EXCLUSIVE: Buttler and Morgan can fire England to World T20 glory, says Collingwood
22:41 GMT, 16 September 2012
England will set about defending their World Twenty20 crown this week with a timely endorsement ringing in their ears.
According to Paul Collingwood, the team that has arrived in Sri Lanka is better than the one he led to glory in the Caribbean more than two years ago.
It is some call. Kevin Pietersen, player of the tournament in 2010, has been ostracised.
Edge of glory: Jos Buttler can take England to World T20 victory according to Paul Collingwood
The international career of Ryan Sidebottom, their joint-leading wickettaker in that competition, is finished.
And Mike Yardy, whose dart-like slow left-armers cost only 6.80 runs an over, is no longer part of the set-up after suffering from depression.
But Collingwood, who remains the only man to have captained England to a global trophy, is adamant that Stuart Broad's side – currently top of the world rankings – have got every chance of repeating the heist he engineered in the West Indies.
'The players involved last time round have improved by two years,' he told Sportsmail.
'Some of them have had experience in the Big Bash and the IPL and other high-pressure situations, and they understand the Twenty20 game a lot more. I honestly think it's a better team than it was last time. I think we've got a great chance.'
Central to England's hopes, Collingwood believes, will be Eoin Morgan, who now supplies the middle order X factor in Pietersen's absence, as well as Jos Buttler, suddenly feted as a match-winner after his extraordinary 10-ball 32 not out against South Africa at Edgbaston.
'Up until then everybody was questioning whether Buttler was good enough, but all of a sudden you've just won a game in 10 balls for England,' said Collingwood.
He's not bad either! Eoin Morgan has been in great form for England of late
Ostracised: Kevin Pietersen was the player of the tournament when England won in 2010
'That will give everyone a lot of confidence. And when you've got the quality of Eoin Morgan, these guys can do what KP did last time round – they can win not just games but World Cups.'
But would Collingwood, 36, who will represent Perth Scorchers at South Africa's Twenty20 Champions League next month, want Pietersen in his side if he were still captain
'I think people forget KP made the decision himself,' he said. 'Everyone is embroiled in what's gone on recently, but KP decided not to play Twenty20 a few months ago, so the planning for this was way back – before everything that's gone on in the Tests.'
England's success in 2010, when they overcame a sticky start to win successive matches against Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and, in the final, Australia, was in part the product of meticulous planning.
The team analyst Nathan Leamon worked out, for example, that bouncers were more effective in Twenty20 than yorkers – and Collingwood quickly worked out that slow bouncers in particular would best exploit the often windy conditions.
Good knock: Buttler hit 32 runs off 10 balls against South Africa
They also opted for Sidebottom ahead of Jimmy Anderson after Collingwood noticed the impact left-arm seamers had been having in the IPL.
And opener Michael Lumb was given free rein in the first six overs.
'If everyone in the team understands what their roles are, then if people make a mistake it's not frowned upon,' said Collingwood.
'They've got to make sure they get everyone in the right positions as early as they can.
'But Stuart's got a very sharp brain. He understands the good things we did last time, and I'm sure he'll take them into this tournament. He'll also have his own ideas about what to do. I'll be excited watching it.'
Paul Collingwood is ambassador for Clydesdale Bank's Howzat! campaign. To win 1000 for your cricket club visit: facebook.com/ClydesdaleBankCricket.
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