Notts Outlaws face a strong limited-overs side in Worcestershire Rapids in their second NatWest T20 Blast contest at Trent Bridge on Friday night.
Boasting international pedigree in Saeed Ajmal and Moeen Ali, club captain Chris Read has reiterated that the Outlaws will need to keep their wits about them if they are to continue their perfect start to the tournament.
“The way they go about their cricket, with the players available will be very difficult to how Lancashire prepared to face us,” he said.
“We look at Moeen Ali and Saeed Ajmal as real danger men, but there are guys like Jack Shantry too who take pace off the ball. It’ll be a tough game.
“Gareth Andrew is an excellent white-ball cricketer too, they have some young cricketers keen to make a mark on the game.
“While the likes of Moeen and Saeed are the two guys that you really want to get out, and don’t want to get you out."
After an excellent all-round display saw off a strong Lancashire Lightning side last week, Worcestershire Rapids arrive on the back of an excellent LV= County Championship victory over Essex, in which Ajmal played a starring role.
“The other thing we have to consider is that this is a very different T20 competition to the ones we’ve played before,” said Read.
“We’ve had a week without red ball cricket so we can still focus on our white ball skills, and we’re about to go into a long period of cricket where we’ll be playing a four-day game during the week, and a Twenty20 on the Friday night. It’s a big test for us.”
“It was a cracking night weather-wise and the pitch was a good one, it didn’t really make a lot of difference.
“I remember at one point standing there I was behind the stumps telling myself that we were still in May.
“It’s going to change and progress through the summer but for now at Trent Bridge there is some pace, bounce and carry in the pitch and that will deteriorate through the season.”
As well as his first look at the 2014 Outlaws side, Read also witnessed James Taylor’s first match as limited overs captain. As the club’s captain and leader, Read has already seen positive signs from Taylor, who enjoyed an excellent first match in charge.
“His batting performance to start things off was fantastic, the way he went out there without fear and he struck the ball incredibly well,” said Read.
“It set the tone for how he wants to perform and he’ll be looking to lead by example in all areas.
“In the second innings he was very measured in what he did and got everything right and it’s excellent to see on that first game.
“He’s inherited a squad of players, but there are some really talented young players in that group. James is keen to inspire in them a little bit of what he brings to the table, and that’s a lot of energy action and positivity.”
Nottinghamshire have been forced into one change for the arrival of Worcestershire, with Harry Gurney representing England against Sri Lanka. In his place will be Luke Fletcher, who looks set to play his first T20 match since July.
“It’s a shame we won’t be seeing Harry tomorrow night, but his performance on debut for England was excellent, it looks like he’s going to be a very important bowler for his country with the white ball,” said Read.
“The depth of our bowling is impressive. Its nice to see Luke Fletcher come back in, he hasn’t played a lot of Twenty20 cricket recently but he’s been practicing very hard this week and with the seconds. He should be ready to go.”
Notts Outlaws squad to face Worcestershire Rapids (from): Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, James Taylor (C), Samit Patel, Riki Wessels, Chris Read, Steven Mullaney, Sam Wood, Ajmal Shahzad, Andy Carter, Luke Fletcher, Andre Adams