Collingwood can be captain marvel

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PAUL Collingwood can skipper Durham to success this season – that’s the view of spinner Scott Borthwick.

Collingwood took over from Phil Mustard midway through last season, and saved the club from relegation.

And Borthwick believes that the former England all-rounder can inspire his troops again this term when they get their County Championship campaign under way at home to Somerset tomorrow.

He said: “Colly coming in as captain really helped us last season.

“He’s a fantastic captain. Phil (Mustard) tried his best, he’s a great bloke and a great cricketer, but Colly’s come in with experience of captaincy on the highest stage.”

Collingwood was the first England skipper to captain a side to global success when he led them to victory over Australia to win the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup.

The player himself admitted he had never really considered captaincy, and initially he was reluctant to take over the reins at Durham.

But his captaincy led to a dramatic upturn in form for the men from the Emirates ICG as they won five of their last six games to beat the drop.

Performances in those last six matches saw Durham finish the season on a high note and Borthwick believes that it is important that they carry that on to the start of this campaign.

He said: “Hopefully we can start this season the way we finished the last one.

“The lads who’ve been at the Riverside throughout the winter have been working hard to make sure that happens.”

As well as a bright start from the team, Borthwick is hoping that there will be some decent weather this summer.

Rain blighted much of last year’s cricket season, with Durham losing about 16 days play throughout the campaign.

And Sunderland-born Borthwick admits it’s far from ideal when it’s cold and wet, especially as a spinner.

“Hopefully it will be a bit easier to get the fingers warm,” he said. “The first half of last season was a struggle for not just myself but team-wise.

“It was really difficult to bowl at the Riverside when your fingers were cold, and it was raining all the time.

“Team-wise, the second half of the season we were fantastic, and that’s what we have to look to build on.

“Personally I’m hoping for better weather, so I can keep my fingers warm, and hopefully get the ball to turn.

“My aim this season is to kick on, and do really well for myself and for Durham as well.”