|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
DateLine: 5th June 2009
Hosts England enter the ICC World T20 with a confidence of winning on home soil and ending their long wait for a big trophy.
The side's confidence has been further strengthened by Wednesday's nine-wicket warm-up hammering of the West Indies. Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright shared a 119-run opening stand off only 75 balls then and such batting has strengthened England's belief that they could upset the odds and win the tournament.
Defending champions India alongside South Africa and Australia have been tagged as the favourites for the tournament, but England believe they have the necessary firepower to trouble even the best teams.
"(Beating West Indies) gave everybody a realisation that we can do pretty well," enthused captain Paul Collingwood. "Having a performance like that does bring a lot of confidence.
"But we're not going to get carried away by everything and we know we're going to have to play to our absolute potential to get to those semi-finals, but there's a lot of confidence around at the moment and it's all good - there's a real feel good factor in the team."
England open their account against the Netherlands at Lord's on Friday which they would follow by a meeting with Pakistan at the Oval on Sunday.
Assuming that they would surely qualify for the next round, the competition for them would get tougher than en-route to the semis with matches against South Africa, Australia and holders India predicted in the next stage.
But keeping all this aside, the side it seems is well prepared and skills and tactics picked up by the players during the IPL like going around the wicket to a right-handed batsman towards the death overs have been incorporated.
"We believe we can win it," said Collingwood. "I'm not saying we will win it because I don't want to put pressure on the boys by saying we'll win it.
"We believe we can and I'm quite happy with the boys keeping their feet on the ground and we're going to have to play to our absolute best if we're going to win it so at the moment I'm quite happy with the position we're in.
"I'm not going to come out with any big statements, but we believe as a team that it's a great opportunity for us. Twenty20 cricket brings teams closer together and anything can happen on the day - if you produce performances like Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright did then you're going to win games."
One of the ploys that has been very successful has been the idea to go around the wicket and slant the ball across right-handed batsmen at the end of the innings. The strategy was found difficult to combat by both West Indies and Scotland in the warm-up games.
Collingwood developed the idea following a chat with one of the analysts with the Delhi Daredevils during his stint with them in the IPL and texted both Broad and James Anderson on his return asking them to practise in anticipation of this tournament.
"I mentioned it to them about five weeks ago asking them to practise it," revealed Collingwood.
"It's just another plan we've got in our locker, really, as the situations come along and we might use it, we might not.
"It's a death option, it's trying to make the batsman hit where your fielders are. It pretty much takes 90 degrees of the ground out because normally yorkers over the wicket can go in this format of the game.
"People are sweeping and reverse sweeping much better now so it's hard for a captain to stop the flow of runs. We've done a little bit of it in practice, but I think we were a bit surprised about it the other night and we did start to think that it could work."
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