WORCESTERSHIRE fans will finally get to see the Rapids in action at New Road tonight as the club kick off their home NatWest T20 Blast campaign (5.30pm).
Steve Rhodes’ men were handed a tough start to the 20-over competition with successive away matches at Durham Jets, Lancashire Lightning and Nottinghamshire Outlaws.
Following back-to-back narrow defeats in the first two games, the Rapids lit the blue touchpaper on their campaign last time out with an impressive 24-run victory over the much-fancied Outlaws.
After the excitement of winning their last T20 outing, Worcestershire then suffered a frustrating LV= County Championship Division Two wash-out against Kent at Tunbridge Wells.
However, Rhodes has challenged his players to build on the Notts ‘high’ when the Northamptonshire Steelbacks come to New Road tonight.
The County director of cricket said: “We will re-focus now after the game down at Kent, we know exactly what we are doing going back into NatWest T20 Blast against Northants tonight, before then preparing for the four-day game against Surrey at The Oval.
“Games come thick and fast so, for us, it’s a case of saying ‘what’s the next game? Let’s prepare for it’ and then keep repeating that pattern.
“I know it will sound strange, but I decided to stick to my original plan of giving the lads yesterday off, because I believe we have a formula that can give them some rest. We then got them in early this morning for some skills, they will then have some time to go home and relax, before coming back for a late preparation for the game that starts at 5.30pm.”
Rhodes added: “Northants have started well and there are a lot of good teams in the North Division, but I’m sure the teams in the South Division are good too.
“However, we are not looking at Northants too much – we will be looking at ourselves and if we can repeat what we did in our last T20 game, then happy days. That was a great win at Trent Bridge in their own back yard at Trent Bridge and we’ll look to try to repeat that tonight.
“We have to make sure we do the right things tonight though and start afresh – it’s great being on a high from the win at Nottingham, but we have to make sure we do the job right from ball one tonight and we’re looking forward to it.”
Worcestershire (from): Moeen, Oliver, Mitchell, Munro, Kervezee, Whiteley, Cox, D’Oliveira, Shantry, Ajmal, Russell, Morris.