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Hildreth: Lions on the right track

England Lions

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James Hildreth

England Lions have performed impressively in the Caribbean thus far and captain James Hildreth believes there is even more to come

England Lions captain James Hildreth remains confident of success in the ongoing West Indies Cricket Board regional four-day championship.

The Lions sit third in the table with three rounds of fixtures still to come, having drawn three consecutive matches since their opening win over Leeward Islands.

Although a series of flat pitches have made victories hard to come by, Hildreth has been delighted by his side’s performances thus far and believes they can still top the table.

The Somerset batsman told ecb.co.uk: “I’ve got no doubt that we can. With the team we’ve got and the ability in the changing room, I can’t see why we can’t win all the games we’ve got left.

"The cricket has been completely different over here so far. There have been a lot of runs and because of the bonus-point structure teams have tended to bat a lot longer and aren’t really as interested in setting up a game as you would be in England.

"But there’s no reason why we can’t force results and it’s encouraging that we are getting into positions where we have got the chance to win games of cricket, which can be hard to do in the four-day game.

"The pitches have been pretty flat, to be honest, but we’ve taken a lot out of the games. We are definitely going in the right direction. We’ve been getting the first-innings wins that you get points for and getting into those winning positions."

Hildreth had limited experience as a captain prior to this winter, but, after leading the England Performance Programme squad in Australia, he was given the chance to skipper the Lions.

The 26-year-old has welcomed the extra responsibility and feels his job has been made easier by the depth of talent at his disposal.

"I knew a lot of the guys through the counties and how they have performed at that level but to come out and play with them has been a really good experience and the skill level of them is really high," he added.

"As captain it’s been quite an easy job really in guiding them, particularly the bowlers, because they are really skilled in what they can do and bowling to plans seems reasonably easy for them, which has certainly made my job easier.

"I’ve got full confidence in every player and it makes team selection quite difficult because everyone is contributing.

"Almost all of the batsmen have got a hundred now and the bowlers are all getting wickets. Everyone is performing, which is what the ECB want. Everyone seems as though they are in a good position to maybe make that next step up."

The Lions' next fixture, against struggling Guyana at the Providence Stadium, begins on Friday.

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