have only lost one match - to Australia - and they came closer than anyone else to winning, having them 6/60 before a big recovery. I think that Sri Lanka will win this and they, not England, will be a real challenge to Australia for the title.

  • not-fan-but-fanatic on May 13, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    i think we shud luk at which teams bowlers deliver...the batting luks solid for both....on england's note i hope that both dilshan and jayawardane dont fire 2gtr.....which i think wud be the only way aussies can evn wait for one tough match in the finals

  • on May 13, 2010, 13:15 GMT

    ENGLAND HAD A VERY GUD CHANCE TO WIN THIS CUP. THEY WILL FACE SOME GREAT SL SPINNERS THAT CAN CREATE PROLEM FOR THEM.

    IN THE END THE TEAM THAT CAN PLAY UNDER PRESSURE AND DIDNT MISS CHANCES WILL BE IN THE FINAL.

    ENGLAND 47% CHANCE TO WIN( WEAKNESS TO PLAY SPIN) SRI LANKAN: 53% CAHNCE TO WIN.

  • on May 13, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    though St. Lucia pitch might support lankans a bit more but my intuition says this time its gonna be England in finals..

  • on May 13, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    I think opening partnership is very cruicial for any game of cricket, even it is test cricket, 50 over cricket or T20 cricket. As such team management at St Lucia should give careful consideration to every aspect of the game and past performance of the openers in this very tournament and pick the most suitable opening berth for this all imporant match. My choice of opening combination is Jayawarene and Dilshan. The middle order should be strengthen with a young batsman rather than 40 year old. No one is indespensible for that matter. Sri Lanka should include four specialist bawlers viz. Malinga, Randiv, Mendis and Kulasekera, two alarounders i.e. Matthews and Thisara Perera and 5 specilists batsmen viz. Mahela, Dilshan, Sangakkara, Kapugedara and Dinesh Chandimal or Chinthaka Jayasinghe. Congratulations Sri Lanka!

  • on May 13, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    the better team is sir Lanka there will win

  • S.Rizwan on May 13, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Australia and England both have played well throughout the tournament and they deserve to be in the finals.i would love to see KP and Morgan bat well today. England should bat first and send Morgan up the order to score a quick fire 40-50.all d best England.

  • Vazzy_09 on May 13, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    I think England are the one team who'll return home with the cup this year. They have done badly in all the ICC events so far but things are looking different for them this time around. Go KP and co send another subcontinent team home.

  • on May 13, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    SL is in good form as showed against India, toss will be crucial. I think SL is favorite today...

  • layya on May 13, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    it's true England has been consistent all along the tournament unlike Sri Lanka and they deserve the cup.But Sri Lanka is the most unpredictable cricket playing nation.they can crash for the lowest total imaginable 2day and play a massive inning next day.SL have players like that.England's new found batting line up is way better but still lacks tons of experience against SL. Most of them haven't even played malinga and mendis.Jayasuriya has a long history against India and England coming into form after a run drought.If he gets going it'll b a disaster.not to mention Dilshan.If England's gonna win essentially they have to bat first.If SL bat first and put up a total more than 160 end is so predictable.hope the better performer wins and we'll see a great cricket match tonight.

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 13, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Sri Lanka have a better side and will beat England. England are over-rated here and Sri Lanka are under-rated. Sri Lanka have only lost one match - to Australia - and they came closer than anyone else to winning, having them 6/60 before a big recovery. I think that Sri Lanka will win this and they, not England, will be a real challenge to Australia for the title.

  • not-fan-but-fanatic on May 13, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    i think we shud luk at which teams bowlers deliver...the batting luks solid for both....on england's note i hope that both dilshan and jayawardane dont fire 2gtr.....which i think wud be the only way aussies can evn wait for one tough match in the finals

  • on May 13, 2010, 13:15 GMT

    ENGLAND HAD A VERY GUD CHANCE TO WIN THIS CUP. THEY WILL FACE SOME GREAT SL SPINNERS THAT CAN CREATE PROLEM FOR THEM.

    IN THE END THE TEAM THAT CAN PLAY UNDER PRESSURE AND DIDNT MISS CHANCES WILL BE IN THE FINAL.

