Paul Collingwood captained Durham to a seven wicket win over Somerset in their opening LV County Championship fixture at Taunton. As well as taking six wickets in the match, he scored an unbeaten hundred that gave Durham a vital 81 run first innings lead.
During the match, he spoke to Deep Extra Cover’s Terry Wright about the team performance and his new, more relaxed attitude to his cricket.
“I’ve spent 20 years of heartaches, ups and downs, analysing my own technique. Now I’m just trying to enjoy my cricket as much as possible. There’s no point in worrying about whether or not you’re going to get a good ball. I’m going out there now and whatever happens, happens. I’m just going with the flow and being as relaxed as possible.
“As for the other players in the team, the youngsters these days have been coached and taught all the skills. So my job is just to let them be so they can enjoy the game. I have to create a relaxed climate where they can use 100% of their skills. If they are only using 70%, there’s no point. I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel, it’s just the way the modern game is going. I know the Durham lads are all giving 100% so I’m happy to let them make their own decisions.
“As for this game against Somerset, we’ve played on a really good cricket wicket. The ball has been doing stuff if you got it in the right areas but equally, you can score runs. The pitch has had really good carry in it, so if the ball is swinging and gets the edge, it will reach the slips.
“On the second evening, the pitch seemed to liven up but I think that was because of some superb new ball bowling. When they get it right, they [Graham Onions and Chris Rushworth] are two of the best opening bowlers in the country. They caused a lot of threat. They got the ball in the right areas and so the chances came.
“I really enjoyed my innings. When I got into the nineties with eight wickets down, I realised that we could be only two balls away from the end of the innings so I decided to go for it. They brought the field up so I went over the top and it worked. I’ve mainly been pretty aggressive in the nineties throughout my career.
“As for my future, this may be my last year. But if I enjoy it, there’s no reason why I wouldn’t play another one. You’re a long time retired.”