Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Young Guns Can Help Us Finish on a High, Insists Collingwood

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Young Guns Can Help Us Finish on a High, Insists Collingwood

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner ? (0191) 201-6283 ?

AN excited Paul Collingwood believes anything is possible in the closing weeks of Durham's season.

The Riversiders go into today's County Championship clash at home to Surrey still in with a good chance of the title, but without their two most prolific bowlers.

Graham Onions has a broken finger and all-rounder Ben Stokes is on England Lions duty. Between them they have taken 76 Championship wickets this season.

With Callum Thorp suffering a hamstring strain, left-armer Jamie Harrison could make his first appearance of the season or, perhaps more likely, allrounder Usman Arshad his debut. "Ben Stokes is pretty much two players in one," said Collingwood. "Stokesey's a genuine wicket-taker. He's one of those guys I've thrown the ball to many times in close situations, and I'm sure this game will probably go to one of those situations where you need that special something, that inswinging yorker or that really fast spell he can give you.

"He's got the X factor about him with the bat, the ball or in the field.

"There's a good chance of seeing some youngsters today.

"That's the beauty of Durham. In the past we might have gone down the route of overseas, but this year it's been forced on us because of the financial situation to really bring the youngsters through.

"To still have success whilst you're doing that is magnificent. We've been pushing for a semi-final spot in the Twenty20 and we were very close to making it in the YB40.

"It's almost exposed them right at the deep end, but they're very talented cricketers so you're not putting someone in a situation where you think he can't handle that.

"They've done the work and the preparation in the second team and all that, now it's just the mental side of going into First-Class cricket.

"You look at the likes of (Ryan) Buckley, who will have great memories of his debut at Surrey, taking five wickets.

"No-one had even heard of Buckley before the season started. …

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