Paul Collingwood enjoyed a day off on his 40th birthday yesterday prior to what he hopes will be a return to Twenty20 action at at Old Trafford this evening.
During his Durham side’s remarkable four-day win at Edgbaston this week Collingwood bowled a few overs when they were struggling on the first morning.
His changes of pace are very effective in the middle overs.
“I think he was dropping a hint that he’s fit to bowl,” said one-day captain Mark Stoneman, who had joined forces with coach Jon Lewis in persuading Collingwood to sit out the opening NatWest T20 Blast defeat at Worcester.
He had not previously bowled this season because of a sore toe, but Stoneman admitted: “His record with the ball in the last two years has been fantastic.
“His changes of pace are very effective in the middle overs and I think he’s happy to see himself as more of a bowler now in white ball cricket. He’s very keen to play, even batting down the order.
“We have a young, exciting team and we’re looking forward to visiting the reigning T20 champions. We had a good win at Old Trafford last year and we will again look to take the game to them and put them under pressure.”
After one day off between Edgbaston and Old Trafford, Durham move straight on to Trent Bridge for a Specsavers County Championship game starting on Saturday.
They have been unchanged in back-to-back wins against Lancashire and Warwickshire but will have the option to recall Chris Rushworth after his buttock muscle injury.
“We don’t have to rush him back because our three young seamers have surprised me with how well they have performed,” said Collingwood.
“Equally, we have to look after them. We have learnt from experience not to push young bodies too hard.
“Brydon Carse has played in every game so far and has got some top batsmen out, including Jonathan Trott in both innings at Edgbaston. James Weighell and Barry McCarthy have played the last two games and both had a five-for.
“The club’s going through a time financially. We would have loved to have an overseas player, but it creates opportunities for youngsters.”