Samit Patel says Notts Outlaws are ready to fire in this season’s Vitality Blast competition, starting against Northamptonshire Steelbacks on Wednesday.
Notts opened their campaign with a home defeat to the Worcestershire Rapids last Thursday and then suffered a washout at Emerald Headingley 24 hours later.
“We’ve got some good players in the squad,” said Patel. “They are all looking to impress and they’re all excited about doing well in this competition.
“We know the other day wasn’t great,” continued the all-rounder, reflecting back to the performance against the Rapids. “And then we had to settle for just a point at Headingley.
“We were looking forward to going there and getting off the mark with a win, but you can’t do anything about the weather, so we take the point and are now looking ahead to the next match on Wednesday.”
Notts could name an unchanged line-up for the clash against the Steelbacks, but have Chris Nash, Luke Fletcher and Academy batsman Sol Budinger available for selection should they wish to shuffle their pack.
Notts Outlaws squad to face Northamptonshire Steelbacks (from): Jake Ball, Sol Budinger, Matt Carter, Dan Christian (Captain), Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Luke Fletcher, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Jake Libby, Tom Moores, Chris Nash, Samit Patel and Luke Wood.
The Outlaws, to date, have never lost a group stage fixture to the Steelbacks home or away. The only time the Steelbacks have been successful was on neutral territory, on the big stage of Finals Day.
In the 2016 semi-final at Edgbaston, Northants gained the upper hand for the first and only time over Notts.
A stunning century from Dan Christian decided the outcome of last year’s meeting. The Outlaws’ captain scored a brutal 113 not out from only 40 deliveries at Wantage Road, hitting seven fours and nine sixes, an innings that had Patel’s nod of approval.
“It was incredible stuff,” he said. “We know what’s he’s capable of. He’s a match-winner and can take a game away from you quickly. His ball striking is unbelievable.”
Patel has an impressive record of his own against Northants, including a vital century against them this season in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
“That was a good day for me, individually,” commented the 34-year old. “It was an exciting match to win and we’re now hoping we can do something similar in a different competition and get back to winning cricket matches.”
Following a bumper crowd of 12,613 for the opening fixture against the Worcestershire Rapids, there are six further opportunities to catch the Outlaws in T20 action at Trent Bridge this summer.