Collingwood has no qualms over Pietersen

England captain Paul Collingwood thinks Kevin Pietersen will have no problems playing World T20 semi-final despite his dash across the Atlantic.

updated: May 13, 2010 07:15 IST
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Gros Islet, St Lucia:

England captain Paul Collingwood thinks Kevin Pietersen will have no problems playing in Thursday's World Twenty20 semi-final despite the star batsman's dash across the Atlantic.

Pietersen briefly left the squad to be with his wife, who gave birth to a boy in London on Monday.

He had just produced two fifties that helped England beat defending champions Pakistan and his native South Africa.

In his absence, England beat New Zealand by three wickets to secure their last-four spot and Collingwood is now ready to pitch Pietersen into Thursday's clash with Sri Lanka, last year's losing finalists.

And Collingwood insisted it would not be asking too much of Pietersen to be playing again within a day of changing continents.

"No, I don't think so at all," he told reporters here on Wednesday.

"In this form of the game especially, your frame of mind is the crucial thing," the all-rounder added.

"He's going to be in a great frame of mind. He's just had a baby boy; he'll be a happy man; he's had a little bit of a break, and it might do him the world of good just to come straight back into it.

"There's nothing technical he has to change. It's just his mindset, and I'm sure his mind is 100 percent right. He'll be a happy man, and raring to go.

"He put two man-of-the-match performances in before he left. The way he's playing at the moment, getting a player back like that is a great confidence boost for all of us."

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said he expected Pietersen's return to be a "huge source of strength" to the England team.

"In Kevin's case, I'm sure he will be able to adapt," Sangakkara told reporters at Beausejour here on Wednesday. "It's not much of a difference.

"He's had a very important milestone in his own personal life and I think teams have to respect an individual's individuality as well, as there are certain things within the team that everyone has to respect.

"Kevin coming back into the England side will be a huge source of strength for them and something more for us to think about."

Sri Lanka lost to Pakistan in last year's World Twenty20 final at Lord's but, such is England's mood, Collingwood doesn't mind who his side play now.

"We're confident that if we put similar performances in we're going to win," he explained.

"We're not going overboard because we've got to give Sri Lanka a lot of respect -- they're a great Twenty20 side -- but if we play anything like we can, we're confident we can win."

England are unbeaten at the World Twenty20 and Collingwood said it had been vital to keep that run going, even though the team would likely have qualified for the last four with one defeat on their record.

"I know I keep harping back to IPLs (Indian Premier League) and things like this, but we won three on the trot with Delhi and then kind of took our foot off the gas a little bit," he said.

"It is amazing how one defeat can turn the confidence. So it was crucial to go out against New Zealand especially, once we had made the semis, and put in another strong performance.

"I just had a real sense when we turned up, with the squad that we had, we made some great selections from the start -- and they have really come good for us.

"There was a real belief there from the start, and the boys can't wait to play tomorrow (Thursday)."