Ben Cox says a change of mindset and players being allowed to go out and “express themselves” has been a key factor in Worcestershire Rapids success in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
The County’s wicket-keeper has played a major role himself in the Rapids reaching the semi-finals for the second year running.
He has clocked up three 50 plus scores including a vital 80 in the deciding North Group game with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Cox also has more victims to his name – 17 – than any other keeper in the competition as testament to his high standards and consistency behind the stumps.
He said: “Why are Worcestershire so good in this competition? Two or three years ago, we changed our mindset in one-day cricket so now we go out there and try and express ourselves.
“We’ve got a lot of skilful players, a lot of funky players who hit the ball in awkward areas which can be hard to defend.
“We’ve got no sort of pressure on ourselves about how to play, it’s just ‘go out there and express yourselves, show off the talent we’ve got.’
As for his own contribution, Cox said: “White ball is my format. I’m quite an attacking player. I like to play my shots and if someone says ‘go and show off your talent’ I try and do that to my fullest.
“My captain backs me to go out there and play my game and that runs through the whole team and it’s a great ethos and it has got us to a home semi.
“I try and scamper my ones and twos while some of the other boys try and clear the ropes.”
Cox admits it was a nerve-jangling finale against Warwickshire with the Rapids eventually winning by one wicket.
He said: “When I was batting it was fine. I felt quite calm out there at the crease but when I was back in the changing rooms the heart rate was sky high!
“I was terrible back in the dressing room. You can’t do anything. I’d rather be out in the middle, knocking runs of myself.
“I’m just glad we got over the line because I left the crease in a tricky situation and I just wish I could have been out there, especially with the way I was batting, but at least we got over the line.
“I set out to be there at the end, that was my goal, and I had played that shot I got out to all innings and was getting fours so I’m not going to stop playing that shot.
“I should have been 85-90 not out at the end but unfortunately I just dragged on. It was one one of those and I’m just so glad Barny (Ed Barnard) got us over the line.”