Randall in buoyant mood

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England Learning Disability captain Gavin Randall expects his side to be “miles ahead” of Australia and South Africa at the upcoming Tri-Nations tournament in Melbourne.

Randall’s side have failed to reach the final in the previous two editions of the tournament, but are expected to perform better this time around after some intensive preparations.

“We’ve been training for so long for this that everyone is just up for it and excited,” said Randall, who will be leading England for the first time at this level.

“Last time they (Australia) were quite good. Probably the strongest team here, but I think this time we’re going to knock them for six," he told ECBtv.

“I can’t remember much of South Africa but I think we definitely should roll them over. I think we’re definitely higher than both teams, miles ahead of them.”

The England squad have been split into north and south camps and met monthly for full-day training sessions over the last two years.

With more regular cricket being played by all 15 members of the squad, Randall believes their chances of success in Melbourne are high.

“I’m feeling happy, confident, excited. It will be nice to get out there now after the training in the winter and things we’ve done,” he added.

“We’re very confident this year. Over the last two years we’ve been training for this. Everyone’s confident, happy - just excited.

“It’s an honour and a pleasure to lead this lot. It’s just an honour to be picked as captain.

"I do feel a bit more pressure to perform, but then I know that if I don’t perform other people will step up and help me out.”

Randall is expecting big things from some of his team-mates, most of whom have benefited from the experience of playing two years ago.

He continued: “We’re playing more regular cricket so we’re more technical and know more about the game than we did at the last tournament.

“James Dickens - I’m expecting many wickets from him. Chris Edwards - he can dig in there and stay in all day. And Kyle Topping - he’ll just hit anything outside off stump.”