Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Rhodes Has Faith In County Openers To Produce Goods

Rhodes Has Faith In County Openers To Produce Goods

Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes is backing Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell and Brett D'Oliveira to produce the goods.

Rhodes is hoping the talented duo will hit the run trail against Northamptonshire in Friday's home Specsavers County Championship opener.

Mitchell and D'Oliveira struggled in testing conditions for batting against a new Dukes ball combined with bowler friendly conditions in the eight wicket success over Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium.

But Rhodes has faith in the pair to put some scores on the board sooner rather than later.

It was in the corresponding fixture last season Mitchell scored two centuries against Northamptonshire as the County pulled off a remarkable win after chasing down 400 on the final day.

Rhodes said: "With the openers, it is really difficult early season and this Dukes ball is very difficult so it is a tough task to get a score early doors when you are an opener.

"But they will get them and hopefully they are saving them for the next game against Northamptonshire.

"With fresh wickets early season, fresh bowlers early season and that hard ball, it bites in there, and it is not easy batting at all.

"It does get easier the longer you can hang in there. If you can get to 30-40 overs, it certainly gets a bit easier."

Rhodes was delighted with the standard of the fielding shown by his side in Cardiff with the highlights a superb catch by D'Oliveira at point and a direct hit run-out instigated by Tom Fell.

He said: "With the fielding, I'm delighted. They showed a bit of hunger. Last season, we spilled too many in the slip area although not through a lack of practice or effort.

"We probably didn't do ourselves justice because we are a good catching side. The three days at Glamorgan have shown that.

"We probably do more slip catching (practice) than any other county and that is something we are going to try and keep up."