    ENGLAND 47% CHANCE TO WIN( WEAKNESS TO PLAY SPIN) SRI LANKAN: 53% CAHNCE TO WIN.

  • on May 13, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    though St. Lucia pitch might support lankans a bit more but my intuition says this time its gonna be England in finals..

  • on May 13, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    I think opening partnership is very cruicial for any game of cricket, even it is test cricket, 50 over cricket or T20 cricket. As such team management at St Lucia should give careful consideration to every aspect of the game and past performance of the openers in this very tournament and pick the most suitable opening berth for this all imporant match. My choice of opening combination is Jayawarene and Dilshan. The middle order should be strengthen with a young batsman rather than 40 year old. No one is indespensible for that matter. Sri Lanka should include four specialist bawlers viz. Malinga, Randiv, Mendis and Kulasekera, two alarounders i.e. Matthews and Thisara Perera and 5 specilists batsmen viz. Mahela, Dilshan, Sangakkara, Kapugedara and Dinesh Chandimal or Chinthaka Jayasinghe. Congratulations Sri Lanka!

  • h_a_m_a_d on May 13, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    I would love to see England vs Pakistan final a rematch of 1992 world cup final

  • on May 13, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    I hope England will win their major cup. They introduced Cricket to the world but not having even a single major cup under their belt. So no chance better than this. England can make it & we can see the confidence level of English team also.

  • sgulrez on May 13, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    Hi all It is true England deserve to go through ..but SL spinners holds the key and there will b no doubt SL make it 2 in a row..

  • niranjsuresh on May 13, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    it is time to perform Srilankan batting and England bowling , who ever done good job they are going be a winner.

  • Kaaaaaaash on May 13, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    Its a time of test of English Skipper. he shows lots of captancy skills already but he need now to put england into a First place

  • ThinknAct on May 13, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    England have put forth one of their stongest performance in a very long time ... Time for them to aim for just 2 more wins ... All The Best to both teams ...

  • not-fan-but-fanatic on May 13, 2010, 9:15 GMT

    i think its goin to be collingwood who is goin to make the difference.....

  • AJAYs_PyrotechniXX on May 13, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    Go pommies! This has to be one of the strongest English sides ever to take part in an ICC event. I dont think Lankans will be a match for them. It's going to be an Ashes final...wow just so excited to see the english do so well.

  • on May 13, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    I hope we have a cracker of a Semi-Final contest between England and Sri Lanka and may the better team win the match!

  • ABP235 on May 13, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    This England team is somewhat comparable to the 1983 WC winning India team - low on superstars, high on performers. England in the final will be the best bet on Bridgetown if Aussies make the finals. But wait, Pakistan has the history on their side to do the unpredictable and semifinal in St Lucia should be the best bet for Afridi's men, so will it be a Pak-Eng final? Sorry Lankans for not mentioning you in this equation, because you are anyway the form team that wont raise eyebrows if you win. I am talking of upsets here!

  • knighthunter on May 13, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    With Kevin Pietersen back in the line up ... England will surely be a team to contend with .. both teams have strong battling and bowling line ups and i think this match will surely be entertaining !!

  • on May 13, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    I'd love to see Australia vs. England in the final...

  • P_a_t_c_h_a_m_p on May 13, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    England look like they are starting to become a force in the T20 international arena, because of a well balanced team. Having the most solid middle order in the tournament with Pietersen, Morgan and Captain Colly, the only side that will beat them is the Aussies. The bowling has been solid, with Swann Bresnan and Sidebottom all contributing at times with the useful support of Broad and Yardy. Hope for an ASHES final, would be interesting than Another Pakistan final...

  • on May 13, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    exactly...... they were the most consistent team if there were no showers in T20 WC 2010

  • Pablo123 on May 13, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    I believe these guys have a very good chance of winning this cup - they are looking sublime !

  • robbiesilver on May 13, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    England may deserve to go through but they wont! They, like SA have a problem with big moments as evidenced by the drought in trophy cupboard. Unfortunately, they meet an asian side and not a similar side (like NZ or SA) to be able to fight fire with fire. SL will slow roast them.....killing em softly and all that. If Jayawardene gets going, the meaning of that term will become very clear. Good luck and may the best team win!

