Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Rhodes Gearing Up For “really Tough Encounter” At Swalec Stadium

Rhodes Gearing Up For “really Tough Encounter” At Swalec Stadium

Steve Rhodes is preparing Worcestershire so they are ready for the possibility of a "really tough encounter" at the SWALEC Stadium after Glamorgan's two-day defeat by Northamptonshire in their opening Specsavers County Championship match.

Worcestershire's Director Of Cricket admits it is difficult to know what the reaction will be to such a defeat but is gearing his players up for a stiff test as they look to improve on last season's third place finish.

He has named a 12 strong squad with Australian all-rounder John Hastings poised to make his competitive debut for the County.

Paceman Josh Tongue is also in contention to make his Championship debut after his winter rehab following back surgery.

Rhodes said: "You suffer a defeat in two days and, it sounds silly, but you don't know what to expect in the next game.

"They could bounce back with real determination and fight and resilience and prove to be very tough opposition or they may be feeling a bit sorry for themselves, lacking confidence and become an easier opposition.

"We are going to prepare the boys for the first of those options – which is a really tough encounter. We need to get off to a good start – although if we don't, it's not the end of the world. "

Rhodes believes Worcestershire are well equipped should there be some assistance for the bowlers.

He said: "We hope they are all result wickets we play on in many ways. We did manage six wins last year which was a really good effort.

"We've got two games less this year but we need to make sure we are winning games and the early season toss can be more of an advantage because conditions can sometimes be wet although we've had a fantastic week's weather.

"But I think they might be a little bit of a turn in the weather for the weekend so we will wait and see what happens and what they produce.

"We are trying to gear ourselves up for all wickets but should it nip around a little bit, we've got enough good bowlers to keep us in the game.

"I think it helps with Josh Tongue coming through nicely and fit. That adds to the blend. Charlie (Morris) has come back stronger from Australia so his hat is in the ring for matches as well.

"We've got a bit of competition for places so that is really good."

Rhodes believes Nottinghamshire will be one of the favourites to gain promotion to Division One.

He said: "I think last year, when there was only one side who went up, we finished third and were pipped by Kent who were a good team – and they are a good team.

"But Essex were the stand-out team. We'd hope we can push and improve on that performance of finishing third.

"Nottinghamshire look a really strong outfit. I think Peter Moores has cracked the whip a little bit there, which they possibly needed, and it suits someone of Pete's style of coaching to get them into action.

"The inclusion of James Pattinson is good for them. He is a world class Test bowler, and Australia are desperate for him to be fit for Test cricket but he seems to have got fit for a quiet period of Test cricket. Notts will be the benefactors."


Daryl Mitchell

Bret D'Oliveira

Tom Fell

Joe Clarke

Tom Kohler-Cadmore

Ben Cox (w)

Joe Leach (c)

Ed Barnard

John Hastings

Josh Tongue

Jack Shantry

George Rhodes