Brett D’Oliveira will take over as Worcestershire Rapids Vitality Blast captain full of confidence after his recent performances with bat and ball.
The all-rounder has picked up 14 wickets in five Specsavers County Championship matches since returning to the side as well as scoring a century against Glamorgan, a half century versus Gloucestershire and 45 not out at Durham.
The 27-year-old led the Rapids for lengthy periods last season – and in this season’s Royal London One-Day Cup – and will be back at the helm this evening (Friday) against Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford in place of England’s Moeen Ali.
Assistant-Coach-Bowling Coach Alan Richardson said: “Will he have lots of confidence taking over as Blast captain? I hope so. You want some good performances behind you. You want to feel like you are contributing – and Brett certainly should feel that way at the moment.
“Last year he did quite a bit of the white ball captaincy and we felt he led it really well.
“The 50 over tournament went pretty well this year as well and it’s just unfortunate we didn’t put in a performance in the quarter-final (against Somerset).
“But we will be looking forward to that first T20 block with Brett leading it and I’m sure he will be as well.
“Him and Mo are quite similar in many aspects in the fact that they are both pretty laidback characters.
“They give the lads lots of confidence and let them have the freedom to go out and do what they need to do to execute their skills and express themselves.
“But he is still young, he is still asking questions, he is still trying to get better as a captain. He is still young in captaincy terms but he has got the full backing of the lads and the support staff enjoy watching him captain.
“There is a lot of potential there.”
The same can be said of D’Oliveira’s bowling which included a career best 7-92 against Glamorgan at Cardiff earlier this month.
Richardson said: “His work ethic and his passion about his bowling is fantastic. He just needed really some opportunities and I guess this year he has managed to get those – with Ben Twohig not being around as well – and he has taken them.
“He has worked unbelievably hard on his bowling. I hadn’t seen him bowl for a little while and when I came back technically he looked in a really good place.
“His alignment is really good so the consistency of his lines and lengths is good and so he needs that confidence to keep bowling and keep bowling.
“It is a real challenge at Worcester (Blackfinch New Road). It is not exactly a haven for spin bowling unless we specifically prepare wickets for that which we have done previously with Saeed Ajmal and Ravi Ashwin.
“Mo (Moeen Ali) has spoken about the battles he had when he was first bowling and came in as the sole spinner at Worcester.
“Dolly is doing some really good work. You can’t ask anymore. Every morning, every training day, he puts it in and he is reaping the rewards of that and it is only going to get better I think.
“There is some real potential with Dolly and his leg spin. He has got a real grounding of it but he probably hasn’t had the exposure in first class cricket of bowling lots and lots of overs to give him that confidence.”