Collingwood Keen On Making His IPL Debut

New Delhi, Mar 29 (IANS): It is difficult to adapt to Twenty20 cricket immediately after playing Test cricket. But swift transition from one form of the game to the other has become part of a professional cricketer's life and England's Paul Collingwood is keen to make an early switch.

Back after playing a two-Test series against Bangladesh, Collingwood has little time to think as he tunes himself to the fast-paced Indian Premier League.

With his team Delhi Daredevils taking on Kolkata Knight Riders Monday, Collingwood is hoping to make his IPL debut and provide solidity to the inconsistent middle order.

"It is a great opportunity to play in IPL and get back to Twenty20 cricket," Collingwood said.

An additional motivation for Colligwood to play some IPL matches is to give himself a good practice before the World Twenty20 in West Indies.

"I will be leading the England side in World Cip Twenty20 in West Indies, so it is an opportunity to work on the mental aspect of my game and prepare for it."

"I have not played a single match yet. Hopefully, I will play this time. I can spruce up the middle order. I have done something similar in Bangladesh playing for England, and if I get a chance here my role will be similar."

He may not be regarded as the best of talents, but Collingwood is certainly a thinking cricketer and quickly adapts himslef to different conditions.

"Test cricket will remain the ultimate for me. It is a satisfaction to play the five-day game. But Twenty20 brings different challenges along with it. There are lot of skills required in T20. There are different dimensions to the game. You have to work hard on every ball. See how the fielding standard of every teams has gone up after Twenty20."

As for his own team Daredevils, Collingwood feels they are in the pack for a semi-final berth. Daredevils have won three matches and lost three so far.

"I wouldn't say we are in a bad situation. We have lost three games but there is a good spirit in the team after the last win (against Royal Challengers Bangalore). We need a few more wins and we will peak at the right time. You need to get the momentum going. I feel we have a good chance of making it to the semi-finals," Collingwood said.

Asked whether there will be any pressure on Delhi Daredevils as they have lost both their matches at home, Collingwood said: "I don't think there will be any mental block playing at home. It's basically about adapating to different situations. IPL involves lot of travelling, playing in different pitches."

"Kinght Riders have some talented players. (Chris) Gayle is their number one batsman and its is important for us to get him early. They have a match-winner in Shane Bond."

"We also have some good players in (Virender) Sehwag, (David) Warner, (Dinesh) Karthik. Everybody is in good spirit and looking to carry on the momentum."

On allowing more foreign players in the team: "It will make the game more exciting but the Indian youngsters will miss out. IPL gives an opportunity to the domestic players to play alongside the big names that can help in their development as a cricketer."


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