London:England captain Paul Collingwood said his side had to be "brave" if they were to win the World Twenty20 even though fitness doubts surround star batsman Kevin Pietersen, their boldest player.
They may have pioneered one-day cricket as a professional sport but hosts England have still to win a major international limited overs event.
And since reaching the last of their three finals in the 50 overs per side World Cup in 1992, England's one-day record has been nothing to shout about.
Just as some generals are always said to be "fighting the last war", England's general preference for steady accumulation at the top of the order and containing seam bowling, has often looked hopelessly outdated in the modern one-day game.
They head into this tournament without injured all-rounder Andrew Flintoff (knee) while Pietersen, whose ability to score rapidly with both conventional and outlandish shots makes him dangerous in all forms of cricket, has been struggling with an Achilles problem.
However, Collingwood expects the South Africa-born run-scorer "to play a major part in all the games".
England open the tournament proper against the Netherlands at Lord's on Friday and Collingwood, England's captain during their lacklustre showing at te inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa two years ago, said now was not the time for caution.
"I think we've got to be brave," the Durham all-rounder told reporters during a captains' press conference at Lord's here on Sunday.
"It's crucial you can go out there and believe as a team we can win the competition and also believe in your own ability when you're out in the middle."
England's only win during the inaugural World Twenty20 was against Zimbabwe, and they exited after losing by 18 runs to eventual champions India in Durban where Yuvraj Singh struck Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over.
But Nottinghamshire quick Broad is now a much improved bowler, while the likes of Ravi Bopara and James Anderson are also in fine form.
England have often been accused of lacking players who can turn a fixture on its head but Collingwood said: "Sometimes it only takes one person to win the game and we have a lot of match-winners in our side.
"If you look at Ravi Bopara at the top of the order, he's going to be crucial for us and Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson have developed as bowlers."
England have a fraught record of using one-day specialists, in contrast to most leading nations whose teams are broadly similar in all formats.
This time around four members of their squad - wicket-keeper James Foster, leg-spinner Adil Rashid, all-rounder Graham Napier and batsman Eoin Morgan, have yet to play a Twenty20 international despite impressing at county level.
And Collingwood is only in charge now because regular captain Andrew Strauss has ruled himself out because he reckons he's not a good enough Twenty20 player - a state of affairs unique to England among major cricket nations.
"There are obviously concerns when you meet up as a team that the new guys will not be brought into the side as well as they could be," said Collingwood.
"This time around that isn't a concern because I think we have a really strong culture in the side and the guys get on really well."
Meanwhile Collingwood was confident Pietersen would be fit to take part although the England management were equally bullish about Flintoff's chances before his withdrawal.
"We haven't finalised it 100 percent but KP will play a major part in all the games, I would have thought."