Tomorrow at Lord's Paul Collingwood will lead England into the first match of the World Twenty20, a second coming for him in the role and one regained perhaps reluctantly and probably by default. This time around, he, if not his team, might just thrive, writes Mike Selvey in the Guardian.

It is almost certainly that brief time spent with the IPL in South Africa – rather than any overwhelming ambition or belief that, as he is over the trauma that affected his Test career, it is fine to resume the role that contributed to the trauma – which has convinced him that there would be no harm in leading the side again for what is a very limited period of time in any case. This will be more a working holiday than an encumbrance.

In the same paper Kevin Mitchell daydreams about how it would be if an England player gave as his prediction of the upcoming series with Australia, "Five-nil England – unless it rains".

It was Glenn McGrath's serial wind-up – with his own team replacing England of course – and it came painfully true in Australia in 2007, but I would back Ravi Bopara some time soon to mouth those cheeky words. Three Test centuries in a row did much for the Essex batsman's confidence, but they did even more for that of the selectors. They now believe in Bopara as much as he does himself. If he gets in the face of Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson – the only language they understand – anything is possible.

To Mike Atherton in the Times Dirk Nannes, who will spearhead Netherlands' attack in the World Twenty20, is something of a throwback to a time when sport could accommodate men with a varied hinterland, who were not prepared to be suffocated by the blinkered demands of professionalism.
Now it would be impossible for a precociously talented schoolboy to play two leading sports at the highest level because they are funnelled down a specialist path sooner than ever before. Football academies suck in the most talented at 9 years old and spit most out at 16. Cricket is a 12-month option for the brightest and best schoolboys. Eating, drinking and sleeping cricket is the order of the day at academies, which excludes those who would rather dabble at other things for a while, or indeed the late developers.

Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo