Jade Dernbach not underestimating Twenty20 matches

Pa,Rory Dollard
Thursday 22 September 2011 12:50

Jade Dernbach believes every Twenty20 match England play in the coming months will be important to the defence of their world crown in Sri Lanka next autumn.

The schedule and draw for the World Twenty20 was released yesterday - exactly a year out from the defending champions' opening fixture.

That will be in Colombo against one of the qualifying teams - potentially Ireland or Scotland - and they will also line up against former winners India in Group A.

England's immediate attention is on a two-match series against West Indies at the Kia Oval, starting tomorrow, and, although both teams are missing several first-choice players, Dernbach insists they are big matches.

England may have only seven Twenty20 fixtures before naming their squad for Sri Lanka, meaning one or two eye-catching performances could be enough to earn a place on the plane.

Asked about the prospect of closing the English season at the back end of September against a third touring side of the summer, Dernbach said: "Any opportunity I can get to pull on an England shirt, I'm going to take with both hands, regardless of what time of year it is.

"With the World Twenty20 next year any games we can get will be vitally important. There are only a few matches before then so these two games form quite an integral part of the plans and processes for that tournament.

"I would love to be involved in a Twenty20 World Cup - that would be a dream come true. I just want to do as well as possible in every match and if we can win some games we will take some momentum into that competition."

In the absence of Stuart Broad and Eoin Morgan, their first and second choice captains in the format, England will be led for the first time by Graeme Swann.

The spinner will marshal an inexperienced side in London, with the likes of Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow all likely to play and fellow youngsters Scott Borthwick, Danny Briggs and Ben Stokes also vying for selection.

The Windies will also line up with an unfamiliar XI due to to absence of a host of first-choice players.

Darren and Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Kieron Pollard and Ravi Rampaul are on Champions League duty in India, while former captain Chris Gayle remains in dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board.

Their coach Ottis Gibson would prefer to name his strongest side but is hoping some of his lesser lights make the most of their opportunity.

"As a coach you want your best players on the field all of the time but when they aren't available for one reason or another then the next thing is to build a team," he said.

"We have young guys who are chomping at the bit to come in and put in impressive performances for the West Indies.

"I expect us to be competitive. There are quite a few guys getting their first opportunity to play for the West Indies and when you get your first chance you expect guys to put in a performance."

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