Will Rhodes knows he might have to think right outside the box when he captains the Bears for the first time in the Vitality Blast tomorrow.
The Bears launch their Blast campaign against Somerset at Edgbaston (6.30pm) with club captain Rhodes in charge in the shorter format after leading his team in the first four Bob Willis Trophy games.
He is ready for the different demands of captaincy in T20s, compared to the more measured and sedate environment of red-ball cricket.
“I am really looking forward to it,” Rhodes said. “It will be my first time as a T20 captain in first-team cricket and I know it will be very different to four-day cricket. I know I will have to think on my feet and maybe sometimes come up with something totally unexpected.
“There is always a lot going on in T20, that’s what makes it so exciting, and things can change very quickly, but I won’t be out there on my own. I’ve got the likes of Jeetan Patel and Ian Bell with all their knowledge and experience to call upon for guidance.”
The absence of spectators will be felt more than ever by the players in T20. Edgbaston on Blast nights always has a real buzz to it with the Bears fans getting behind the players, but tomorrow those fans must follow their team remotely.
“It will be strange because you do love having the fans behind you at home but it’s something that every team has got to get used to,” Rhodes said.
“It will be weird going out there without the Bears fans in the ground and getting behind us. They are one of the reasons that Edgbaston is regarded as a bit of a fortress, but I’m sure once we get out there the match situation will take over and we will just concentrate on the job in hand.”
The Bears’ first five Central Group games come thick and fast with tomorrow’s opener against Somerset followed by Glamorgan away (on Sunday) then Northants Steelbacks away (Tuesday), Gloucestershire at home (Wednesday) and the return away to Somerset next Friday.
“It is a fresh start in this mini-season and we can’t wait for the games to arrive,” Rhodes said. “Somerset have turned themselves into a very good team in the last two or three years and have some very dangerous players, but so have we and it is a great chance for us to really assert ourselves at the start of the group. “
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