Randall buoyed by influx of new faces
England Learning Disabilities captain Gavin Randall expects the energy within his youthful squad to prove significant when they take on Australia and South Africa in this month’s Inas Tri-Nations tournament.
Randall, only 22 himself, is one of the more senior members of an England party containing several teenagers.
Rather than being concerned by his side’s lack of international experience, the skipper believes his team can benefit from the enthusiasm of the newcomers.
He told ecb.co.uk: “We’ve got a much stronger team this year, and we’ve got a younger team as well.
“Youth is maybe going to be our strongest side. I’m expecting more aggressive cricket this year. We’ve got more aggressive players, more aggressive bowlers and we’ve worked on our fielding a lot, so we’re expecting to be sharp in the field and not let any runs go.
“We’ve got some talented cricketers, so hopefully we can get to the final and beat the Australians.”
As he prepares for his third tour with England, Randall acknowledges the role he will have to play in guiding the younger players.
“It’s just (a case of) looking after the young ones,” he added. “Some of them are only 16, 17, so it’s the first time they have been away from their family. So it’s just looking after them, making sure they have a good time and making sure they perform to what they can do.
“We (the experienced players) have got to nurture them, look after them and make sure they make the right decisions.
“It’s always a big honour to be captain of your country at any level, so I’m just looking forward to it.
“I always want to lead from the front, I always want to be the best person there and I always want to be the most motivated person, and try and encourage others to motivate and step up their game a little bit.”
Randall is bullish when it comes to England’s chances of going one better than in 2009, when they suffered defeat to Australia in the final.
Asked what his aims were for this year’s tournament, he replied: “Hopefully get to the final and win the final, which would be a big achievement for us.
“The South Africans are good but I think this year we are one better than them, or two better than them. I reckon we can beat them twice and beat the Australians. I think we’re more talented and we’re more prepared this year.”