Will Rhodes believes the 2021 Vitality Blast fixture list gives the Bears a great opportunity to crank up the Edgbaston atmosphere and "get on a roll" towards the business end of the group.

The Bears will have a testing start to their Blast campaign with away games at Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire before their first home match, against Lancashire Lightning on Friday 18 June.

But a strong haul of points from those away trips would send the Bears in great shape towards the following six games, five of which will be at home.

And Rhodes reckons the way the fixture stack up gives the Bears an invitation to build a buoyant Blast charge back in Birmingham.

“T20 is so much about momentum and the way the fixtures have come out gives us a great chance to get Edgbaston rocking towards the business end of the group. If we can get on a roll hopefully we can really capitalise on the brilliant atmosphere at Edgbaston.

Will Rhodes

“It will be a tough week on the road to start with, with five games at five very tough, different places to play, but if we can get some wins on the board, we will come back to Edgbaston in a great place. Then we’ll have a few home games in a row to build on towards the back end of the competition.

“Hopefully we can upset some crowds early on and pick up some victories on the road. Then, if we get on a run at Edgbaston, we could take some stopping.”

Key to the Bears’ strategy this summer, as has always been the case when they have succeeded in T20 over the years, will be spin and Rhodes believes the twin slow left arm threat of Danny Briggs and Jake Lintott will be both potent and entertaining.

“It’s not often in T20 that a team will have two left-arm spinners, especially such different ones as we’ve got, so it will be quite exciting to watch those two bowl in tandem,” the skipper said. “Briggsy, with his experience at the top level, is a banker and Jake came in last year and was outstanding for us last year. Those two will bounce off each other and are brilliant options to have in the bowling.”