Paul Farbrace believes the Bears will enter the 2021 Vitality Blast full of confidence because they have players in the squad who "know how to win."
The Bears will open their Blast campaign against Yorkshire in Leeds on Thursday with T20 aces Carlos Brathwaite and Danny Briggs in their pack.
West Indies legend Brathwaite is one of the world’s most powerful T20 forces, able to win games with bat or ball, while experienced spinner Briggs is the all-time leading wicket-taker in the Blast.
The addition of their skills and nous to the talent already on board at Edgbaston makes the Bears a very dangerous proposition, insists director of cricket Farbrace.
“Danny is a world class T20 player,” he said. “He has such a calm head and he expects to win. He has been to Finals Day many times and there is no question he is one of the best bowlers playing T20 cricket around the world today.
“Carlos has won the Big Bash and played and won all around the world in T20 cricket. With those two and Tim Bresnan, who has played and won at the highest level, we have players who know how to win.
“The way they approach games is perfect. They give it everything and could not be more professional but they also know that, at the end of the day, it is a game. They don’t get too carried away and put themselves under negative pressure. They passionately want to win but know that it’s not the end of the world if they don’t.
“With these guys on board, there is definitely a sense that this team knows how to win now and I think it’s going to be a really exciting tournament for the spectators.”
Alongside standout performances from the big names, Farbrace is expecting match-winning contributions from all around the Bears squad.
“We have the nucleus of a very good side with players who have the skills but also relish the pressures and challenges of T20. The Blast is a game of fine margins and generally the bravest team, the team that is prepared to take the most chances, will win. That doesn’t mean slogging, it just means being a little bit braver in all aspects – attacking the ball in the field, wanting to bowl at key times.Paul Farbrace
“We have players who love that. We’ve got Henry Brookes, a young bloke who wants to bowl the last over, who wants to change the game. We have Adam Hose at the top of the order who is a fantastic striker and Jake Lintott who came in and bowled brilliantly for us last year.
“Sam Hain is a real match-winner. A lot has been made about his average in white-ball cricket but he knows it’s not about average, it’s about strike-rate and in the last ten days of the T20 last year he was absolutely exceptional. He got himself back on the England radar because of his strike-rate.
“There was a great example against Worcestershire at New Road when Brett D’Oliveira bowled and Sam took about 11 off the over and then hit the last ball for six. In the old days, he would have hit that for one, but he hit it for six and that shows how he’s come on.
“Then we have youngsters like Dan Mousley and Rob Yates who know no fear. When you look around our squad it’s impossible not to feel excited about this year’s Blast.
“The players love T20. We saw what a great atmosphere it was at the championship game against Nottinghamshire. With bigger crowds in for the Blast, it will be fantastic.”
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