Steve Rhodes is backing Worcestershire opener Daryl Mitchell to reproduce the form that saw him score nearly 1,400 County Championship runs during the 2014 promotion season.

Director Of Cricket believes Mitchell, who is 33 later this month, has a key role to play as the County's most experienced batter and also in acting as a mentor for some of the younger members of the squad.

Mitchell is averaging nearly 40 during his career and scored 1,000 first class runs last summer when he was second only to Joe Clarke in Worcestershire's leading run-scoring lists.

Rhodes is confident Mitchell can emulate the outstanding performances of two summers ago when only Hampshire's James Vince scored more runs in Division Two.

He said: "Do I expect Daryl to score a bucketful of runs next year? Definitely.He is such an important batter. He is our experienced batter, the guy who averages nearly 40 opening the batting at Worcester.

"That is testament to his qualities as a player and as a person.

"If he can make sure he is maintaining that sort of career average in the future years for Worcestershire, then that will be a huge bonus.

"He also offers other things as that senior batter. He can help mentor the younger guys through and bring them on.

"I am looking forward to him supporting Joe (Leach) and supporting all the lads but most importantly for him, I think he'd love to get back to making sure he is keeping up that average of 40 in the Championship and contributing to team successes in all formats.

"He didn't have a bad year last season and the year before he scored some runs.

"But the consistent runs were in 2014 and it won't take him long to get back to that and hopefully 2017 will be the start of it."