Alex Gidman believes Josh Dell has the potential to establish a spot in the top three of the Worcestershire batting line-up.

First Team Coach Gidman says it is “important for the future of this team” to develop players capable of slotting into positions at the very top of the order.

It’s early days in Dell’s senior career but the signs have been encouraging.

Dell scored 61 on his Specsavers County Championship debut against Durham at Blackfinch New Road last month batting at number five although he would have gone in one place higher had Charlie Morris not been used as a nightwatchman.

He returned two games later in the opener’s role at the County’s headquarters to make a solid looking 18 in 18 overs in testing conditions against Lancashire – and the new ball attack of Jimmy Anderson and Graham Onions – this week.

It was a role in which Dell had carried his bat for an undefeated 131 against a Lancashire Seconds attack – containing Richard Gleeson – in a Second Eleven Championship match at Northern CC earlier in the season.

Gidman, whose side now face Sussex in a Championship game switched to Kidderminster beginning on Tuesday, said: “What will he have learnt from the experience? He will have taken confidence and belief from it.

“Josh is a top three batsman and in that particular game (against Durham) where he made his debut he was replacing our overseas player, Callum Ferguson, who wasn’t available for that game.

“He’s gone away again (with the Seconds) and held his form and thoroughly deserves his place.

“We’ve got a lot of numbers five, six and seven so it is important for the future of this team that we develop that top three – and Josh is someone we believe has the potential to bat in that top three and do it well.

“Little glimpses like this (against Durham and Lancashire) will give him and us confidence that he can continue to perform that role and get a lot better at it.

“It’s a good start. He obviously played well against Durham, he showed signs against Lancashire but it’s the start of hopefully a successful run for him and he, like the rest of us now, need to kick on now and use that confidence from doing well and move on.”