Levi comes equipped to take on the four-day challenge

Richard Levi is this year adding first-class duties to his one-day role at Northamptonshire
Richard Levi is this year adding first-class duties to his one-day role at Northamptonshire
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Richard Levi is back at Northamptonshire for a third season - but this time with a slightly different brief.

While in the past couple of years the South African has arrived to play a leading role in the one-day cricket, this time he is here for the duration.

It seems likely he will open the batting with Stephen Peters when the LV= County Championship kicks off against Gloucestershire on Sunday.

And, while it is not a completely new experience for him having appeared in four first-class matches for the County in the desperate summer of 2014, it is definitely a new challenge.

Levi made his reputation on a global scale as a big-hitting star of one-day cricket.

His Twenty20 exploits - including helping the Steelbacks become title winners in 2013 - have made him a hot property in the shorter format.

That was borne out as he led Cape Cobras to triumph in the Ram Slam T20 at home - becoming the leading scorer in the competition in the process - and to become beaten finalists in the Momentum One-Day Cup.

However, he also opened up for the Cobras in the Sunfoil Series - his country’s domestic three-day competition - where he scored 466 runs at an average of over 33.

And he insists the longer game is not beyond him.

“I made my name in South Africa in the three-day stuff and didn’t do very well in the one-day cricket,” Levi explained. “That was how I got my contract the first time.

“It’s not that I can’t play it. It’s just that we’ve got four or five Test players in our top order so it is very hard to break in when they are around.

“I’ve made that breakthrough now and taken the opportunity - but now this is obviously a very different challenge.

“It was a little bit different before only being here for the one-day stuff.

“But now to come in and challenge myself in the four-day stuff and try to cement my place there is an exciting thing I’m looking forward to and going to enjoy.

“I’ve played the most first-class cricket I have in about four or five years.

“It went well but it could have gone better.

“I averaged what I wanted to but didn’t quite get anyone big ones.

“I learned a lot and now I want to take that and implement it here.”