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Hard work still to come - Mitchell

Worcestershire Rapids skipper Daryl Mitchell is not getting carried away despite his side’s superb start to the NatWest T20 Blast.

The Rapids sit top of the North Group after four wins in six games, while their short-format form has carried over into four-day cricket as they also lead LV= County Championship Division Two.

But 30-year-old Mitchell refuses to get carried away, stressing that there is still a lot of cricket to be played throughout the summer.

“It’s been a nice start but that’s all it is,” he told ecb.co.uk.

“It’s about trying to maintain that throughout the competition. We’ve played six and we’ve got eight games to go. It’s an old cliché but you’ve got to go and try and win every single one of them.”

Mitchell pointed out that the new scheduling has given the teams fresh problems to overcome.

With County Championship games generally running from Sunday to Wednesday and T20 games coming on a Friday, before another four-day game gets going two days later, it leaves players with little time to adjust.

Daryl Mitchell enjoys winning games of cricket, though admits to feeling stressed with the captaincy in the fast-paced NatWest T20 Blast

Mitchell said: “You don’t have too much time for preparation coming off the back off four-day games and back into four-day cricket straight after. As cricketers we’ve got to learn to adapt quickly, the teams who do that best are usually the ones who come out on top.

“It’s just about mindset, it’s getting your head around what you’re trying to do. It’s probably easier going championship to Twenty20, obviously you get a bit more freedom. 

“The guys have adapted well and we’ve played some good cricket across both formats so far.”

But despite the fast start in both formats, it appears certain that complacency will not be a factor at New Road this season. 

When asked if the players had started dreaming of a first Finals Day appearance, Mitchell responded: “Absolutely not! It’s a long way to go, we’re not even halfway through the competition yet.

“Every team you come up against have got match winners. There are no easy games, you’ve just got to keep performing well and concentrating on what you’re doing.”

With that in mind, the aim for the Rapids now remains the same as it was before the season.

“Our target was to try and get in the top four and get through to the quarter-finals. It’s great to see where we are but there’s a lot of hard work to go. The easy bit has been done, it’s trying to stay there that is the tough bit.”

Mitchell has contributed himself to the team’s strong showing, hitting his first Twenty20 half-century in the victory over Leicestershire.

The opener admitted to his struggles with the sprint format, but enjoyed his match-winning role against the Foxes.

“I’ve not got the greatest Twenty20 record, so to bat through and get the team over the line was really important. I enjoyed that," he said.

“I find it very stressful to captain Twenty20 to be honest, it’s 100 miles per hour, it’s hard work, you have to think on your feet all the time.

“You come off after an hour and a quarter and 20 overs in the field absolutely knackered. It really is hard graft. But cricket is always enjoyable when you’re winning.”

Worcestershire will look to continue that winning feeling when they face Derbyshire Falcons at the 3aaa County Ground tonight.

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