CAPTAIN Paul Collingwood talked about this being a big week for England’s Twenty20 side, but I feel this tour of the middle east is being seen more of a fact-finding mission than the start of a serious assault on the short form of the game.
England are still an emerging side in Twenty20 cricket and while they will relish taking on the ICC World Twenty20 champions Pakistan for two matches in Dubai, you get the feeling that seeking individual performances is the main objective here rather than gaining results.
Collingwood leads a strong touring side for this mini tour which culminates in matches against Pakistan on Friday and Saturday. First, however, there’s a bit of personal pride at stake when England take on their second string Lions side this afternoon.
The Lions have shared two internationals against a Pakistan A side this week and look in good fettle. Somerset wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter, in particular, looks a decent prospect with both the bat and the gloves and it is that kind of discovery that the selectors are looking for.
Twenty20 cricket can swing on the performance of just one man, and with the World Cup coming up in May, the hunt for that potential match-winner is on. Kieswetter could well be a dark horse but all eyes will be on Kevin Pietersen this week to see if he can bat his way back into the limelight.