Shahzad: Colly axe was a wake-up call

ENGLAND bowler Ajmal Shahzad knows he is far from guaranteed a place in his side’s World Cup squad, a fact rammed home by last week’s shock axing of Paul Collingwood.

Coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss will name their 15-man squad for the tournament, which is to be held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh next month, tomorrow.

Collingwood (right), captain of last year’s victorious World Twenty20 side, was dropped for Sunday’s defeat against Australia in Melbourne following a dreadful run of form with the bat this winter.

And Shahzad (right), 25, is well aware that even if he is picked as back-up to James Anderson and Stuart Broad, he will have to improve in the other two disciplines of the game if he is to become a regular member of the side.

“Colly being dropped, it was the selectors’ decision and shows they will only put the best XI out on the pitch,” he said. “It’s a good environment to be in – it’s very competitive and it keeps everyone on their toes.

“I think the lads have been performing to the best of their abilities because we have been putting the pressure on them. That brings out the best in everyone else.

“I feel like I belong on the pitch now. Hopefully I can get a decent run.

“I know I must give a little bit of everything to be honest with you. I give a lot of energy in the field. I’ve been working very hard on my fielding and my all-round game when I haven’t been playing in the Test matches.”