  • on May 13, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    England is doing well in this tourament.but today they are going to lose against sri lanka.actually batting line up is same strong for both teams.comparativly sri lankan bowling attack is better then england.finally pakistan or australia is going to win the final match.

  • shivanand18 on May 13, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    Vis-a-vis the block titled 'Pietersen raring to go' the second paragraph needs to be corrected to state 'Pietersen left Barbados after England beat South Africa and missed the final Super Eight match against New Zealand and arrives back on Wednesday afternoon.'

  • sherishahmir on May 13, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    In the semis the key for england to put a total of atleast 160 and for that their top players, KP and Marvellous Morgan should deliver again in addition to their underperform captain P Collin who is also a v superb and humble crickter, as seen him in the recent encounters of England. SL is also a bunch of v good and gifted players and performing v consistently in the tournament, as the teams looks balance it would be a v inetersting match, All the best for the both sides and in the end to the cricket faternity as well who are getting entertaining and exciting cricket.

  • nilansl on May 13, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Sri Lanka have good spinners, I don't think England will play well to the spinners.Only Paul Collingwood perform well aganst Sri Lanka he is the key.And also without Kevin Pietersen England can't win this match.

  • Nayeem_Kohir on May 13, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    England will win this tournment as most of their batsmen, including their best and one of the best in the world Kevin Pietersen are in form. Sri Lankans have not been consistent and England can choke Jayawadene by bowling in good areas and not giving him width to hit the ball. Circumstances do point to an England Vs Pakistan final though Pakistan has to come over a resurgent Australian T-20 side in the semi-final. An England Vs Pakistan final would give England a chance to avenge their 1992 defeat against Pakistan, but Pakistan still look favorite to win against England despite their loss during the Super Eight stage of the tournment.

  • nitingarg25 on May 13, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    Considering the current form of England and the fighting spirit of SL, I m sure it will be treat to watch. KP would be major factor since Eng batting revolves around him however Morgan and Wright are also good.

    No Doubt, Eng can win this match if batting first. if SL batting first and put a score of arond 180 then I guess Eng batting order can collapse.

  • on May 13, 2010, 2:52 GMT

    With no doubt, this team is a perfect combination of experienced and young players together which we have very rarely seen in the English team. I'm quite sure these guys will pose a great threat to OZ in this tournament and the upcoming Ashes as well!

  • BillyCC on May 13, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    If Collingwood is talking about this being the most powerful batting T20 side he has been in, then he is probably right, because this has been the only successful side that England has produced in the T20 format. But in terms of overall teams including bowling, the 2005 bowling attack of Flintoff, Jones, Harmison and Hoggard is much much more powerful than this lot. Now there is an attack that could truly blast out an opposition in a T20 game.

  • Indus11 on May 13, 2010, 1:51 GMT

    Good Luck England - hope you win. By the way - it does that big a man to admit that Pakistan's win over South Africa ensured you got to the semi-final - taking the pressure off you guys against New Zealand. All I have read is how you people helped Pakistan. It was in fact Pakistan who helped you. Don't believe me? Just look at what would have happened if South Africa had won. They would have had the same points as England and the pressure would have been on! Right? No ?

  • kingkarthik on May 13, 2010, 1:28 GMT

    Hoping and praying for a miracle, but have a bad feeling that England wiil mess it up. Please don't get bogged down by the spinners, no half measures and remember that against Sri lanka on a slow pitch, England are the true underdogs.

  • Partyman on May 13, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    Not confident of England's chances. Despite their form so far, I am not entirely convinced about their "invincibility". Taking nothing away from them, they have not played any team as strong as Sri Lanka and Australia so far in this tournament. Especially given the strong bowling attack of the Sri Lankans, I can only see them in the finals on the 16th. Hope I am wrong though.

  • shaen on May 12, 2010, 22:52 GMT

    They do deserve to be in the final game not just the finals. So we Australians can beat them with luck. They are the two best teams by a mile and anything less than an 'Ashes' final would be a disappointment to both countrys and teams.

  • jawana on May 12, 2010, 21:49 GMT

    I don't see England even making it tough for SL because of the slow pitch and dangerous SL spin attack. SL will easily win this...

