Paul Collingwood

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Blog Posts by Paul Collingwood

  • We need to keep the momentum going

    Third time lucky for us as far as making the semi-finals in the ICC World Twenty20 goes. I don't know whether it’s the spirit of the Caribbean, but our entry into the semi-finals has not come with the usual pressure of expectations. We are all just excited at making the last four and want to make the most of this opportunity.

     

    Kevin Pietersen is supposed to land in St. Lucia after going home to be with his wife for the birth of their baby boy. He has been in very good touch so far, and it's wonderful to have him back for the games that count.

     

    As captain, I am particularly proud of the way the boys have adapted to various conditions when other teams have been struggling. We started off on the slow wickets of Guyana and then went to the pacy pitches of Barbados before heading to the slower wickets in St. Lucia.

     

    What has worked for us is the way we have used the first six overs both in batting as well as bowling. Craig Kieswetter has been an absolute asset at the top of the order

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  • Gambhir was exceptional

    The win against Chennai was extremely satisfying as it was timely and got us closer to our initial goal of making the semifinals for the third straight year. We now gear up for our all important game against the Deccan Chargers, who must also be feeling recharged after their run chase against Punjab in Dharamsala yesterday.

     

    We will be playing in Delhi once again, and while the last match, against Punjab, did not go our way, we have a fair measure of the wicket and conditions at the Kotla. Against the Kings XI team, the pitch was slower and drier than we expected, and as a result we were unable to put up a good score.

     

    This time round, we have an opportunity to fall back on that experience and get it right. It's really hot in Delhi right now, so the pitch is drying up which makes strokeplay slightly difficult.

     

    The good news is that the team has taken a lot of confidence from our performance against Chennai in their territory. We were asked to bowl first, and Dirk Nannes and

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  • Heat will be a factor

    It's good to be back at home base Delhi after a rather tough outing in Kolkata. Not only was it disappointing to lose the game, it also left me a bit under the weather. Kolkata's humidity meant that I lost a lot of body fluids, but a couple of tablets and some rest has ensured that I am good as new once again.

     

    We play Kings XI Punjab tomorrow in a game that could get us one step closer to the semifinals. The Punjab team have done well in the last week, and have benefited from playing Mahela Jayawardene at the top of the order.

     

    They were low on confidence after a string of losses when we played them earlier, but right now they look like a dangerous team, capable of beating anybody on their day. We know that it's important that we win tomorrow as we do not want to leave our fate hanging till the final game of the league stage.

     

    We have reason to be confident because we have nailed all our last three home games. A lot has been said about the Kotla pitch, but I think it's not as bad

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  • Vettori played an important role

    Three successive wins at home has given us good momentum as we get into our game in Kolkata. The only danger when that happens is that we might relax a little. We have to guard against that and also try and adapt to different pitch and overhead conditions. It's very hot and humid in Kolkata, and the pitch might require us to rethink our combination and our approach.

     

    KKR would be very disappointed at not being able to defend a total of 200 against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday. However, the positive that they would take from that game is the fact that their batsmen are in good nick. The bowlers on the other hand would be a slightly deflated, but that's no reason to take the opposition lightly.

     

    KKR has been strengthened by the arrival of Brendon McCullum, and I won't be surprised if he is pressed into action tomorrow. There are plenty of match-winners in every game, and as Rajasthan proved yesterday, no game is won till the last ball.

     

    Our win over Royal Challengers Bangalore was a

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  • It’s important to play to your strengths

    It's not usual for a 33-year-old to feel nervous, but I did have a few butterflies when I went out to make my IPL debut, against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday. It was spectacular to walk into a ground with thousands of Indian fans cheering for you. I am glad I made a contribution by keeping one end up, but truth be told, David Warner won the game for us with a spectacular knock on a difficult track.

     

    Scoring on the Kotla track was not easy but you would not have guessed if you were watching Warner. It was a slow track and the ball was gripping the surface but Warner played some amazing shots. The result was that we got off to an explosive start, so there was no real need to accelerate in the middle, and we decided to go for broke only in the last five overs.

