Former England captain Paul Collingwood believes the inclusion of David Willey for this month’s Royal London ODI series could shake up the squad in time for Trevor Bayliss’ arrival.
The Northamptonshire all-rounder is part of a youthful one-day side that is likely to see a host of players make their England debuts against New Zealand.
Willey himself has just one cap so far – in last month’s rain-abandoned clash with Ireland – and he will be eager to impress with new England boss Bayliss taking over in time for the Ashes.
The 25-year-old has already hit two first-class centuries this season but according to Collingwood, it his bowling that could well prove his standout feature.
“He’s different, he’s a left-arm seamer which we haven’t got a lot of going around the county scene at the moment,” said Collingwood, speaking as he launched Royal London’s summer of cricket, which includes the first Royal London One-Day International, starting on Tuesday, June 9 against New Zealand.
“He can also hit a ball extremely hard which in the one-day form of the game is pretty crucial.
“These guys have got opportunities. It’s great to see them in there and now they’ve got the chance to show the world, and certainly in England, what they can do.”
England veterans Ian Bell, Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson have all made way for this new look ODI side, with all-rounder Moeen Ali also dropped from the squad in order to revive his red-ball cricket form with Worcestershire.
In their absence Willey and company have been told to ‘go out and express their skills’ by interim head coach Paul Farbrace – and Collingwood, who captained England to t20 success in 2010, admits an ice-cool mentality will be key.
“Players who are naturally attacking and aggressive, you’re always going to get dips in form and a run of scores that you’ll be disappointed in,” he added.
“It’s finding that balance between giving yourself a chance and going out to express yourself from ball one.
“The best players in the world at the moment are the ones who are literally going out there not thinking about the consequences, it’s as if they’re going out there for a backyard game of cricket.
“And the fun they’re having out there as well, it seems like when they’re on fire AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell when he’s on song, David Warner, Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum, they’ve got amazing skill levels but they seem to take the pressure right off themselves on the mental side of things.”
Paul Collingwood was speaking at the launch of the Royal London Gilbert Cup, a new grassroots U11 cricket tournament. www.royallondoncricket.com