  • on May 12, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    All the best to my English boys! We deserve to win this tournament because we have been the most consistent unit. I hope KP makes it safely back in the Caribbean and that he could put on another fantastic performance against the Sri Lankans as he did against the South Africans. I hope the team also continues in their fine all-round performance especially in the fielding department which I think holds the key to winning the semi-final. We English supporters, look forward to playing the finals against the mighty Australians where we are going to prove to the world that we are the new world number 1 team! Come on England.. From all of us here in Trinidad and Tobago ;-)

  • on May 12, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    England is gonna win this thing

  • concordeboad on May 12, 2010, 19:49 GMT

    England and Australia have been the most impressive sides of the tournament for me and I'm not just saying that because I am an England supporter. It would be fitting if those two meet in the final on Sunday as they deserve to do. Knowing my luck Sri Lanka and Pakistan will play the games of thier lives and knock the two in form sides out.

  • xylo on May 12, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    England should reach the finals quite easily. But, they haven't really been exposed of their weak link - Sidebottom, whose replacement is a laughable Anderson. Whoever they play against in the finals - Australia, who are on course, or Pakistan, who can raise their game when it matters, will pounce on this weak link in the finals!

  • CricketingStargazer on May 12, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    England have got the short straw with Sri Lanka. It's the one side that could hit 250 (or crash for 80). If Sri Lanka fire there is no more dangerous team in the Semi-Finals. However, their inconsistency means that England must start favourites: it seems that the side knows no fear now.

  • Adarsh_P on May 12, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    All the best guys !! Would like to see England wint the trophy... ( A disppointed Indian fan )

  • jawana on May 12, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    Well, I don't see Eng pass through this tough test against SL keeping in view the slowish pitch, the dangerous SL spin attack, Eng weakness against quality spin and weak English bowling. Whereas, I can see SL batsmen getting easy runs on this track as yesterday they showed against India. England played well against NZ but there is huge difference between NZ and SL bowling attack.

  • on May 12, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    English and Aussie final- they were the best teams

  • vickysb4u on May 12, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    All the best England! you guys deserve to be in the finals.

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  • vickysb4u on May 12, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    All the best England! you guys deserve to be in the finals.

  • on May 12, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    English and Aussie final- they were the best teams

  • jawana on May 12, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    Well, I don't see Eng pass through this tough test against SL keeping in view the slowish pitch, the dangerous SL spin attack, Eng weakness against quality spin and weak English bowling. Whereas, I can see SL batsmen getting easy runs on this track as yesterday they showed against India. England played well against NZ but there is huge difference between NZ and SL bowling attack.

  • Adarsh_P on May 12, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    All the best guys !! Would like to see England wint the trophy... ( A disppointed Indian fan )

  • CricketingStargazer on May 12, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    England have got the short straw with Sri Lanka. It's the one side that could hit 250 (or crash for 80). If Sri Lanka fire there is no more dangerous team in the Semi-Finals. However, their inconsistency means that England must start favourites: it seems that the side knows no fear now.

  • xylo on May 12, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    England should reach the finals quite easily. But, they haven't really been exposed of their weak link - Sidebottom, whose replacement is a laughable Anderson. Whoever they play against in the finals - Australia, who are on course, or Pakistan, who can raise their game when it matters, will pounce on this weak link in the finals!

  • concordeboad on May 12, 2010, 19:49 GMT

    England and Australia have been the most impressive sides of the tournament for me and I'm not just saying that because I am an England supporter. It would be fitting if those two meet in the final on Sunday as they deserve to do. Knowing my luck Sri Lanka and Pakistan will play the games of thier lives and knock the two in form sides out.

  • on May 12, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    England is gonna win this thing

  • on May 12, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    All the best to my English boys! We deserve to win this tournament because we have been the most consistent unit. I hope KP makes it safely back in the Caribbean and that he could put on another fantastic performance against the Sri Lankans as he did against the South Africans. I hope the team also continues in their fine all-round performance especially in the fielding department which I think holds the key to winning the semi-final. We English supporters, look forward to playing the finals against the mighty Australians where we are going to prove to the world that we are the new world number 1 team! Come on England.. From all of us here in Trinidad and Tobago ;-)

  • jawana on May 12, 2010, 21:49 GMT

    I don't see England even making it tough for SL because of the slow pitch and dangerous SL spin attack. SL will easily win this...