First-teach coach Jim Troughton believes Will Rhodes is a "very good cricketer" with the makings of an excellent Warwickshire captain - and has pledged to keep as much pressure as possible off the new skipper.
At 24, Rhodes is one of the youngest club captains in the Bears’ history, if not quite the youngest – Frank Foster was just 22 when he was appointed in 1911and promptly led Warwickshire to their first county championship title.
Captaincy has a lot more to it now than in Foster’s day, including more formats, more media duties and much more sophisticated planning. On and off the field, it is a big gig, but Troughton is confident that Rhodes is up to the challenge.
I’ve been there and now I’m on the other side of it I can help Will. He is an important player for us so we just want, as much as possible, for him to be able to focus on his batting and bowling. There is a lot to think about as captain so the more of that we can take off him the better.Jim Troughton
Having skippered Warwickshire to the championship title in 2012, Troughton knows what the job is all about – and how he and the other coaches at Edgbaston can best help.
“Will is a very good cricketer,” he said. “He has got captaincy experience from 2nd XI cricket and England Under 19s and is an intelligent guy who thinks about the game. He has got the tools for the job, no question, so it’s up to us as a coaching team to keep the pressure off him as much as possible.
“For a captain there is pressure from all sorts of directions, including yourself because you always want to contribute as a player. I know from experience the trap that you can fall into is to confuse your own form with the team’s. Obviously, you want both to be good but there will be times when you don’t contribute and that’s where you need the backing and reassurance of the people around you. When I was captain the coaches and senior players were brilliant and always right behind me.
“I’ve been there and now I’m on the other side of it I can help Will. He is an important player for us so we just want, as much as possible, for him to be able to focus on his batting and bowling. There is a lot to think about as captain so the more of that we can take off him the better.”
Rhodes describes taking on the Warwickshire captaincy as a “huge honour” and has expressed his excitement at leading a growing team into the next era. Troughton fully shares that sense of anticipation.
“I am very excited about next season and beyond,” the coach said. “If we can keep our players on the park, we have got a really strong team and pushing the senior guys will be all the younger players who came through so well in 2020. We now know that those young guys can perform at that level which is a big plus from last season.”