Alex Hales is relishing being a friend and a mentor to his partners at the top of the Notts order, as the Outlaws prepare to face Yorkshire.
The big-hitting right-hander has formed an alliance with Joe Clarke and Ben Duckett on the field, and a strong friendship off it – something he hopes can bring the best out of them all during the latter stages of the Blast.
“They are two of the most talented cricketers in England, so it’s very exciting,” said the 30-year-old.
“They’re such good lads and such talented cricketers. They’re really exciting to play alongside.
“To bat with those two, to share my experience and have that raw talent around me is really good.
“Ben showed his class against Leicestershire and Joe’s had a couple of really good innings recently too.
“Hopefully we can all play well together during the back end of the tournament when it counts.
“I get on with them both really well and have spent a lot of time with them away from cricket as well.
“We’re very close friends. Sometimes we talk about cricket and sometimes we don’t. It’s a nice mixture of everything.”
Hales, whose half-century was instrumental in forcing victory on the road against Leicestershire on Friday, says the Outlaws will settle for nothing less than three wins from three as the group stages come to a conclusion over a six-day period starting with the Vikings on Sunday.
“Bank Holiday weekend, sun out, a home crowd at Trent Bridge and Notts playing against Yorkshire. It’s going to be unbelievable,” said Hales.
“It’s as good a stage as you can get, so hopefully we can put the kind of show on it deserves.
“Whether it’s a weekday or a weekend game, the crowds have been brilliant all year. We’re really grateful and we do notice it when we’re out there.
“We’re getting to the back end of the tournament now, so it’s important to win games and get momentum.
“We are lurking towards the top of the group. If we win three out of three, it secures us a home quarter-final and that’s what we want.”
The Outlaws have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the visit of the Vikings, with Luke Wood remaining in the party despite missing Friday night's fixture with a minor back injury
Notts Outlaws squad to face Yorkshire Vikings (from): Jake Ball, Matt Carter, Dan Christian (c), Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Luke Fletcher, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Jake Libby, Tom Moores, Chris Nash, Samit Patel, Liam Patterson-White, Luke Wood.
There are two further opportunities to catch the Outlaws in T20 action at Trent Bridge this summer, with the next opportunity coming as part of a double-header on Sunday 25 August. The Outlaws' clash against Yorkshire Vikings will be preceded by Loughborough Lightning v Lancashire Thunder in the Kia Super League.