     

    It was wonderful to see Warner batting, not only for his range of shots, but also for the way he handled the loss of quick wickets at the other end. The fact that he could score on a slightly difficult surface shows that he

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  • There are no real favourites in IPL

    The last fortnight has proved that there are no real favourites in the IPL because every team has the ability and the players to beat any other side. For example, Rajasthan Royals beat an in-form Deccan Chargers the other night to take significant strides up the points table. Since no one team has really forged ahead, it would take a brave man to predict the semifinal line-up at this point.

     

    I landed in Delhi on Thursday, the day Delhi Daredevils registered an impressive win against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bangalore. I started training with the team on Saturday, and it's great to be back with my old mates once again.

     

    It's wonderful that we have won a game after a bit of a rough patch, and judging by the mood in the side, the win against a form side like Bangalore has lifted everybody's spirits and instilled confidence in the group as we look ahead.

     

    We now come up against Kolkata Knight Riders, who would be boosted by their comfortable win against Kings XI Punjab on

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  • T20 is all about critical moments

    Thanks to the telecast of the Indian Premier League games in Bangladesh, I have caught most of the games played by Delhi Daredevils. It was great to see them getting off to a good start, with two straight wins, but the three successive losses thereafter have been a bit of a dampener.

     

    The IPL is yet to see a team with an all-win record, so the most important factor for a team is to overcome these inevitable slumps.

     

    It's clear that we are a high-quality team and even though we have been hit by the absence of Gautam Gambhir, we have a very strong bench.

     

    I hate to be critical of my mates, especially since I am not there as yet, but perhaps we just haven't been able to close out games well enough.

     

    Players like Tillakaratne Dilshan, AB De Villiers, Dinesh Karthik, David Warner and of course the fearsome Virender Sehwag make for the most formidable batting line-up in the IPL, so once one of these guys steps up to the plate and gets the team across, momentum will be restored.

     

    T20

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  • Rest will do me good

    I am in the unusual position of having the week off after being rested for three one-day internationals.

     

    When it was put to be that I was going to be rested, part of me was disappointed because you always want to play for your country, especially against Australia.

     

    However, you need to look at the bigger picture, and the constant treadmill I have been on since 2005. I have only missed a few games when I was banned, but otherwise it has been almost non-stop cricket and there comes a time when your body and mind need a rest.

     

    We have got a lot of cricket coming up and it was a strong decision and a good one from the England management. I know how I was feeling, and I was starting to wear down a bit.

     

    It is something quite new, and you don't really know how to respond when you are told, because you are used to just ploughing on and getting little breaks wherever you can.

     

    But it is something Andy Flower and the management team have done increasingly - Jimmy Anderson is also getting

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  • England need hard slog

    It's pretty simple to know what is missing from the England one-day team at the moment - we are not batting as well as we can and should.

     

    We are getting ourselves in and not going on to make big scores. For some reason we haven't executed the bigger shots very well.

     

    Once you get in and try and step up the tempo, you have to play some shots and take the odd risk; but it seems we are constantly getting out when we do that. It's very frustrating.

     

    Last night's pitch at the Rose Bowl was slower than most, but that's not an excuse. It's the kind of pitch you see a lot in one-day cricket and you have to learn to score runs when there is not much pace on the ball. In any case, it was the same for the Australians.

     

    There has been talk of a post-Ashes hangover, but there certainly shouldn't be one.

     

    These are seven one-dayers against one of the best sides in the world and we cannot make excuses or say: 'We won the big one, we don't care about this.'

     

    This is a very important time for

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  • Old Trafford was dangerous

    It was hugely frustrating to have our Twenty20 international against Australia abandoned last night.

     

    There was a big thunderstorm in the afternoon and the main area of concern was the run-up at the Brian Statham end at Old Trafford.

     

    The umpires made a brave decision calling it off early, and I think it was a good one. Sometimes umpires will leave it later and later when really everyone knows the situation won't improve.

     

    They approached me and Australia captain Michael Clarke and said it was not fit for international cricket. If we had asked our fast bowlers to run on that there was a danger they could have injured themselves, and as captain you obviously have a responsibility to look after your players.

     

    There was also a big muddy patch at backward point, which didn't help. If you start playing and people are slipping about all over the place it risks becoming a farce.

     

    I know Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes said we could have played, and everyone is entitled to their

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