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Same team, new dressing room

Posted in Domestic Cricket

Our dressing room looks quite different at the moment with the three new players we have signed for the Friends Life t20.

We have Albie Morkel and Richard Levi from South Africa, while Kevin O'Brien, who scored that hundred for Ireland against England at the last World Cup, has joined for the first five group games.

They are X-factor cricketers who can win games on their own. We like our batsmen to hit the ball a long way and these guys can definitely do that. I'm looking forward to seeing them bat.

There will be plenty of squad rotation during the next few weeks as we'll lose Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler to England and Kevin to Ireland. It means the likes of myself and Arul Suppiah, who have been Twenty20 regulars but won't be playing against Warwickshire on this evening, will get a chance later in the competition.

We are really looking forward to the games getting underway and begin with three matches in the space of six days.

We have our first game against Warwickshire - that's a tough game. They are doing well in all formats of the game this season. We then travel to Bristol tomorrow for our derby match with Gloucestershire, which is always good fun in front of a big crowd. It's then back to Taunton for a game against Northampton on Sunday.

Richard Levi

Richard Levi is one of three new faces in our dressing room along with Albie Morkel and Kevin O'Brien. They are X-factor cricketers

The format of this year's competition is different with 10 group games rather than 16. It means qualifying for the quarter-finals will be harder and for that reason it's important we get off to a good start.

I like that the competition is in one block, with all 10 group matches being played in two and a half weeks, as it means you can focus on playing Twenty20 cricket.

We want to win every competition and the same goes for the FLt20. We've gone close in the last three years and hopefully we can go one stage further this year.

During the winter we identified our failure to win finals as something which needed to be addressed so we did some work with a sports psychologist. I believe we will be more capable of winning should we reach another final this year.

I know what it's like to win the competition and I have great memories of our victory in 2005. I was batting with Graeme Smith in the final against Lancashire and hit the winning runs. That day remains one of the highlights of my career. It seems like a long time ago though and we'll need to improve our white-ball cricket if we want to win it again.

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