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Colly confident in squad

New captain Paul Collingwood is confident England have a squad capable of competing at the Twenty20 World Cup later this year despite Thursday night's defeat to West Indies.

England's 15-run loss at The Oval, chasing the tourists' formidable total of 208 for eight in Collingwood's first match as captain, exposed old weaknesses in their one-day capabilities.

But Durham all-rounder Collingwood has great belief in the new-look 14-man squad and its potential to challenge at the Twenty20 World Championship in September despite the selectors' decision to leave out several county players regarded as specialists in the discipline.

Warwickshire's Darren Maddy and Lancashire's Mal Loye have both prospered in the short format and were overlooked for this squad, but Collingwood stressed: "I don't think we should get too carried away - we've played one game and we weren't too far off winning it in the end.

"There are 14 guys in that dressing room who are the best one-day cricketers in this country at this present time.

"I am confident we can adapt our game to Twenty20 cricket and these experiences will make us stronger in the end."

But for Collingwood's brilliant 80 off 41 balls, England would have suffered a humiliating defeat having slipped to 101 for six in the 13th over of their reply.

His 91-run partnership off only 43 balls with Michael Yardy took the game to an exciting conclusion, however, and gives England hope they can prosper in Friday night's second and Twenty20 match against the tourists.

England will again be without Ian Bell, who was ruled out with a groin strain, but left-arm spinner Monty Panesar may be considered having been controversially overlooked on Thursday night.

"Yards did a good job and we tried to take pace off the ball with the other medium pacers," explained Collingwood. "You also have to give West Indies a lot of credit.

"They weren't just hitting down the ground, they were using the pace on the ball and from the spinners as well. The way (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul was putting it over fine leg, it was very hard to set fields to him.

"But we will learn from these experiences and hopefully come up with a better plan next time.

"Sometimes it can be very hard for any bowler, whether experienced or not, to find the right length.

"We wanted to be pretty aggressive and try to hit the bat hard and put them under pressure that way, but you have to give a lot of credit to their batsmen - they seemed to answer all the questions."

West Indies will enter tonight's match full of confidence again following their struggles during the 3-0 Test series defeat against England.

Captain Chris Gayle admitted it was an overdue success, adding: "That's what we wanted, a good start. It's up to us now to capitalise on it and build on it going into this game.

"We've had a lot of discussions and the guys were aware of the situation and pulled together. We decided we wanted to come out as a unit."

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source - sportinglife.com

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